Team building fits into organizational behaviour theory. Within this teams use self-assessment as a way of continuous improvement and to manage how effective the team is. Feedback is then given from everyone within the group to be able to assess the teams’ strengths and weaknesses and again continue to improve performance. Assessment of team member’s personalities can also bring a better knowledge to the team of how people prefer to work and their skills base.
Focusing on team building and team work has traditionally been a low priority for businesses, instead ignoring their human assets and concentrating on sales and productivity. However, with the global market and increased pressures on business, in order to stay competitive, team building is essential to capitalise on their best assets; the employees. Valued and motivated employees are far more productive and team building empowers employees and creates good communication channels and relationships. A good team that ‘owns’ their shared goals and see it as their changes rather than been told by management, are more likely to go that extra mile for the business and remain loyal.
Team building should be within the fabric of the business model rather than a one off event. It is a committed on-going process that should be well-planned out and tailored to individual needs as well as ultimately the business needs. It is no good building a team around solving complex mathematical problems if the business never requires such as team. Team building equally needs to suit individuals within the business taking into account ages, abilities and what they feel comfortable taking part in.
There are many reasons for introducing team building into the workplace and there are plenty of team building games and activities to use depending on resources, time and needs. As already mentioned communication is one of the top reasons along with stimulating creativity and thought processes, finding new ways to problem solve and strategize, bring about change and manage change and encourage a learning environment. On an individual level, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses can enable a team to work to everyone’s strengths and create a dynamic environment with collective potential.
Activities and games for team building range from simple games, quizzes and ice breakers to more complex tasks, day activities and even full weekend activities. All these team building exercises are designed to nurture effective team working to create a solid and consistent group of individuals able to work towards shared goals and targets.
When looking at activities and games team building works best when employees have a say in what they do as this will develop individuals potential. People may have shared interests or a special expertise that team building activities can be organised around. A mix of activities within a plan will enable all employees to achieve and learn at their own pace. If inviting the entire workplace is unachievable then one day workshops for selected groups may work best. It’s all about finding a range of team building activities that will work best for your business and your employees.
All businesses have different requirements for team building and therefore activities for team building or a team building game need to be tailored to their needs. Building a team from scratch requires everybody to get to know each other and games and ice breakers are a useful starting point. A defined plan would then need to be put in place for continuous improvement and to bond the team together. Bonding sessions can include fun activities and days out so that team members can get to know each other before moving onto more structured team building exercises and personal development.
A business may have a team where issues have arisen and resulted in a more fragile group than other teams. In order to resolve these problems team building games will not improve the morale. Therefore team development workshops and individual programs are required to improve confidence. Trust activities are also a good way to re-group the team and provide a softer approach to solving the issues. Further down the team building line, psychological analysis of team members may give a better understanding into the personalities and skills to enable the team to work better together.
In the current economic worldwide market many companies are finding that restructuring of the business is essential. Teams then may need to change or start from scratch and in order to keep morale and confidence, team building exercises are an essential part of the restructuring to keep improving performance. Social activities as a whole company may be needed to bond the business back together and build upon relationships between the management and employees.
Team building exercises are broken down into useful exercises depending on the needs of the business. Communication exercises are a great way of enabling a team to effectively communicate within the group and the business environment. Problem solving exercises are designed for teams to be able to handle complex tasks and solve multifaceted problems. Planning exercises are designed so that teams are aware of the need for planning within business and the tools to be able to adapt to change. Trust exercises enable a business to form and build upon trust between team members with simple games and activities.
Team building is an essential part of business and should be incorporated into every business strategy to ensure global competitiveness, efficiency and good overall performance. There are lots of different approaches to team building and businesses need to carefully assess why team building is needed within their workplace in order to get the most out of it. An on-going plan ensures team building continues to provide positives for the business.