Taking your employees away from their desks for a day may seem unthinkable, as you imagine the valuable hours that they’ll never get back to complete a project or work with a client. Although it might be hard to swallow at first, putting resources into team building activities is important for all sizes and structures of companies. A day of team building can enhance performance, improve connections, and can strongly affect your company culture in a positive way. Here are four reasons why team building should be integrated into your schedule this quarter.
When planning your team building itinerary, don’t stick your employees in individual activities for the day. Ideally, find activities that create dynamic discussions and creative conversations that can be used for practicing communication. There are probably a variety of communication styles at your workplace, even if they don’t stick out. Are your employees used to communicating through a collaboration software? While collaboration software is key for project management, organization, and working together, it’s essential to ensure that efficient and effective communication is happening in your office outside of messaging systems and online software. Try an activity where your employees are learning something new that they’ll need to talk about; this can help bridge the gap between a variety of roles and give your employees an opportunity to communicate with their colleagues.
Relationships between your employees are not formed by sitting in the same room for 40 hours a week typing on their computers. While collaborating and working together can form a rapport between colleagues, trust and bonds are formed by interacting in meaningful ways outside of work-related conversations. Networking, socializing, and getting to know each other during a day of team building can allow your employees to see others in a different light and begin to understand their fellow employees’ strengths, weaknesses, hidden skills, and interests. Gathering more information about their co-workers can help them utilize these connections down the road when they need help with a project or a second opinion. They will feel more comfortable reaching out to others when they’ve already found commonalities or know a bit more about who they’re contacting.
Whether your company is a marketing agency or financial firm, creativity is essential for all industries, though some might use it more than others. Creativity can be applied to just about anything; designing art, finding solutions, thinking out-of-the-box, and solving problems all require creativity. Exposing your employees to new experiences outside of the office (or at least outside of their cubicle) will provide a way to stimulate their brains so that they return to work with a new mindset and a refreshed headspace. Get your employees out of their normal routine, shake things up, and find activities that will ignite creativity. Spending time together can spark fresh ideas, help expand their imagination, and give them a dedicated time to bounce ideas off of other employees in their circle or colleagues in a completely different field.
Improves problem solving
While many individuals find it easy to work by themselves and take direction from superiors, they find it challenging to collaborate with a team to solve problems or create solutions. Through team building, you can give your employees the opportunity to work together to solve non-work-related problems that can help prepare them for real-life situations that pop up in their current role at your company. Find an activity that requires your employees to work toward a common goal or use their creativity to come up with an out-of-the-box solution. Push their boundaries and assemble teams before you head into the activity. Create teams of individuals that don’t normally work together or who don’t always cross paths. It will add an extra layer of difficulty figuring out how to communicate and how to come together as an efficient and effective team.
When you mention a team building day to your group of employees, you might hear some groans in the room, but that’s only because those individuals have experienced a team building day that they felt was a waste of their time. A thoughtful and well-designed day that focuses on team building will facilitate long-term growth for your employees and your company. Reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and find team building activities that they will not only enjoy, but that they will find beneficial. Targeting team building is a worthwhile investment that will help your employees succeed and will take your business to the next level.