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Team Building Vs Team Bonding

Team building vs team bonding – What’s the difference? Is there even a difference at all? In this article, we’ll explore both terms to help you understand how each can be used to help build more energetic, positive and successful teams.

Team Building

Team building is a phrase we’ve all heard of. They are skills focused activities where participants work together to achieve a common goal. This can take many different forms. For example, an Escape Room where teams must follow instructions and communicate effectively to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape a locked room within a set time. Or a treasure hunt, where co-workers solve clues against the clock to reach a certain destination before an opposing team.

Whatever the set-up, team building activities encourage participants to utilise their existing skills and apply them in tandem with others. Usually, the aim of these is to develop communication and problem-solving skills within the group, both of which are key to a winning team.

The idea is that, following a team building experience or exercise, colleagues work better together in the workplace, applying what they have learned about themselves (and each other!) to professional tasks for improved synergy, agility and performance.


Team Bonding

Team bonding is perhaps a phrase that’s not used as often. But it’s likely that you have participated in, and even organised, team bonding. Team bonding is all about strengthening inter-personal relationships within a team. Simply, making sure everyone gets along and knows one another!

In the ordinary working week, this could take the form of having lunch together, after work drinks, or going out for a meal. Team bonding can also be more structured, too. Such as a day out together, conference or team celebration.

All these social activities present the opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another better outside of work situations. This is particularly effective for high-pressure and high-performing workplaces, as team members can blow off steam and talk about common interests outside of work that bring them together.

Typically, team bonding is less about building different skills and more about helping team members get to know one another better. It is no less important though, as a team that gets along is likely to be more productive.


Which is more effective: team building or team bonding?

The answer to this question depends on your goals for the team and the current dynamics within it.

If you have a team that socialises well together but doesn’t necessarily work well in certain situations, it could be a team building activity that is needed to help create synergy and motivate them towards a common goal.

Alternatively, if your team has well-developed problem-solving skills but they don’t gel well on a personal level, team bonding may be a more appropriate route to take.
In some cases, it could be that both are needed in some shape of form to achieve balance and improve performance.


Are team building and team bonding very different?

Not necessarily. In fact, many team building activities offer the opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another in a more relaxed and fun environment. At KDM Events, we create our team building activities with a range of goals in mind. We want teams to build on their current interactions, be energised, and develop their problem solving and communication skills. But we also want them to have fun and get to know each other, too!

Team building activities can be followed up with a social activity as well, which allows for team bonding. In fact, this can be doubly effective as they will be relaxed around each other, full of energy and feeling positive about the whole experience.


Team building vs team bonding

In short, team building aims to develop a group of colleagues on a professional level with certain skills in mind. While team bonding is all about getting to know each other in a less formal setting. Of course, it goes without saying that both should be fun and stimulating with the aim of participants leaving motivated and energised.

If you would like further information about team building activities and events from KDM, give us a call and speak to one of our Event Managers. For enquiries in London and the South, call 0208 404 0034. For Midlands and the North, call: 01782 646 300.