Wikipedia defines team building as ‘a collective term for various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks.’
Correct, but let’s break it down a little more…
If we asked you to name three things you love about your job, chances are one of your answers will be: “the people I work with” (or something similar). Our colleagues play a huge role in our happiness at work, as well as our productivity. Just imagine how dull it would be if we turned up to work every day, did what we needed to do, and went home having no interaction at all? Boring!
A workplace tribe aren’t just a group of employees; they’re members of a family. If your tribe feel comfortable with one another, if they trust, respect and work well together, then your workplace is bound to be a happy and productive one!
But you can’t just expect your tribe to gel at the click of a finger or drop of a hat (if only it were that easy). You’re tasked with helping your tribe to connect‚ and that’s what team building hopes to achieve.
A team building activity could be anything that brings your tribe together in a sociable way (i.e., it shouldn’t have a work-led objective). A cookery class, an assault course, a quad bike safari, or a Tree Top Adventure at Go Ape, for instance.
Of course, for those activities to have the intended impact, there’s one key ingredient that needs to be added: fun! We once read a story about a downright disastrous team building trip, where each employee was made to tell one another what they didn’t like about them. Enjoyable? We think not. Deeply upsetting? Most definitely.
When done well (i.e. when employees don’t leave the room crying), team building can achieve many positive things. “What are those things?” we hear you ask. Well, here are three of the most important:
Morale = boosted
Engaging in activities with a feel-good-factor (such as swinging through the trees Tarzan-style) is bound to boost morale. It’ll put a smile on your face and get that adrenaline pumping, so you all return to the office feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Relationships = strengthened
If your company’s on the larger side, chances are different departments rarely get the chance to interact with one another (apart from via email). Team building helps put names to faces ‚ rather, email addresses to faces. And that’s important because it’ll help employees feel more confident and comfortable with one another, which will help improve workplace communication.
Strengths and weaknesses = identified
Team building activities will require your tribe to do a number of things, including; problem-solve, think creatively, take control, and communicate well. These are all prized skills in the workplace, and so team building activities are a good opportunity to identify which members of your tribe are lacking in certain areas, and to tailor training to help them improve!
There we are, three convincing arguments for why team building rocks! If this has got you debating your next team trip, why not come and swing through the tree tops at Go Ape? With 30 locations across the UK, there’s bound to be a course near you!