“It takes great leadership to build great teams. Leaders who are not afraid to course correct, make the difficult decisions and establish standards of performance that are constantly being met – and improving at all times.
Whether in the workplace, professional sports, or your local community, team building requires a keen understanding of people, their strengths and what gets them excited to work with others.
Team building requires the management of egos and their constant demands for attention and recognition – not always warranted. Team building is both an art and a science and the leader who can consistently build high performance teams is worth their weight in gold.” Glenn Llopis, Forbes Magazine
As evidenced in the opening quote, building a cohesive team of committed individuals is imperative to an organization’s success. Each individual needs to work effectively and efficiently with their teammates to accomplish objectives and remain competitive. In order to foster this teamwork, team building activities and retreats must become a part of an organization’s standard operating procedure.
Before implementing team building into your organization, it is helpful to understand more about the concept of team, teamwork and team building.
What is a Team?
By definition, a team is a group of two or more people who interact with each other and coordinate their work efforts in pursuit of a common goal.
What is Teamwork?
There is a difference between the work of teams and the teamwork. When the people who work for your organization carry out the essential functions of their jobs, they are completing the work of teams. Teamwork is working together in the cooperative and collaborative manner.
What is Team Building?
Team building is actively engaging in activities that help your workforce come together as a functional team. The primary purpose of team building activities is to develop cohesive work groups made up of individuals who treat each other with respect, understand their roles in the workplace, and pull together for the overall good of the company.
Where Does Team Building Start?
Team building has to start at the top of the organization. Managers have a responsibility to model the appropriate attitudes to employees, and to provide employees with the training that they need in order to develop from a group of people who happen to work together to a team that can accomplish amazing things on behalf of the company.
Now that we have a general understanding of the concepts, let’s dive deeper into why should you spend your valuable resources (time and money) on teambuilding activities?
- Trust is a critical component to business, especially when teamwork is required on a daily basis to achieve objectives and grow companies. According to John Castro, the CEO of Merrill Corporation, “Trust is critical in business because it can make or break a team, and business can no longer survive without teams.” Mutual trust fostered by team building activities can allow your employees to depend more on one another and be more productive and efficient as a result.
- Depending on the varied personalities of your employees, unnecessary conflicts and disputes might arise. Team building activities can play an important role in easing conflicts between coworkers by allowing employees to bond with one another and become more accustomed to each others’ personalities. To ease conflicts, use team building activities that allow coworkers to get to know one another on a personal level.
- Team building activities can establish a stronger bond between coworkers who might blame one another when problems arise within shared business projects. This bond can help in increasing collaboration among employees during daily business activities. According to Inc. Magazine, an effective team is one with “a penchant for collaboration and a keep awareness of inter-dependency.” Assign team building activities that require all employees to participate at once.
Encourage Effective Communication
- Through team building activities, employees can learn how to better communicate with one another because they probably will be faced with activities that need to be solved as a group. This type of activity can translate into more productive and efficient daily work and allow employees to function better as an overall team. During team building activities, encourage your workers to verbalize issues as they arise in a calm and professional manner.
- Offsite team building activities take the stress away from your team by shaking up the monotony of the he day-to-day grind. Participating in a fun event that pushes physical and mental boundaries help improve the mood of employees and can counteract any serious morale issues. Sometimes it can be as simple as having fun!
- During your team building activity, be sure to schedule time for a debriefing exercise. This will allow your team to apply the lessons learned offsite back to the office. As a manager you can use this time to reinforce company values and refocus on the overall mission, which sometimes gets lost in the daily grind.
How can you build strong teams?
We are confident that planning team building events will create incredibly positive second and third order effects for your group! Offsite retreats provide the perfect getaway from the sterile office environment and improve morale within your team by allowing them to soak in the fresh air. Additionally, if you can combine annual meetings with experiential learning, these events provide the perfect time take care of any training, reinforce company values, and plan for a successful future.
Time spent sharing stories can also help to ease conflicts and create positive memories. Team Building events build trust and increase collaboration among participants, who must rely on their teammates to safely push their limits and try new things and quickly come up with a creative solution to accomplish the mission. Finally team members will need to utilize effective communication to successfully complete team building events.
We encourage you to creatively design team building programs that help shatter the stereotypes of company retreats that accomplish nothing. Be sure to plan team building activities that draw out specific leadership attributes and skills that explicitly link back to participants’ jobs. Participants should clearly understand how skills developed offsite can translate directly back into workplace habits. Each team building experience should be strategically designed with specific goals in mind and facilitators should work hand-in-hand with you to make sure your objectives are met.
“Tough times don’t last but tough teams do.”
By guest writer Katie Christy – Director of Business Development, Lone Star Peak Performance. Lone Star Peak Performance’s M5 Ranch combines rustic elegance with state-of-the-art facilities in a beautiful Texas Hill Country setting to create the perfect environment for corporate retreats.
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