The Importance of Team Building in the Workplace

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Team building is not just an excuse to get out of the office nor is it the awkward bonding session that often gets depicted in TV shows. It’s one of the most important investments you can make into your business and your employees – if you get it right.

Whether you spend an hour on a Friday afternoon having a quiz where employees compete in teams or schedule in an after working hours escape room, if you give everyone the opportunity to get involved and do this on a regular basis, you could create the work environment that most large corporations can only dream of.

A company where all the employees don’t just know each other on a first name basis, but they know what everyone’s role is, what they contribute to the business and the names of members of their family.

Team building doesn’t have to be pricey, uncomfortable or a bore, and there are so many businesses that provide corporate team building activities that you can easily find something which fits into your schedule on a bi-monthly basis and works best for your company.

Here is exactly why you should consider team-building (if you haven’t already started) . . .

Opportunity to get to know each other

Modern day workplaces allow for far more worker independence and flexibility which is great for work-life balance, but not so great for employees getting to spend time with one another.

Some employees may work remotely full-time and other workers may work outside of the typical 9-5 office hours, so you’ll find workers coming and going and maybe not actually spending a lot of time in one another’s company.

Though this does have benefits (little socialising = no distraction from work) it can mean that there is a potential for disconnect in the company which can be a massive flaw where teamwork is concerned.

It’s important to make friends, or at least acquaintances, with the people that you work with as it can help increase retention rates and productivity and make wider company communication easier and encourage free flowing ideas and development for the business.

I mean, how many times do you ask an employee to speak to Emily in accounting and they look at you with a face of confusion because they could not pick Emily out of a line-up. Oh, and where is the accounting department even located?

Boost team performance

The main purpose of team-building activities is to bring teams closer together. This can be hugely important for a company that is broken down into smaller departments (i.e. admin, marketing, sales etc.) and relies heavily on working as a team.

Team-building can strengthen these relationships, team communication and overall morale within the group. It may be the first time that everyone is interacting outside of a work environment, or interacting at all, so you will instantly see closer relationships form as your employees get more comfortable around one another.

It can also be a great opportunity to showcase everyone’s strengths as well as present an opportunity to bounce ideas off one another bettering the team’s progress in the future.

Help induct new employees

Keeping everyone in the loop when there is a new addition to the business can be difficult within a fast-paced company where employees work flexibly. But it is important to introduce a recruit to the current staff and vice versa and a team building session is the perfect environment to do so.

It enables new starters to spend some time with the entire workforce in a relaxed, informal environment.

Team building can be fun

All work no play makes Jack a dull boy.

No employee wants their work life, which is where one spends most of their time, to be boring and monotonous, and even if they enjoy their job, we all need to inject something fun and different into the work environment from time to time.

Team-building is a brilliant way of doing this because it’s fun yet still has benefits for the business. It has also been shown to improve workplace morale and be great for employee mental well-being because they are getting regular breaks from their everyday work and something to look forward to every few months.

Can help you become an employer of choice

There is nothing better than a happy workforce who have only great things to say about their place of work. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool so if your workers are letting others know how great it is to work for your company because you have fun and innovative team-building activities, as well as other benefits, then it can make you an employer of choice – great for retention rates and even better for attracting future employees.

Teaches key skills

Depending on which activities you choose, there is an opportunity to develop your employees’ skills in certain areas.

Escape rooms are great for logical thinking and collaboration, presentations are great for verbal communication and there are even certain games you could play that require creative thinking, so there is an opportunity to see where each teams’ strengths lie.

The Belbin team roles theory explains the nine roles that need to be fulfilled to create the strongest team. For example, every team needs a co-ordinator, a team worker, specialist, evaluator, shaper, finisher, investigator, planter and an implementer.

One person could position themselves within multiple roles, but all must be satisfied if you want a great team.

If you identify key roles that are missing from particular teams in your company then team building activities will bring that to light and may encourage you to recruit for those specific areas.

Above all, team building should focus on team work and encourage everyone to work together to achieve a goal which can be important for those who work remotely and spend most of their time alone. This interaction with other people can help them feel part of the overall company team which may not be the case on a day to day basis.

If you require further HR support or advice for any workplace issues including team building, performance management, morale improvement and more, call us today on 0845 2626 260 to speak to a qualified HR consultant.

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