IMPORTANCE OF TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES

Importance, Benefits and Purpose of Team Building Activities

The purpose of Team building activities is to provide skills, training and resources for your team so they can work efficiently in a harmonious environment. However, to be truly effective, it needs to be organised on a regular basis and embedded into your team and organisation’s culture.

Team Building activities are organised for many different reasons and many different teams. Some team building activities are stand alone activities organised at the end of the working week to increase team bonding and motivation. Other activities are run during a conference to get people networking. Further activities involve much deeper learning and development and focus on specific objectives and outcomes.

We are often asked:

How can I convince my Boss that we need a team building activity? 

What should I say when they ask me what are the benefits of Team Building activities?

Why are team building activities important?

What is the purpose of team building activities?

If you have been asked those question or need to supply answers to those questions then this article is for you.

Importance of Team Building Activities

Team building activities should be embraced as an ongoing part of your corporate culture, not a one off yearly event. The Importance of Team Building activities is that they provide learning in a fun stress free environment. As a result the benefits of team building activities are not just seen in the individual but in the company as a whole. Colleagues are better able to understand each others strengths and weaknesses. In additional key learning objectives that are focussed on during the team building activity can then be transferred to roles and tasks back at work.

During teambuilding activities many people step out of their comfort zones and into roles that they would not normally do back in the office, such as leadership. The importance of team building activities is that this can be an eye opener for managers as they see people in different roles and how they perform. You may find a quiet worker has a lot to contribute or a leader that takes control and does not listen to anyone else’s point of view.

Many companies focus on making the client happy and forget to also focus on the valuable asset of their staff. Team Building and carefully chosen and planned activities will not only boost moral but also increase the success of your business.

Effective team building results in more engaged employees which in turn creates a better culture and ultimately increased productivity.

Reasons why Team Building is important

  • Problem Solving Skills. Team Building activities require people to work together to solve the problem. This can focus on and  improve your teams ability to think strategically and manage their time effectively.
  • Communication – Activities that enable discussion and improve work relationship and therefore quality of work and performance
  • Delegation. When a team knows each others strengths and weaknesses they can work more effectively together. The result is a more efficient workplace where everyone contributes.
  • Collaboration. Team building increases trust and therefore collaboration. Team Building activities give people the opportunity to work with and get to know other colleagues as well as leadership. This in turn can do wonders for trust and team morale.
  • Creativity. When a team is taken out of their normal environment and exposed to new experiences, it forces them to think outside the box. This can ultimately ignite creativity and bring fresh ideas and approaches to their work back at the office.
  • Leadership. Leadership and team building are essential together. If your team are comfortable to express their ideas and opinions then they will be confident and want to take on new challenges.
Further information as to the importance of Team Building can be found in an article by Mind Tools where they discuss the importance of making Team Building an everyday priority – Team Building Exercises and Activities

Choosing the right Team Building Activity

When choosing an activity for team building for your team, the first step is to be clear in what objectives you want to achieve from your event.  

A great quote from Stephen Covey is “Start with the end in mind”

Choose your activity with your objectives in mind. If you do this you are far more likely to create a fantastic experience.

Secondly, communicate the objective. Make sure you communicate your objective as clearly and as early as possible. If you choose and activity in order to ‘network’, or ‘try something new’, then communicate that to your team. This is particularly important if you have an objective that is learning oriented.

Lastly, match the activity to your team. Think about your team and how the activity is suited to them. Don’t match an adventurous activity with a fairly sedentary group, or Networking based activities with a group that know each other really well, etc. It simply won’t be effective.

Team Builder Activities, that are chosen with the right objectives in mind, will deliver benefits to your organisation as well as the individual. It is important to get the process right as team building exercises that are poorly chosen may waste time or even have a negative effect on your team.

Read our in-depth article on Picking a team building activity that’s right for my team for more details and insights

Some examples of key learning area that Team Building Activities can focus on include:

Time Management - Importance of Team Building Activities


Time Management

 Most Team Building Activities will put people under time pressure and therefore force them to prioritise tasks. This in turn teaches people to prioritise and how to get more done in less time. Further it also teaches skills such as goal setting and other key time management techniques.

