Team building is a familiar concept in corporate and business environments. We define it as the focused process of productivity enhancing skill development, while forging interpersonal connections to facilitate collaborative excellence. A business, organization, campaign or project is only as good as the teamwork involved; thus the ability to collaborate is core to success. Often however, team-building exercises and programs focus only on the most basic skills and smooth over difficulties in communication or other critical skill development needs. While ‘fun’ in an important aspect of team-building, there is a deeper role for “ice breakers” and teamwork simulations.
We’re not talking about being confrontive. Fun stimulates bonding between employees and is necessary for morale and motivation. Bonding builds the foundational trust needed to get through ‘hot-spots.’ If your team building process does not create bonding, it’s missing a core element of the team development process. And it must go deeper. When a team building game or activity requires participants to assume roles, it offers a direct “cause and effect” observation – immediately related to the person’s attitude and behavior. This provides concrete opportunities for reflection and builds awareness around abilities, motivations, leadership and communication styles. Individuals get to see how these play into the team environment, and ultimately what skills he or she needs to develop in order to bring excellence and be a valuable member of the team.
The games, activities and simulations designed for team building are not only important for the positive social connections, when done well they can be used to drive employees towards higher productivity, creativity and motivation while implementing business solutions.
Team building is not about taking a team, as-is, and leaving it just a little ‘happier’ to be together. It’s a method for increasing the ability of a team to efficiently accomplish tasks, developed through activities that focus on the individual’s role and impact within the group. As employees and staff members learn about their individual strengths and needs through the interactions with others, team building becomes simultaneously about the team, and ways individuals can grow and change to make the team better.