Here at Summit Team Building we always say that relationship is the foundation of any high-performance team. After all, we don’t do things for each other because we have to, but rather because we want to.
So the key is to build a team of people that know, understand, trust, and support one another. This cannot happen virtually and takes time and many interactions. This is why the company dinner, the company picnic and other company events are so important.
As a leader, you need to look at formal and informal team building strategies to build your team. The dinner, team picnic, bowling and other similar events are informal team building and help to reinforce relationships.
The formal team building takes place in professionally run team building workshops or training sessions. It is in these facilitated sessions that team members truly begin to understand one another’s motivators, as well as their communication, problem-solving, and decision-making styles to name but a few things.
Therefore, as a leader, you need to build in a mix of team building opportunities throughout the year. Some formal and some informal.
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 hockey … 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, consider in our approach to team building:
- We structure 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.
- When we organise big team building activities (say, several hundred people) 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.
- We know that lightly physical team-building activity 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.
- 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.
Good team building activities bring people together for a few hours of fun and result in lasting relationships. And that’s priceless.
Check out all our team building activities here