The Benefits of Team Building Exercises
One of the best ways to grow your business is to invest in your team. You can’t expect to reach your most important goals or milestones if every single person isn’t putting in their best work – and a person’s best work happens when they feel like they’re a valuable part of something bigger.
Investing in team building creates a space where people can build relationships, address their concerns and come together to share ideas that benefit everyone. It tells your people they’re more than just employees, which makes all the difference for the success of your business as a whole.
If you’re interested in bringing a strong teamwork culture into your business, keep reading to discover some of the most important benefits of team building.
Boost Employee Morale
Morale relies on much more than a salary. Most people are actually better motivated by things like a healthy company culture and flexible work opportunities than they are by money.
In other words, you can’t assume you’re doing the best job of boosting morale just by paying your team well. You have to make them feel important, challenged, and appreciated.
Each member of your team should have a clear path of growth ahead of them and they should feel like they have access to all the development tools they need. More so, there should be a strong sense of trust and camaraderie amongst all employees.
This all requires constant effort on your end: morale isn’t something you can build then leave alone. It takes continuous tweaking and tuning from all people in the business. It needs team building in order to thrive.
Create Better Communication
Good communication is a cornerstone of all your business functions. It plays into the culture you’re trying to build (and maintain) and how successful each person is in their role, too.
As such, it’s worth addressing your communication systems from time to time. Team building activities can help you and your team identify the gaps in the way information is exchanged. It improves everything from the way emails are structured and how well they’re managed to how you communicate with customers and pass and share information between departments.
Establish a Common Purpose
Forget about your team for a second and think about yourself, specifically how you produce your best work. You perform better when you feel passionate about the work you’re doing, don’t you? It’s the same for everyone else on your team.
To be passionate about your work means to know it’s valuable, to realise it’s creating positive results for your company and the industry you’re in as a whole. This purpose needs to be clearly established for the whole business.
You can get everyone on the same page by fine-tuning your company’s vision and values or by using team building workshops as a chance to set new goals together. Use this time to remind your team of where the company is headed and the valuable role they play in making those things happen.
Keep in mind that team building isn’t always about moving forward. At least, not in the sense that you’ll spend the whole time thinking about what comes next for your team. Sometimes, you have to stop and think about the barriers that are currently holding your team back.
Team building helps you address what isn’t working. By incorporating retrospectives and problem solving activities you can identify inefficiencies in the way that work is done and how departments collaborate. It can also help individuals put their differences aside.
This is huge. Getting to the bottom of the problems in your team goes beyond communication processes and improving morale. When you face the real issues head-on with your whole team, you’re able to set clearer expectations and establish a sense of shared responsibility from the top down.
Another benefit of team building is the stronger sense of accountability it creates. When your team learns how to trust each other and communicate better, everyone feels more comfortable keeping their teammates in check.
It’s not like you’ll have people on each other’s backs all of a sudden. On the contrary, you’ll notice that team building creates a culture where people aren’t afraid to challenge each other to produce their best work every single day.
Your team will be more likely to be honest, supportive, and willing to lend a helping hand. Plus, they’ll help their teammates identify areas of improvement one on one rather than letting problems pile up and create larger issues.
Take Pressure Off Individuals
When everyone starts to hold each other more accountable and better understand what’s expected of them, there’s less slack for people to pick up.
This does wonders for the over-achievers and team leaders on your staff. It lets them breathe easy and focus on their specific duties rather than having to feel like they have to carry the load.
While it’s good to have employees who are willing to go above and beyond, an environment where people feel obligated to do so 24/7 can be toxic. It puts too much pressure on people and can actually make them perform worse than they would if they didn’t feel so overwhelmed.
Identify Unique Strengths and Opportunities
Make no mistake about it – a strong work ethic isn’t something everyone has. It’s worth encouraging and rewarding for the hard workers on your team, but you just have to make sure they don’t burn out.
Similarly, it’s good to use team building as a chance to identify the strengths of everyone on your team and show them how to utilize them. This could lead to a shift in certain people’s roles or a future conversation for you to address long-term growth opportunities in the team members whom you see potential in.
It also gives you a light to shine on the skills that certain employees may not even know they have! This increases how valuable they feel to the business and it challenges them to be their best in all aspects.
Work on Weaknesses Together
Just as it’s good to identify strengths that people should encourage in their work, you need to point out weaknesses, too. Team building establishes healthy ways to do this as a team and in one on one conversations. It helps everyone build each other up rather than place blame or make employees feel bad about themselves.
Everyone makes mistakes, and no one can do it all. Pointing out weaknesses in a healthy manner allows you and your team to create a culture where everyone supports one another, even when things don’t go as planned.
Set Long-term Goals
The final benefit of team building is the chance to set long-term goals as a team. All too often it’s the people at the top making decisions and passing the information along.
This does make sense for certain initiatives, but it’s also good to get the input of everyone and hear what they have to bring to the table. You may be pleasantly surprised to hear what your team has to say. But, you have to give them a voice to share their ideas in the first place.
Such a process helps create goals that everyone can buy into, and more importantly, that everyone fully understands. This sets the stage for future work that is done by all, from the next intern you hire to the board director coming up on a major work anniversary.
See the Benefits of Team Building at Work
It’s one thing to read about the benefits of team building and another to see them creating positive shifts in your company. Stop waiting to take advantage of this powerful business tool and make plans to have a team building session as soon as possible.
If that was useful...
You can read much more in our free Collaboration Playbook, which features over 20 great ideas for fostering collaboration in your team. This jam-packed guide includes insights from Google, IDEO, Deloitte, Apple and more.
I’m James Allen, founder of Creative Huddle. I’ve facilitated workshops, meetings, focus groups, strategy sessions, teambuilding events and corporate offsites for a range of clients, from corporate household names to creative agencies, charities and startups. Read more →