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Why Team Building is Effective and What It Can Do For Your Business

As soon as you mention “team building,” your employees probably roll their eyes and groan. After all, there’s something inherently cheesy about getting people up from their desks and making them do slightly embarrassing activities. We all like snuggling up in our comfort zones where it’s nice and safe.

Still, you can make your team building real and authentic, without using a false talk show host voice, or worse, that same tone you use when you’re trying to convince your kids to eat their broccoli. You know, the high-pitched, “Come on, you’ll really like it. Don’t you want to at least try?” There’s no better way to make your employees feel like kindergarteners. Bring a genuine desire to connect and your employees will start looking forward to the experience.

Why Team Building is Important

The benefits of team building far outweigh the negative aspects. This is your opportunity to get to know the people you share an office with every day. As an added bonus, a good team building session:

Increases ProductivityBy the time the clock strikes two o’clock, you start to feel a little squirrely at your desk. If you give your employees the opportunity to stretch their legs, they will come back ready to crank out the latest project or file like there’s no tomorrow! Team building is a great way to increase productivity and help them make it to the end of their shift without going crazy.

 

Improves ConfidenceWalking with an egg on a spoon is probably one of the greatest feats a person can accomplish. In all seriousness, though, your employees will discover they’re capable of completing extraordinary tasks in a good team building session. These skills will translate over to not just the workplace, but their everyday lives as well.

 

Encourages CreativitySome team building exercises involve prompts like: “What would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island?” or “What would you do if you were stranded on an island of desserts?” These get the creative juices flowing and yield some pretty interesting answers.

 

Fosters Problem SolvingSometimes things aren’t black and white. A good team building session encourages your team to think outside of the box and expand their ways of thinking. The best part is they can use this skill on the job, regardless of their department. The ability to think on your feet shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in this fast-paced world.

 

Creates TrustYour employees want to know they can always rely on each other. Building a team comes from having the assurance that all the legs of the caterpillar are walking in the same direction. At the end of the day, you want to know that Scott from Accounting will process that invoice and Jean from Marketing is on top of social media updates.

 

How to Plan Team Building

First, take away any thought you have about what team building should look like and instead do activities that make sense for you and your team. Go bowling, paint a canvas, complete an escape room challenge, skydive… whatever it is that will actually create a moment of bonding.

If you don’t have it in the budget to do an elaborate activity, keep your team building close to home. There are plenty of exercises you can do right in the office! Liven it up with food, drinks, and music; maybe loosen your tie and let everyone come to work in sweatpants. Whatever you do, be sure to show your team that you value them as both employees and people.

Before building your team, you have to build a work environment where your employees feel valued. Offer coffee in the break room, have community snacks, maybe throw in mandatory nap time. The better you treat your team, the better they’ll treat your brand!



Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa loves food. A LOT. Particularly pizza and popcorn, but she knows beggars can’t be choosers. When she’s not stuffing her face (which is rare), she loves watching movies, playing volleyball and softball, and engaging in any number of interesting shenanigans. If she had to pick a spirit animal, she’d be an otter because they are playful and love to laugh. Most of the time she’s laughing at herself, whether other people are laughing with or at her is to be determined.

Comments

  1. Jeff Porretto

    Look at that handsome jenga master devil (we’ll ignore that I lost that game)! It WAS a fun team building exercise. Sometimes doing things in no way related to work at the office, even if just for 5-10 minutes can REALLY boost morale. I remember that impromptu game in that meeting, and before we knew it everyone was focused on us battling it out! It was a nice distraction that really seemed to energize people.

    Thanks Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks for the comment, Jeff 🙂

      TriJenga had the potential to be great, I mean trivia and Jenga, how could it not be?! Maybe one day we’ll pick it back up again, with consistent rules.

      It’s amazing how quick it takes to re-energize people and get them excited about work once again. Remember that impromptu bags tournament we had as well? Fun times!

  2. Bret Bonnet

    Look – Jeff’s the size of the Jenga game set!

    • Amy Swanson

      That picture always astounds me that the entire Jenga tower is resting on 2 blocks on top of 1 block. Eeeek! Makes my blood pressure increase just imagining pulling out the wrong block!!

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    I think I’d miss the team building part of the Lego game. Knowing me, I’d just want to play with the Legos and build it myself. It still sounds really fun, though.

    The only thing I’d like to add is to make sure that you have clearly defined rules before you start. And if it’s a tournament like TriJenga, or bags, then make sure you have someone who is in charge of keeping score and enforcing said rules!

    • Amy Swanson

      I couldn’t agree more with you regarding consistent rules. They’re important to keep the game moving and to avoid any confusion. Having a practice run first to see if any potential problems or issues arise could really prevent ‘mid-game rule creation’ 😉

      Thanks for the comment, Mandy!

  4. Rachel

    Lots of good ideas here, Amy. When QLP did our bags tournament last year, I thought that turned out really great — it was a nice combination of team-building, getting to know coworkers I don’t usually interact with, a short break away from the computer, and spending time outside! Any excuse to move around and breathe some fresh air for a few minutes seems like an effective motivator to me. 🙂

    • Eric

      I’ll never forget the bags tournament. My very first day of working here at QLP was concluded by playing bags with my boss. Morale booster? Heck yes. Nice way to get to know faces and personalities around the office? That, too. It became something to look forward to, and was at the perfect time of year to step outside for a couple, get some fresh air, and have a few laughs.

      You know, it’s about that time of year again…just sayin’. 🙂

      • Amanda

        The bags tournament was awesome!!!! =) So good for the company to get outside and spend time together.

  5. Jill Tooley

    Ah yes, I remember when TriJenga was a thing around here…

    I think time budgeting is the key to any productive team building activity; if the goal is to increase productivity, then it’s probably not a good idea to keep employees from working for more than a half an hour. Activities require a good balance, otherwise they turn counterproductive. Something like Two Truths and a Lie would be perfect for our work environment. We should try it sometime, at least in our office!

    • Amy Swanson

      Your idea of having a good balance is so key, Jill. Excellent point! With some departments they can step away from their desks longer than others, but it’s important to cater to everyone’s schedules.

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

    • Amanda

      TriJenga was super fun–but yes, some of the games ran too long, and made us get a little backed up on work….we’ll keep thinking about new games to try. It is so nice to be able to mingle with each other.

  6. Melanie

    Does anyone know where I can find out the rules for TriJenga? I’ve tried looking online, but I haven’t been able to find a place where the details are listed out. Thank you!

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