Team building has a bit of a bad reputation. It’s long been tied up with dull company picnics and tiresome icebreakers. This is a shame, because team building success actually makes all the difference in whether or not your company is a success.
Don’t believe it? Here are six reasons why team building is critical to a successful work environment.
1. Get to Know Each Other
One of the biggest benefits of team building is that it gives your employees the chance to get to know each other outside of work.
After all, working in adjacent cubicles for 40 hours a week is one thing. Talking casually in a non-work setting is something else entirely.
People like to feel connected, especially in this era of constant digital connection. The problem is, many people spend their time at work feeling lonely and that’s bad for business.
When people don’t have a sense of social connection at work, they make less discretionary effort (the small extra effort that takes an employee beyond the bare minimum).
More of your employees are lonely than you realize. A whopping 42% of don’t have a close friend at work. Not all of those people are going to be lonely, but a good chunk of them are.
Team building activities give your employees a critical opportunity to get to know each other and overcome that workplace isolation. When they feel personally connected to people in the office, your employees are more likely to feel personally connected to the job.
2. Boost Engagement
The truth is, all of us lead double lives.
In our personal lives, we can control our own environment. We choose the relationships we pursue, decide how to spend our money, and live with all the flexibility we want.
In our work lives, we have to get the boss’s approval to replace a broken desk chair.
Is it really that surprising that the biggest cause of employee disengagement is the sense of being a meaningless cog in a big ole’ wheel?
This is why all teams, even remote teams can benefit from team building activities.
Team building allows employees to personally engage with their coworkers. It bridges the gap between being a cog in the system and being a real person with meaningful contributions to a team of real people.
3. Inspire Ideas
When you bring people together and encourage them to think outside the box, you’ll get some great ideas.
Let’s say you have your employees do some songwriting together. Sure, it probably doesn’t directly relate to what your company does every day. That’s not the point.
The point is that it encourages employees to think and have fun. When teams work together and try new things, they can come up with completely new solutions.
That’s why companies like Google prioritize team building and daily interaction between creative teams. They know that when they foster an environment of teamwork and creative interaction, they get ideas that change the industry.
4. Attract and Retain Top Talent
What’s the difference between your company and a top tier company like Uber, Salesforce, or Facebook?
One difference may be that these companies leverage their corporate culture and team building success as a bargaining chip to attract the best talent on the market.
Young workers value company culture more than any other generation before them. Their grandparents worked from 9 to 5 every day for fifty years with the promise of a smooth retirement.
This generation grew up in the most recent recession and watched their parents lose everything. They have more student debt than ever before. They know they won’t get the gold watch retirement their grandparents were promised–if they can retire at all.
So when they go to work every day, they want to enjoy their workplace. After all, they’re going to spend most of their lives at work.
This culture shift is showing in recruitment tactics. And if you want your company to show up at the bargaining table, you have to provide a great company culture. To do that, you need to build a great working environment where employees feel truly connected to each other.
5. Improve Communication
Another benefit of team building?
When your team feels connected, they have an easier time communicating with each other.
MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory studied the difference between high-performing teams and average ones. They wanted to answer one question: are communication patterns enough to determine a team’s success?
The data showed, with remarkable consistency, that the best teams were those that communicated effectively. If anything, communication seemed to be the single most reliable predictor of a team’s success.
It’s not just the fact of communicating, but how the team communicates. Successful teams:
- Allow every member to speak in equal measure
- Members carry on side or back-channel conversations within the team
- Members face one another
- Members have energetic conversations and gestures
- Members periodically explore outside the team and report back
Successful team communication relies on three things: energy, engagement, and exploration.
The best way to start fostering these environments is through regular team building exercises.
6. Make Employees Feel Valued
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, team building helps your employees feel valued.
When your employees have a sense of real connection with the workplace, when they know they can communicate and be heard, when they know that their ideas will go places, they feel like they’re part of a company that truly values their contributions.
And when they feel that their contributions are meaningful, they’re more likely to continue contributing.
We Create Team Building Success
We know the importance of team building success. And we know that when it comes to creating a great team, the same old boring icebreakers just won’t cut it.
That’s why we’re here to change the way you do team building.
We specialize in team building through music. We also do conference energizers and programs for large and small groups. So whatever your team needs, we know how to deliver.
Want to find out more? Check out our succesful team programs!