7 advantages of team building activities in the workplace

By Emeka Ogbonnaya

Over the past few years, we’ve seen businesses moving towards project-based work where teams are formed to deliver a specific piece of work. Employees move in and out of these projects and in some cases are part of multiple projects. With some of these projects lasting as little as a few months or even years, businesses are facing the constant challenge of attracting employees, especially millennials and motivating them in a workplace where collaboration and co-operation between teams and employees is seen as the key to success.

Some companies are tackling this problem by engaging their teams in regular team building activities, to help foster trust, friendship and communication among employees and across business units. These activities can range from cooking classes to outdoor charity challenges, or from lunch break activity to a weekend retreat. While these activities can be fun, they solve the serious problem of employee engagement as well as help develop an enviable company culture that is vital for attracting top talents.

Here are some of the benefits of modern day team building activities when organised with purpose and objectives.

INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

In the current environment where majority of the workforce are young and working in teams, you can argue that the productivity of businesses are directly linked to the productivity of these teams. The collaborations and co-operations among business units and departments must be encouraged and rewarded to improve the interactions and communications among coworkers. By encouraging employees to learn to work together more effectively and reduce duplication of effort, your employees can work more efficiently and effectively driving the productivity of your organisation.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION

Successful delivery of projects boils down to good communication within teams. Open and honest communication between employees, other internal teams, stakeholders and even clients have to be top priority for businesses seeking to thrive in today’s highly competitive environment. As a result, one of the key benefits of properly planned team building activity is improved communication between employees. Fun and challenging activities that will enable employees to relate to each other, understand each other better beyond office small talks, creates stronger bonds and breaks down walls of mistrust by encouraging people to focus on what they have in common rather than their differences.

INCREASED COLLABORATION

The importance of collaboration cannot over emphasized and it is one of the most important benefits of a properly planned team building activity. With increased collaboration among employees, there’s less fatigue and increased motivation. Collaboration in the workplace is a sign of effective team as it harnesses the best out of two or more individuals together. It is about knowing who has what knowledge or experience and the ability to comfortably access and share them where synergies exist. By creating activities that people enjoy and can experience as a group, employees can build relationships and develop networks of contacts outside their day-to-day role that will help them in the future.

ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY

Creativity and innovation thrives in an environment that encourages diversity of people, ideas, interests and perspectives. To have a successful business in today’s competitive environment, organizations need employees and high-performance teams with diverse perspectives and expertise to inject fresh ideas to the running of their businesses. Awesome team building activities enable employees think outside the box and freely use their imagination to come up with creative solutions. Even when the team building activity doesn’t permit the development of hypothetical solutions, the relationships formed during these activities creates a breeding ground for continued collaboration, creativity, innovation and brainstorming in the workplace.

FEELING OF BELONGING 

Team building activities can help employees develop the feeling of belonging and connectedness, especially in a less pressured environment. There’s an elated feeling of triumph and achievement that overtakes an individual when they are part of a group who has just accomplished a task successfully. This sense of achievement persists among the team members even after the team building is completed. The feeling of belonging to a community and being recognized as a vital part of that community increases employees’ confidence in their day to day work and in turn driving performance and productivity to new highs.

REWARD AND RECOGNISTION 

Team building activities can also be used as a form of positive reinforcement to provide recognition to teams. Teams can be given team-building activity as a reward for the successful delivery of a project(s) or the achievement of a great milestone. Whatever the case may be, employees require constant positive reinforcement highlighting the successes more often than during bonus periods. By incorporating recognition into the team building, organizations can send a strong company culture and values signals that helps with recruiting, retaining and rewarding high-performance teams.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

You don’t normally think of sitting around as something that will kill you. However, the reality is that your sedentary office lifestyle might be hazardous to your health. Our typical office sitting around can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other problems and one way of combating this hazardous office lifestyle is to regularly engage in physical activities. Companies like Zoique are dedicating their resources solely to organizing wellbeing experiences for corporate teams outside the office, focusing on wellness experiences that foster team collaboration, communication, motivation, productivity and creativity.

Gone are the days of booze-filled team building events or corporate days out that are few and far between. Businesses must rediscover ways of supporting and encouraging teams to embark on exhilarating and memorable experiences and potentially include these experiences as part of employee benefits. With businesses competing for top talents, struggling to engage employees and combating high turnover, team building must be seen as a vital tool for sending strong messages about company culture and values. Zoique is helping many progressive organizations embed team building as part of paid employee benefits and corporate wellness programs.

For more information on how to incorporate team building into your employee benefit or organise a contemporary team building event for your team, click here.

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