A team is like a group, but quite different. While a group is a number of people gathered together, a team is comprised of a set of people who come together to achieve a common goal. They support each other and add value to the team’s desired outcome. They are extremely useful to organisations and for getting things done efficiently and effectively, not to mention the improvement in social motivation. If they are this important to businesses and organisations, it is equally important to know how to build a team effectively. This is what you’ll read about in the following article as well as team building activities ideas for the workplace.
What is Team Building?
Team building describes the process of converting a normal group of people into a truly effective and cohesive team that will generate successful results for your organisation. The people that make up a team work interdependently and cooperatively to meet the needs of their project or organisation’s goal. A cohesive team has many advantages, some of which will be discussed later on and it is important for organisations to focus on team building within their organisation.
Team building activities for employees aim to improve a team’s cohesiveness. Cohesiveness refers to how much or little a team can stick together and remain united. It describes each team members understanding of and dedication to the team’s common goal. A state of cohesion is reached when team members share bonds which link them to each other and to the team. These specific bonds are what team building activities for employees aim to increase and improve. The use of team building activities for workplace morale improvement is prominent.
Team building is comprised of many different activities undertaken to motivate the team members and to increase a team’s overall performance. A fully-functioning, productive team doesn’t just appear overnight. It needs to be moulded and nourished through team building activities which serve as a motivating factor. Through the team building activities, which will be discussed in more detail later on, each team member is groomed and motivated to perform to his/her full potential.
Team building activities for the workplace are essential, especially for the improvement of workplace atmosphere. Team building can simply refer to the daily interaction between team members as they engage in working together to reach the requirements and goals of their jobs. It can also refer to the more deepened team building through structured activities and exercises that get people involved and motivated. They don’t have to be complicated and difficult to carry out. There are many easy team building activities for work teams.
Team Building Skills
How to Build an Effective Team?
When individuals come together and support and work interdependently towards a common objective, a team is formed. Mostly, the members of a team will have a similar interest, attitude or taste. Every member contributes equally and tries his/her best to meet the team’s goal.
Teams socially construct their own level and standard which team members strive hard to live up to. The expectations of your fellow team members must be met. A team can only do well when every member is committed to and focused on the assigned task. The team and its success or failure is dependent on each member.
Every individual should feel motivated to do his/her best. However, this does not mean that members should impose things on other members. The initiative must be taken by the individuals themselves. They should come forward and accept the challenge of being part of a team. Team building then steps in and helps to improve the team and its interdependent functioning.
“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.“—Patrick Lencioni, north american writer.
Team Building Ice Breakers
When you are first introduced to someone new, you don’t automatically feel 100% comfortable. Shyness and a tendency to hold back and be reserved is common with all initial interactions. This can even be heightened in a work setting. Organisations, however, need their teams to waste as little time as possible in this ‘shy, held back’ stage and to instead focus on getting to know each other and getting comfortable so that they can then move on to be the most productive they can be.
An ice breaker is a small game or activity that is used to- you guessed it- break the ice between people! With an icebreaker, the conversation starts flowing more naturally and is especially important at the beginning of a team building session. The participants need to feel comfortable before the team building exercises for small groups or large teams begin so that they can put in the effort and gain from the activities, making it an overall beneficial practise.
An effective ice breaker should warm up conversation between team members and reinforce the topic of the session. This will help to ensure that both the interactions and the session are enjoyed.
In cases where participants don’t know each other, the ice breaker will help them introduce themselves and get to know other participants. In cases where the meeting participants do know each other or are participating in another team building session, an ice breaker is still effective to warm up the conversation. It can be made interesting by allocating a different participant each week as the ice breaker leader.
Ice breakers warm up conversation and build employee interaction, which, in turn, helps to improve a team’s cohesiveness. Leadership skills can also be developed through ice breakers creating more effective team leaders within an organisation.
Ice breakers are also important in ensuring that all participants are equally partaking in the team building activities. This is ensured through the role that ice breakers play in communication and comfort level.
Barriers that occur naturally are broken down. These are barriers created by aspects such as the organisation’s hierarchy, chart, job titles and different departments. Here are some of the reasons to use ice breakers:
- When participants know each other and you want the conversation to warm-up and flow at a comfortable pace.
- When participants know each other and work in different areas or departments, an ice breaker can help to break down the barriers between departments.
- When participants know each other, but have different job titles and levels within the organisation. Ice breakers can help ensure that communication is honest and comfortable.
- When participants are strangers, an ice breaker is a comfortable, simple way to make introductions, help people start communicating and sharing thoughts, and generally, warm up the room.
- When participants don’t know each other, but share a common goal, an interest or an idea. An ice breaker warms up the group before more serious and in-depth discussion of the topic at hand begins.