Communication - Importance of Team Building Activities


Communication

 Effective communication is critical. As a result team building activities will either succeed or fail based on the quality of communication between team members. It is important to give great feedback on how effectively your team communicates, listens, and works together. 

Delegation - Importance of Team Building Activities


Delegation

Most team building activities are like mini projects and will require people to delegate clear roles and priorities. However they can also provide great feedback on leadership and management of key individuals within your team. This will motivate them to take on new challenges/roles

Collaboration - Importance of Team Building Activities


Collaboration

When you are choosing a team building activity you can choose an option where everyone is working together in a collaborative, instead of competitive, environment. This in turn will give you great insight into how your team works together in solving problems.

Creativity - Importance of Team Building Activities


Creativity

There are a lot of team building activities that require creativity and innovation to figure out the solution and be successful. They can therefore allow you to see how the more creative members of your team work and how they contribute to great outcomes. 

Leadership - Importance of Team Building Activities


Leadership

Team Building Activities create great opportunities for leadership qualities to emerge. Team Leadership and team building goes together. It will demonstrate the natural leaders in your team and how they influence other team members.

"Team work divides the task and multiplies the success"

“A team is not a group of people who work together.

A team is a group of people that trust each other”

Simon Sinek

Benefits of Team Building Activities

Team building activities are more than just team bonding time. They provide opportunities for learning in a fun, stress-free environment. The benefits of Team building are not only for the individuals who are part of the team, but for the whole organisation as well.

So you have chosen your team building activity with a purpose and objectives in mind – what type of benefits can you expect?

Productivity Improved

The number one goal that all organisations strive for is an Improvement in productivity. Team Building activities encourage and develop teams in learning to work together more effectively. This in turn  reduces duplication of effort enhancing your employees to work more efficiently.

Increase in Motivation and Morale

Employee morale is a very important aspect to any organisation. It assists with employee motivation and relationships with coworkers and the company itself. The benefits of team building activities is in the facilitation and engagement that staff are looking for in a very fun and positive environment. 

Team building activities can also help to nurture a successful company culture. When your team successfully complete a team building activity it creates a high and a flow on effect. This makes them feel good about themselves, it increasing confidence in their, and their team’s abilities.  It also show that the organisation feel they are worthwhile and happy to invest in their development and company culture.

Collaboration

An important benefit of a properly planned team building activity is the increased collaboration between team members. Collaboration is about knowing and using each others strengths and weaknesses. Trusting your team members and their experience and utilising their skills when needed.

When you organise team building activities that people enjoy and experience as a group, your staff will build relationships and develop networks outside their day-to-day role. This will be of great assistance to them whenever they need to utilise skills from other team members in the future.

Creativity

A successful business is based on creativity and innovation. Employing people with diverse ideas and skills is required to ensure you have a range of strengths. A creative team building activity allows your team to develop their creativity and come up with creative solutions.  This send the message that creativity in the workplace, and bouncing ideas off each other, is welcome. Also that ideas are listened to and welcomed.

Improved Communication

There are so many problems that can result from miscommunication or, worse, lack of it. The benefits of team building activities with problem-solving components, is that they assist in helping break down barriers between colleagues. Each team member practices improved communication during these challenges and it’s a way for them to see how open communication can benefit everyone.

Culture Transformation

Culture influences every aspect of your organisation. It takes a team to create a great culture.

According to Team Focus there are  two principles you should follow to develop a great culture. “Keep it simple” and “engage your people.” 

Further information on Organisational Culture 

Purpose of Team Building Activities

According to an article Mind Tools the purpose of Team Building Activities is to:

“motivate your people to work together, to develop their strengths, and to address any weaknesses.”

They advise that any team building activity should encourage collaboration rather than competition. The article further advise that Team building is about providing the skills, training and resources that your people need, so that they can work in harmony. But, to be truly effective, it needs to be a continual process, embedded into your team and organization’s culture.

There is a benefit of having one-off team building event, however they need to have a clear purpose, such as improving a particular skill. They must also be designed to avoid conflict.

