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The one thing that all businesses, big or small, have in common is the workers. A large part of the success or failure of a company lies in how well its employees work together on reaching shared goals. By strengthening team spirit, instilling confidence and enhancing social relationships within teams and maximise your team’s potential. There are a few things that every successful team building exercise should accomplish:
1. Improve communication
Good communication is the key to efficiency, and key to good communication is trust. This is why team building relies heavily on trust exercises. Open and honest communication leads to a greater degree of unity in teams and in turn paves the path to team synergy. Clear and honest communication is also crucial when defining roles within a team, as this is the foundation for all future work.
2. Making the workplace more enjoyable
During team building, employees work together on fun and engaging problem solving activities that are outside of their everyday workplace routine. This gives employees an opportunity to connect on a level that they might not necessarily have the opportunity to, or be comfortable with in the hierarchical confines of the office. Improved interpersonal relations and social interaction go a long way in creating an enjoyable workplace.
3. Teaching the team self-regulation strategies
Having a team that is able to regulate itself means that problems can be nipped in the bud before they escalate. Self-regulation is a result of creating a psychological contract; a set of rules that define specific roles within a team, as well as clear consequences for not following the imposed teamwork norms. A strong team that works closely together towards a unified goal is far more likely to implement effective self-regulation than a team that lacks these characteristics.
4. Identifying and utilizing the strengths of team members
Each team member brings a unique set of talents, knowledge and experience to the team. Team building aims to utilize the full potential of every team member. More importantly, it teaches the team how to recognize, value, leverage and utilize each others’ strengths. This is an extremely valuable skill in the workplace which results in employees bringing their best skills forward to benefit the group.
5. Motivating a team
Motivation can come from various sources. Team building aims to increase motivation by clearly defining goals, roles and objectives, and giving teams a shared vision of unity and purpose. Peer helping and support from within the team also increases motivation, as well as team unity. Conversely, defining and implementing clear consequences for not working towards team goals can also serve to motivate team members.
6. Getting everyone “on the same page”
It is virtually impossible for a business to be successful if its employees do not have a common goal. A good of getting all team members on the same page is to encourage positive behavior models, and to set basic guidelines for participation. Being on the same page means that everyone’s voice is equal within the team, and that no one person is more valuable than the next. If this is clearly understood and implemented it greatly increases unity and lowers the rate of interpersonal conflict.
7. Improving team productivity
Improved communication, motivation and understanding within a team create an open and trusting working environment. This leads to a higher level of cohesion, and cohesion enables synergy that positively affects productivity. A team that works as one is far more likely to be productive and successful than one without unity.
8. Building an effective workplace team
If all of the above criteria are met, the teams will be able to successfully apply the skills and techniques of team building to their everyday jobs. An increase in the team’s effectiveness in the workplace is a mix of better communication, unity, trust, a clearly defined plan of action and a shared vision. True results, however, cannot be achieved by just one team building exercise a year. To achieve lasting results, businesses must aim to make team building an integral part of their daily corporate culture.