- When participants are diverse. This diversity could be in terms of age, job titles, ethnic groups etc. They could have unknown areas of commonality that icebreakers can help to highlight.
Overall, ice breakers are an essential part of team building activities and play an important role in getting people talking, generating a positive atmosphere and to get the activity to start on the right note. Some examples of common ice breakers include:
- Connecting Stories
- Collaborative Drawing
- What I Would Have Done
- Electric Current Game
- Fear in a Hat
- Icebreaker Questions
- Lost on a Deserted Island
- Newspaper Towers
- Photo Scavenger Hunt
Team Building Ideas
Team building is such an effective active for transforming average teams into cohesive and productive teams. Team building activities ideas for the workplace are important to keep updated and relevant to your organisation. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the team building activities in which your employees or team members engage. New ways to build your team and modernised ideas as to how your team morale can be improved is essential for successful team building.
Some new team building ideas for work include:
- Team building through song: Music can help your team to experience creativity and allow you and your team members to tap into your individual and team abilities to innovate and problem solve when creating a song or solving a musical problem, for example.
- Through comedy: A ‘yes and..’ approach is frequently used in comedy team building activities. Whether the group needs to “lighten-up” or they are already a lightened group of people, comedy can help people to relax and build a tighter bond. Multimedia and social networking options allow for the session to be streamed so that those not present can also participate in some way.
- Through adventures: Team spirit and comradery can build through adventurous team building activities such as escape room, scavenger hunts or even water sports. This will get your team members’ brains working and more importantly, working together!
- Through cooking classes: Teams can bond over a home cooked meal or learn healthy cooking tips and even try out some of the latest cooking trends. Cooking classes are easy and fun. This team building idea is a satisfying way to incorporate team building skills.
Team Building Activities for work
Activities in team building programs are made to motivate each participant whether they are for teams or team building activities for staff meetings. They are motivated to perform at their best individually and to pool their talents together. Team members learn from these activities that diversity is their best asset. In future projects, members will remember certain skills from activities that they enjoyed together and motivate each other to use them.
Team members will also learn that trust, good communication and cooperation are key factors to their success. Communication is greatly important to a team’s success and should be carried right through to project work. Sinnaps helps to ensure that there is an open channel for communication throughout the development of the project with an instant chat wall. Effective team building activities bring members together for a common cause as well as encourage individual performance.
A team building activity is, in itself, a means to an end. Essentially, it is a high-impact learning experience. The idea is to empower individuals to contribute to the common goals of the team. An important fact to remember is that the success of most organisations depends on the capability of individuals to build effective, cohesive and productive teams.
Advantages of Team Building Exercises for Work
The main objective of team building is to improve and increase productivity and motivation. Taking the employees and team members out of the office and into a new environment is refreshing and helps to break down any political or personal barriers that may exist. Out of office is a much better idea than team building activities in office settings. The benefits of team building are so noteworthy that many corporations have incorporated team building into their standard training curriculum.
Some of the advantages of team building include:
- Improvement of morale and leadership skills
- Helps to remove barriers that prevent creativity
- Objectives and goals are clearly defined
- Business processes and procedures are improved
- Organisational productivity is improved
- Identifies a team’s strengths and weaknesses
- Improves problem solving ability
Corporate Team Building
Corporations can have a certain sense or seriousness about them. Team and team members can feel a certain pressure to ‘fit in’. It is important for team in corporations to engage in team building activities. At a corporation, some things may seem very big and expansive and it may seem difficult to get to know people and to feel comfortable on your team.
Team-building programs help to create upbeat and powerful team experiences which allow companies to enable staff at all corporate levels to work as true team players. In this way, it will be easier for the company and its individual teams to reach objectives successfully and effectively furthering team morale. Corporate team building activity ideas include scavenger hunts, escape rooms, cooking classes, rock-wall climbing and many more.
Team building exercises for small groups can generally be done in-house. For corporate team building, it is common that companies outsource team building services of which there are many available. Team building services and centres are fantastic for saving time and get the job done effectively due to each provider’s experience and dedication to team building activities for large groups.
For corporate development, team building games for employees and activities are important for the group skills, communication skills and bonding that are learned and not solely for the immediate experience of performing the task. Members can then take these skills and apply them to their future projects with their team.
Imagine the scenario in your own head. You are at work, most likely a 9-5 job. Do you think you’d be a more positive and productive person surrounded by people with whom you have interactions and are friendly or by people you do not know very well and are not so comfortable around? The answer is the first. Workers part of a cohesive team work better. It is proven. Therefore, it is imperative for organisations that want to be successful to pay attention to team building and to get workers comfortable around each other in a supportive and stimulating environment.
Team Building with Sinnaps
Fun Team Building Activities for Work
Team Bonding: Ideas and Tools