Successful and memorable team building events are ones that allow people to spend time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common objective. This allows bonding to happen naturally and effectively. Choosing activities that are unique and possibly out of people’s comfort zones can encourage team work and collaboration as well as team bonding.

The overall purpose of Team Building activities can often fall flat if it is done as a one time activity, with no objective or thought in mind of the end result. It is done and then forgotten. The purpose of running team building activities is for find ways to keep the challenge, excitement and learning going throughout the year. Creating opportunities for people to connect and interact in meaningful ways, developing stronger bonds within their workplace team.

The purpose of any team building activity should be to build a stronger team. It is not team building when you meet to talk about company policies or new products. The purpose of team building activities are to have your team in the one place, interacting together and a non work environment. This in turn builds on the trust and respect. The importance of team building activities will then be evident on the return to the office.

Identify your objectives

The first and most important step when planning team building activities is to identify your objectives based on your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Consider the following questions:

  • Is there conflict between people that are creating divisions and tensions within the team?
  • How well do team member know each other?
  • Is your team competitive or collaborative?
  • How well do they communicate with each other? 
  • Do some members affect the group’s ability to move forward through resistance to change?
  • Does the group need a morale boost?
  • Does everyone feel included – or are there “clicks”

You can choose specific team building activities to help your team to address any issues that the questions unearth.

One-off team building exercises can be a useful, effective way to address a particular weakness or problem. However you want to make sure that  they don’t do more harm than good.

Poorly planned events can be embarrassing, or physically and emotionally uncomfortable, for participants.

 There are many effective team building activities to choose from once you’ve identified specific areas that you want to focus on.

Here are 6 areas of focus and some activities you can look at: 

Team Building Activities that focus on Problem Solving

If your team members would benefit from boosting their problem solving or decision making skills try  these activities. If you would like to check out our other options we have a whole problem solving category.

Team Building Activities that focus on Communication

To help your team to communicate more effectively, here are a couple of suggested activities. There are many other options – let us know thats your objective and we can suggest other team building activities that may suit your needs.

Team Building Activities that focus on Leadership

Encourage your team to develop their leadership skills, communication and delegation with these team building activities that focus on Leadership development. Again we have many other activities that meet these objectives – ask us for further suggestions.

Team Building Activities that focus on Collaboration

Collaboration is an important skill to be developed within your team. Knowing and using each others strengths and weaknesses will enhance collaboration and in the process increase productivity. Here are a few of our top Collaborative activities.

Check out this article on – “The 7 Easiest 5-minute Team Building Activities & Exercises for Small Groups“.

Team Building Activities that focus on Time Management

 Most Team Building Activities will put people under time pressure and therefore force them to prioritise tasks. This in turn teaches people to prioritise and how to get more done in less time. Here are our top 3 activities that focus on time management. As always we have many other options – let us know this is your objective and we can offer your further suggestions.

Team Building Activities that focus on Learning and Development

Choose your team building activity with your end result or learning objective in mind. This will ensure success of your event. Here are 3 of our top learning and development options. If you are wanted further options we have a whole category of Learning and Development activites.  Or contact us for more information

Key points

  • The importance of Team Building activities is when you choose specific team building activities to help your team to address any issues.
  • The purpose of Team Building Activities is to: “motivate your people to work together, to develop their strengths, and to address any weaknesses.” Team building activities should encourage collaboration rather than competition.
  • Team building activities should be embraced as an ongoing part of your corporate culture, not a one off yearly event.
  • The Benefits of Team building activities are more than just team bonding time. They provide opportunities for learning in a fun, stress-free environment. The benefits of Team building are not only for the individuals who are part of the team, but for the whole organisation as well.
  • If you incorporate regular team building activities into your organisation routines and practices. you’ll build a firm foundation of purpose, trust and rapport.

Contact us

Let us organise your next Team Building event. Remember Team Building was meant to be easy
Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities

Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities

If you would like to read more about the importance of Team Building Activities read our in-depth article – Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities. By the end of it you will be an expert and know all the advantages, disadvantages, common mistakes and what to do in order to organise an amazing Team Building Activity. We will share resources and our extensive knowledge and experience in organising corporate team building activities