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The Power of Team Building: Unleashing the Team’s Full Potential

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In a busy office life, where not every team member is even physically present in the office, we may have moved away from team work to just a bunch of individuals, each working at their own pace and, yes, towards the same goal, but often with different visions of what that goal is. Gone are the days when the team had to gather together in the same room to work on a project- not only we substituted that with a video call, at times we don’t even get to see the face of the person on the other end of that video call, because sharing screens took priority. And, as much as this may work and the project does get completed and the end result is rather positive, we’re here to remind you of the powers of teams working efficiently together.

This might sound a little old fashioned now, if the team is not working in the same room, why on earth would they get together out of office hours to do some silly activity? But we are strong believers that team building is a fantastic way to improve the way our team is coordinated and how effective they are together. So, here are some benefits of team building:

  • Improved communication: Team building activities encourage open communication among team members, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment where ideas can be freely shared and feedback can be given constructively.
  • Enhanced collaboration: By working together to solve challenges and achieve common goals, team members develop a greater understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and working styles. This could lead to a different distribution of tasks within work projects- playing to the individuals’ strengths.
  • Increased trust and respect: Building trust is essential for effective teamwork. Through team building activities and putting members in slightly unusual situations and scenarios- not likely to come up in the work environment, they learn to trust each other’s abilities, judgment, and intentions, which strengthens relationships and fosters a culture of mutual respect and support.
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills and creativity: Team building activities often involve problem-solving challenges that require creative thinking, collaboration, and resourcefulness. By tackling these challenges together, team members develop their problem-solving skills and learn to approach obstacles with confidence and resilience. The more unusual the activity and more outside the box thinking required- the more creative the team members can be.
  • Boosted morale and motivation: Engaging in fun team building activities can boost morale, improve job satisfaction, and increase motivation among team members. Feeling connected to their colleagues and valued by their organisation contributes to a positive work environment and higher levels of employee engagement. This by extension leads to a better employee retention and loyalty to the employer.

Now that we’ve covered some reasons ‘why’ it is worth investing in team building activities, let’s talk about the ‘who’. So, who should take the reins when it comes to initiating team building activities—the employees or the employer? Well, the truth is, it is a bit of a dance between both parties.

On one hand, employees can play an important role in sparking interest and enthusiasm for team building initiatives. Whether it’s suggesting fun activities during lunch breaks or organising after-work outings, their proactive approach can inject a dose of energy and excitement into the workplace culture. After all, who better understands the dynamics and preferences of the team than the individuals themselves?

However, the main responsibility for team building and providing the necessary support and resources to make it happen lies on the employer’s side. From allocating budget for activities to encouraging participation and leading by example, employers set the tone for a culture where team building is not just an afterthought but an integral part of the company ethos. It is nice if the team members are proactive and make viable suggestions, but without the budget and the leadership of the bosses- not much will happen.

So, we’ve got some ideas of the ‘why’ and ‘who’. Here comes probably the most tricky part- the ’what’. We have given you quite the list of benefits associated with team building activities, but we all know that not all those activities are made equal. How do we choose the right one for our team, if we want to see at least most (if not all) of the benefits above?

There is a difference between a staff party and a team building. Of course, both will be appreciated by the team, but they will not bring the same bonding result. At a staff party the employees are likely to socialise with those they have close working relationships with. Yes, they will likely bond over a cocktail or a dance, but will they work on their problem-solving skills? I don’t think so.

A good team building not only forces the members to think creatively, overcome challenges, but also encourages them to exchange ideas and work together to achieve a common goal. You can make it even better by introducing an element of competition or adding a reward. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Escape room challenge: Locked in a room together, your team must work collaboratively to decipher clues, solve puzzles, and ultimately escape before the time runs out. It’s a thrilling adventure that encourages teamwork and communication.
  • Volunteer day: Give back to the community as a team by participating in a volunteer day. Whether it’s helping out at a local food bank, cleaning up a park, or volunteering at a homeless shelter, engaging in meaningful activities together can deepen connections, foster empathy, and install a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
  • Scavenger hunt: Embark on an epic adventure that takes your team on a journey of exploration and discovery. Armed with a list of clues and challenges, teams must race against the clock to solve puzzles, complete tasks, and collect items scattered throughout the city or office campus. It’s a thrilling adventure that encourages creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration. Unlike the escape room, this one will require some good prep work, but can also be tailor made and include elements specific to your trade.
  • Team picnic and games: Gather your team for a relaxed picnic in the park mixed with team competitions and games. Again, this will require some work on the employer’s part- they will need to prepare and coordinate the games, but there are plenty of great ideas online to help you arrange this.
  • Cooking class or competition: Working in smaller teams to create a delicious meal is a yummy idea. You can make it more interesting by limiting the time. This could be either follow a challenging recipe and instruction or (even more interesting) putting the efforts to create a delicious meal from vary limited ingredients available. And the reward- of course, sampling what the master chefs cooked up.
  • Team building workshops: Management can also bring in reinforcements- professional facilitators to conduct team building workshops tailored to the specific needs and dynamics of the team. Whether it’s personality assessments, communication exercises, or trust-building activities, these workshops provide valuable insights, strengthen relationships, and enhance teamwork skills.
  • Team building retreat: The ultimate team building activity-escape the hustle and bustle of the office and retreat to a serene location for a weekend of team building and relaxation. From rustic cabins in the woods to beachside resorts, there are endless options for retreat venues. Fill the itinerary with team-building activities, workshops, and social events designed to strengthen bonds, foster collaboration, and recharge the team’s collective spirit.

Choosing the right activity will depend on the size of your team, the available budget and even on the weather- if you were thinking outdoors. It may be worth starting small (and cheaper), asking for feedback from the participants, before splashing on a weekend retreat. And if you are an employee reading this article, why not send it to your boss for inspiration and suggest starting a new team building activity in your team?