Team building refers to the activities undertaken by groups of people to increase their motivation and boost cooperation. Many people use the phrases “team-building” and “teamwork” interchangeably. However, they are two distinct concepts. While team building emphasizes the creation of groups, teamwork emphasizes the functions of these groups.
Although team-building activities are meant to increase cohesiveness and cooperation, many employees don’t understand how spending a day playing games can help them bond. The truth is, how managers use team building in their organizations helps to shape their employees’ attitudes towards the process.
As such, leaders should seek to understand team building better as it will help increase their effectiveness. More specifically, leaders should be interested in learning the characteristics that make great teams and the techniques and relevance of team building.
What Makes an Effective Team
Defining the Primary Goal
The main function of forming the group should be made clear right off the bat. The best way to define this purpose is by setting solid and measurable targets. This way, every team member knows exactly how his or her work contributes to accomplishing the organizational goal.
Another aspect that makes up an effective team entails open and free channels of communication. There should be constant communication not just among the team members but also between the team and the whole organization. This way, team members will always have the information they need to undertake their roles.
Responsibility and Dedication
When team members are aware of what expectations need to be met, they are more ready to be held accountable for their decisions and work. Similarly, these team members are willing to undertake proactive measures to finish the assigned tasks within a given timeframe.
Overall, members of a good team are not only aware of the objectives, but they also commit themselves wholeheartedly to achieve the set goals.
Laissez-faire Form of Leadership
Another trait of an effective team is that it practices delegative leadership. What this means is that members are ready to take up leadership positions when situations call for it. This style of communal leadership fosters a shared responsibility, and it helps in boosting the members’ motivation and productivity.
Types of Team Building
Activity-based Team-building Technique
An activity-based type of team-building exercise gives your employees a break from the daily usual work routine. It helps the team to step out of their comfort zone. Here, the team members indulge in various mental or physical activities carried out both indoors and outdoors.
Organizing team lunches and company outings enhance communication amongst team members. It connects them personally and discovers hidden traits. Outdoor activities need the teams to step out of the office, which is not feasible at all times. Indoor team-building games such as a Football tournament or round table games like chess are excellent mood boosters too. This type of activity helps form or foster relationships and subsequently increases productivity/output.
Communication-based Team-building Technique
The key to every social networking is communication.
Perfect for a new team with new members, a communication-based team-building approach can be a great ice breaker. These types of group-building activities for the workplace allow the team to get to know their colleagues a little better and share a personal bond. It can help break communication barriers, improve interpersonal skills and build trust among the employees.
Personality-based Team-building Technique
A workplace can be a mix and match of all sorts of personalities. Hence, managers need to identify and nurture the various personality types.
Team leaders can carry out a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Then they can coordinate tasks accordingly to bring out the best in all the group members. It helps employees to know their coworkers on an individual level. They can appreciate the uniqueness everyone brings to the table.
Some may perform better working with a large group of people, while the rest may prefer small groups.
Managers can assign tasks according to personality types. It will lead to better understanding and increased effectiveness in the team.
Why you should invest in Team Building
To build face-to-face interactions
Whenever employees are asked to work together on a task, they often communicate through email or online chat forums. While this can be efficient, face-to-face interaction often has valuable benefits. Not only does it help to reduce confusion, but it also makes working together with a more social experience.
To foster competition
Nothing motivates an underperforming team to work harder than healthy competition. Most team-building activities involve different teams competing to achieve a specific goal. Whether a team loses or emerges triumphant, the odds are that members will be driven to give their best. This not only motivates employees, but also encourages them to apply this principle at work. Competition has been proven to improve workers’ productivity.
Furthermore, Team building is the process of increasing a team’s cohesiveness, productivity, and efficiency by coming up with activities that require members to work together. This process relies on a range of aspects to guarantee its success. These include factors such as good communication skills, clarity of goals, shared leadership, and a sense of accountability.
In addition to the abovementioned traits, leaders need to be careful when selecting teams. More specifically, they should pick teams based on diversity and skill levels. Overall, team building helps companies achieve goals and foster healthy competition.