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We’re no stranger to apprehensions about team building. When done wrong it can be boring, cringe-worthy and more than a bit awkward. But, when it is organised and executed effectively, it has this wonderfully magic way of creating a bond between teams that grows organically.
One of the best ways to do this is to break away from the norms. Simply setting your team a task that mirrors what they do day-to-day won’t be enough to open their minds and encourage better teamwork. Instead, a creative (dare we say it, fun!) approach to team building can tap into a side of participants that you hadn’t discovered before and have them learning how to work together better.
Teams that know and understand one another are more effective than those who don’t. And it’s not rocket science to understand why. If we consider the theory of team development, it’s crucial for groups of people to go through key stages before reaching success. The first of these is ‘forming’. This is where, essentially, a group of strangers are thrust together and expected to work in harmony towards a common goal.
Without knowing one another – and knowing how to get along – moving past the norming stage is nigh on impossible. Which is where team building comes in. For new teams, or new employees joining, team building activities present the opportunity for colleagues to get to know each other both on a social and professional level.
Of course, we’re all different and perhaps some of us aren’t destined to get along all the time. That being said, team building activities can help team members gain valuable insight into the motivations, thought processes and methods used by their colleagues, and support them in finding a way to work together productively.
Effective communication is essential to any successful team. Whatever the project, or the end goal, colleagues need to work together to get the desired result. Ineffective communication skills can seriously stand in the way of this.
Team building activities are particularly good at helping to build communication and trust between team members in an alternative environment. While it may be dressed up as ‘a bit of fun’ team members will be learning how to effectively communicate information between them and use this to achieve something.
For example, in an Escape Room setting, team members need to find and solve clues that aren’t necessarily discovered in a linear order. Not only does this require them to think outside of the box, it requires them to organise themselves in a way to progress and communicate their findings effectively in a high-pressure situation.
Winning brings everyone closer together. Even the most divided teams can’t help but congratulate one another when things go right. Team building offers this experience on a smaller scale.
For example, if an activity requires individual members of the team to carry out a task, simply being cheered on (and congratulated) can offer an incredible confidence boost. Following this, the sense of togetherness a team feels following a successful event will carry through back into the workplace and be applied moving forwards in everything that they do together.
Competition is healthy when done right. We see this in sales environments where colleagues battle to be the top seller for the month. And so, the same applies to team building. Pitting two teams against each other in a fun way is a great method for bringing people together to achieve a common goal.
When team members feel comfortable with one another, they’re more likely to share ideas and be innovative. In any workplace creativity and innovation is crucial to driving forwards, and team building activities contribute to this in two ways.
Firstly, many team building activities require an element of thinking outside the box or strategy. These sorts of non-threatening settings allow participants to try new things and implement different strategies. They can then take this new-found confidence and apply it to their own role within the team.
Secondly, team building offers an opportunity for participants to get to know one another. And when they do, they’ll be more likely to share innovative ideas without fear.
Here at KDM Events, our team works hard to create innovative and creative team building activities that foster a sense of fun and motivation while building on trust, communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Contact us today to speak to an Event Manager about your next team building activity.