Team building has become a popular company activity in recent years. It fosters a culture of collaboration, commitment, motivation and talent.

Companies have no doubts about the importance of having skilled, engaged employees. A strong team spirit can inspire employee loyalty. Companies can use team building to bolster employees’ skills, engagement and sense of belonging. Though team building has become a mainstay in many organizations, what is it exactly?

Team building entails group activities done by employees in the same company, division or department. Its key aims are to pinpoint challenges, reduce conflict that stems from a lack of communication and understanding, strengthen personal relationships, and make individual goals consistent with the team’s.

Team building doesn’t have to be a one-off thing. In fact, it usually forms part of a wider strategy that lasts the entire employee life cycle. It’s a regular component of talent attraction, hiring, onboarding and career development initiatives to help employees be themselves, feel part of a group and sharpen their skills to benefit the team.

The pros of team building

Team building can increase trust not only between team members, but between employees and managers as well. It also helps foster togetherness, empathy, generosity, proactivity, responsibility and other collective values that help achieve business objectives. Because team building means employees are more engaged and motivated as individuals and as a team, many companies say it boots productivity.

There are many types of team building. While some activities focus on personality and integration, others involve tasks where teamwork is crucial to success. Team building can include problem solving or learning new skills to optimize each member’s contribution to the team. Companies that turn to team building say their employees become better communicators and less prone to stress, have sharper analytical skills, are more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and make wiser decisions.

It lets employees know that their company cares about their well-being, boosting its brand image among them. This could lead employees to tell friends and family how proud they are to work at the company. 

Types of team building

The possibilities of team building are endless, with activities suited for all time, budget and headcount constraints. Here are some popular team building exercises:

  • Icebreakers: A relatively simple activity to get to know co-workers better. Each team member anonymously writes their hobbies on pieces of paper, which are then mixed together. The group then has to guess who has written what.
  • Sports: An in-house team sports tournament or challenge in which employees have to pass a test together as fast as possible will help them feel part of a group.
  • Escape room: In addition to physical activities, other excellent teamwork options put employees' observation and analysis skills to the test.
  • Cooking: Just as family and friends get together for a meal, employees can also work together to make a recipe or a menu.
  • Social causes and volunteering: Employees can help a company achieve its corporate social responsibility objectives while addressing their own interests and concerns. For instance, a food drive for an NGO, a fund raiser for breast cancer research or another special cause, an environmental clean-up and many more.

All in all, the ways companies can become a great place to work and help their employees boost their careers and relationships with their co-workers are endless. Team building is common in SMEs and large corporates alike to create team spirit away from the daily grind. 

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