The success of any business is dependent on its ability to create an effective team. So it should come as no surprise that over the past three decades team building is an area that companies have invested billions into. And despite having a reputation for being lame or boring, team building initiatives can really pay off when done well.
Team building fosters trust, improves communication and collaboration, and can even help to mitigate conflict. Most importantly though, team building can increase engagement, and a more engaged workforce is good for any organization’s bottom line. But how can you ensure team building efforts are actually productive?
First, the most successful team building events are often the ones that don’t feel like corporate team building efforts in the first place. They also don’t feel like another day in the office. They should be genuinely fun and engaging. Simply spending time together, sharing a fun experience or working toward a common, non-work related goal can allow for bonding to happen organically, which is far more effective than forced efforts. Leave the corporate jargon at the office.
Second, choose something unique and slightly outside people’s comfort zones. Something that conquers fears and includes everyone. Trying new things together can build a sense of camaraderie and unity. And removing them from their typical environment in a challenging way will help them come together in new and unique ways themselves.
The bottom line with team building efforts is that they have to be fun and engaging to be effective. The days of trust falls in the cafeteria are long gone. It’s better to invest more and go all in on activities that your team will genuinely enjoy and that will bring them together than it is to invest less and have your efforts fall flat. If your team is laughing and excited and there’s a sense of accomplishment in the air, you know you’re on the right track.