eam building activities might seem like an unnecessary luxury, especially for small businesses. No matter how simple an activity you decide on, there’s always money involved, and some employers will think it’s not worth it After all, your employees see each other everyday at the office, right? What good will it bring?
Well, being together is an office space is not the same as stepping outside of it and engaging in non-work related activities. There is no doubt that bonds will be created among your co-workers simply by coexisting on a daily basis, and in no way should team building activities be aimed at making people get along on a personal level. Their ultimate goal is to make people get acquainted with each other in a different environment with the purpose of strengthening their connection as a well-functioning team.
For this to be successful, businesses should think of team building activities as an investment rather than an extra cost, and make these a regular thing. The outcome of the activity should also, somehow, be incorporated into everyday life at the office, or else it will be forgotten and employees will go back to their old ways.
In the words of Patrick Lencioni, author of“TheFive Dysfunctions of a Team”:
Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.
That is to say that your people are your most powerful asset. And if your people are unable to work together, then your business is almost certainly not going to strive. People far more knowledgeable than me have conducted a whole study about this.
For now, I’ll focus specifically on the benefits of team building activities rather than the planning technicalities.
Team building increases productivity
Team building activities help showcase your employees’ different skills and talents. By putting individuals in a team and make them solve a problem, for example, making it out of an Escape Room alive, you’ll be able to see where each person contributed the task at hand and how they can make the best use of each other’s abilities. Then it’s just a matter of applying those skills to your office environment to build a stronger team.
Team building develops problem solving skills
A lot of team building activities revolve around solving a fictional problem. Not only Escape Rooms, but also rally papers or foot challenges, force people to work together as a team to overcome a challenge. By learning how to work together in a relaxed environment, your employees are most likely to feel more confident to work together back at the office and face any issues that might come up.
Team building improves communication and builds trust
Closely linked to problem solving is communication. If people are unable to pitch their ideas and share opinions with each other, then they probably won’t be able to solve the tasks they need to solve. So, by working on effectively solving a problem together, teams are automatically working on their communication as well. The next logical outcome is that they’ll increase trust in each other. It might be easier for some than others, but it will come as a natural result of believing that everyone can contribute with a valuable idea or solution. In some cases, trusting each other will be key to mastering the activity, for example if you’re taking a GoCar ride around Lisbon and one of your teammates is the one behind the wheel.
Team building keeps teams motivated
Team building activities will hopefully be a breath of fresh air amidst the work environment. They present a different day to look forward to and escape the routine for a while. If you offer your team a variety of different activities they will all enjoy, you’re likely to keep them happy and excited about your company. And we all know that happy employees do better work and benefit business.