Investing in team building activities has become a popular method to boost employee productivity and cohesion, but is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? Though many business leaders swear that the right activities can have profound effects on their workforce, there are plenty of articles online that are a bit more skeptical.
Why Team Building Activities are Worth It
|Isn’t it a Bit Condescending?||You have to be careful about how you treat team building activities in the workplace. If you introduce the exercise in a way that’s condescending or indicative that your team needs an incentive to do good work, then it can be taken the wrong way. Instead, treat the activity as a fun alternative to a workshop.
You just have to frame it the right way – your team doesn’t need team building activities any more than they need a coffee machine in the office. It’s just a nice convenience that can improve their work experience, but they in no way rely on it to do a good job.
That said, team building activities aren’t just games–they’re tools that give your team a chance to communicate with one another in a new way. This can help clear up work-related feuds, give employees an excuse to get to know one another, relieve stress, boost productivity, and get everyone engaged in their work again.
|Aren’t Ineffective Teams a Leadership Problem?||It certainly could be! The productivity of a team falls under the responsibility of its supervisor, so when teams aren’t working together very well it is often considered a leadership problem. Still, throwing the blame on the team leader doesn’t solve the problem, and it definitely doesn’t negate the value of a team building activity. After all, teamwork problems aren’t always preventable, and they don’t always come from the top-down.
Regardless, when the time comes to address it, the right team building activity could be an excellent part of the solution. It could give your employees the opportunity to work through any problems that are limiting communication or productivity, which can have far-reaching effects, and bring everyone a bit closer!
|Isn’t it just socializing?||All the fun and games of team building activities might make it look like it isn’t a learning experience for your team, but it’s a lot more than a chance to socialize with coworkers. Implementing the right activity can play a key role in correcting company culture, improving your team’s engagement, improving workflow, and just making everything run a bit more smoothly!
This sets it apart from something like a company barbeque or an office party. These events are more about unwinding and socializing, and though they can certainly benefit your team, they aren’t tailored to challenge your employees and encourage them to think in new and creative ways.
|Won’t it just make people uncomfortable?||Every team is different. Some might enjoy outdoor team building exercises while others might prefer more thought-provoking ones that don’t require physical activity. Regardless, you know your team best!
To reap the maximum rewards of these activities, it’s best to tailor them to your team’s interests. It’s also a good idea to give them a say in the matter. Ask them what type of activity they would find engaging–this will keep everyone interested and will ensure that they have a good time.
Team Building Activities FAQ
Can Team Building Activities help?
Yes! Team building activities give your workers a chance to interact with one another in a brand new way. Some of your quieter team members might start opening up during collaborative activities, some people in different departments might strike up a conversations and get to know one another–it’s just a great way to build cohesion among your group.
Which Team Building Activity should you use?
Of course, different team building activities are going to benefit different teams. If there’s a feud going on in the office, putting on a competitive activity might just reinforce the negative energy. Choosing a more collaborative activity, however, could give everyone a chance to work together and establish healthier relationships. On the other hand, if you’re trying to re-engage your team after a draining few weeks of work, then exploring what outdoor team building activities have to offer could be a great mental refresher! Just tailor the activity to your team’s circumstances, and ask their opinions to ensure that everyone has a good time.
Will your Team Enjoy these Activities?
Some teams might just be excited to spice up the work day, but others might be skeptical or feel like the activity is patronizing. That’s why it’s important to make it clear that the activity is just a more interesting and engaging alternative to a team building workshop. Just make it clear that it’s a fun way to learn a bit more about one another, collaborate in new ways, and take a bit of time off of work.