Team building activities are essential to establishing a corporate culture where people enjoy coming to work, collaborate easily and trust each other. As a business leader, you shouldn’t expect a strong team to just happen when you hire competent, kind people. Help your employees learn about each other, and understand what diversity is and why it’s important to work together. Make it a priority to consistently conduct small team-building activities rather than rely on one or two large events each year.
Purpose of Team Building
The purpose of any team building exercise is to build a stronger unit of workers. Team building isn’t the time to talk about company policies or new product rollouts. It is the time to gather your people in one place and give them a reason to interact with each other in a non-work related way. Team building activities can happen in the office or at an outside location but the annual picnic isn’t really considered team building in the modern human resources environment.
Take the team out for bowling or an escape-room challenge where people are forced to work together to solve a problem. Your employees will observe the talents and interests of others in the office. This builds trust and respect. You will see the importance of team building when you return to the office.
Embracing Diversity Among Employees
Most companies today have a very diverse workforce. People come from all over the country and all over the world. Your employees may speak different languages. They might have different food customs and even cultural holidays. When you hold team building activities such as a cultural potluck, you invite people into an inclusive environment, celebrating differences. It is natural for people to interact with those they have something in common with. When someone is different, they may feel excluded – not because anyone is trying to be mean but simply because people don’t know how to interact. Team building activities revolving around differences help open the lines of communication and teach people how they can be colleagues and maybe even friends.
Inspiring Innovative Ideas
When you bring your team together and people get along, great ideas froth to the top. Companies with an open floor plan where creative types sit and interact daily foster new innovations. Think about Facebook or Google. These companies understand the importance of team building. They are leaders, not just in doing team building activities but also creating environments of interaction because they know that helps give them an edge in creating technological innovations the world needs.
As a business leader, you can do the same with a smaller team of any sort. You might be surprised by the innovative ideas an accounting department has to streamline how lower level managers do payroll that reduces costly mistakes.
Improving Productivity Metrics
When a team is getting along, office stress is reduced. When stress is reduced, energy is freed up to work. A direct result of spending time and money to build your team is productivity. When people are less stressed, they simply perform better. Plus, when the workload gets heavy, a team works together to get the job done. The result is a more efficient system where everyone is contributing optimally.
Many small business owners think it is a waste of time and money to do team building work. This is a mistake that might not be apparent until you have a dysfunctional team and have to fix things. Keep the machine humming by starting team building activities as early as possible.
Building Happy Teams
If you have ever walked into an office or a store where everyone just seemed happy to be there, you have experienced first-hand what a “happy team” is like. Clients and customers will be happier because your team is happier. When your team is excited to work for you and with their co-workers, they are less likely to leave the job. This reduces turnover costs associated with hiring and on-boarding new people. Your clients will become more loyal, as well, because they enjoy coming to do business with you and your team.