invest-in-teamCountless studies have lauded the value and even the necessity of team building activities. Team building activities have been linked to increased engagement, enhanced communication, greater trust, stronger company loyalty, fewer conflicts, easier decision making and so much more. In today’s work environment it is not a question of if you will engage in team building activities, but when and how often you will do it.

Team building activities are a simple way for people to build positive relationships in the workplace. In carefully-structured team building activities, people share success, have fun, and begin (or continue) to build a common, positive history together. They connect with each other.

Team building activities don’t need to be sophisticated … and certainly shouldn’t be hokey … but they must promote positive social interaction and be satisfying for the participants, while keeping them in an emotionally “safe place”. Keeping it emotionally safe is what makes the difference between team building activities that elicit eye rolls and those that result in full participation, smiles and laughter.

What feels emotionally safe to one person may feel completely outside the comfort zone of another. It’s important to know the individuals on your team and to ensure that, in any team building activity you select, people can choose how to participate.

Here are a few things that we, at Summit Team Building, consider in our approach to team building activities:

  • At Summit, we first and foremost want to ensure the team building activity you select is appropriate for your audience. We will want to talk with you about learning goals and the level of physical activity you feel is appropriate for your group.
  • At Summit, when a particular team building activity has a physical component, we structure the team building activities so that they offer a number of roles with varying degrees of physical activity and personal “exposure”. Many quiet people will be quite happy to participate in the background and let the extroverts go wild if they know they won’t be pressured to do the same.
  • AT Summit, when we organize team building activities for large groups of people (say, several hundred people at a time) we make sure people interact in small sub-groups for large parts of the program. This allows the introverts to develop a few deeper, more comfortable relationships away from the chaos.
  • At Summit, we know that lightly physical team-building activities can work very well. But once again, we’re all adults now, not kids. We always make sure that success does not require the fitness of an Olympian.
  • And lastly, we also know that people like to contribute to society. We have designed several team building activities that focus on the act of “giving back”, locally and internationally.

When you are planning your next corporate conference and are looking for team building options keep these thoughts in mind. You will end up with a much more balanced team building activity and one that all participants will be happy to participate in and will gain value from.

Top notch team building activities bring people together for a few hours of fun and result in lasting relationships. And that’s priceless.