We’ve come across team building countless times in recent decades, but the question is what we consider team building at all. In the broadest sense, team-building is all time spent together, whether it’s for fun, wellness, sports, or whatever. However, an event in a good mood may not be able to influence group processes alone. Among the most important goals of team building are to focus on teamwork, strengthen mutual trust and attachment, and influence communication and cooperation with each other. The tangible result can be that team building increases team performance.
One of the beliefs about team building is that the more special, the better. Solutions such as treasure hunting, cooking together, corporate karaoke is soaring these days. There will also be space for various charity activities among team-building programs, such as renovating and landscaping schools and other public institutions. One reason for this is that many companies have been organizing various team-building programs for years and want a program that hasn’t happened before.
What might be the criteria that differentiate group togetherness from real team-building programs?
Team building must always have a goal, a mission that is aligned with the company’s strategy, current challenges, and problems. Some form of business needs to be simulated and a problem-solving tool. In real team-building programs, it’s clear what we’re doing. Team building must represent real value.
In his book The Team-Building Workshop, Vivette Payne states that the function of team building is often nothing more than a kind of reward for employees. He believes that team building should focus much more on team performance than on a good atmosphere, a pleasant environment. For example, when several smaller teams within a company need to work together, team building needs to be about building a successful team by finding common goals, everyone finding their own place in the team.
The purpose of team building
Team building dates back about 50 years, originally intended to help build relationships and make interpersonal interactions more effective. As it became more and more prevalent in the life of companies, goals such as achieving results, aligning with goals, and performing tasks more efficiently came to the fore.
It is also important that team building has a specific reason and purpose. The more measurable these goals are, the better off we are because the effectiveness of team building will also be more measurable.
The process of team building
Team building is based on the development of leadership skills, team building begins with the commitment of leaders, recognizing that working in a team means a completely different corporate culture. It is, therefore, necessary to commit to team building for both leaders and team members. Team building mostly brings about a change in the way people work independently or with each other. It is important for everyone to understand that change in behavior requires commitment.
Team building always begins with the identification of needs and then plays an essential role in building commitment. Mapping needs and providing feedback directly precedes the team-building process. The specific team-building program itself only follows after all this. The evaluation of the program concludes the process, followed by the incorporation of the results into practice.
It is essential that teams face the challenges that the company faces. The challenge of team building is to understand how a team works. The team must not only be able to be created but also built. Different types of training are needed at different stages of team development. When a new team is formed, the key is to get to know each other as team members and focus on group tasks. After that, the balance of power in the team develops, everyone is looking for their place, even fights are conceivable. Then the team starts to forge together, moving in one direction. Thematically, team building can mean something different. In project teams, where, for example, the task is to develop a new product, it may be important to agree on common goals, rules, and develop a common communication style. In leadership team building, it can be important to address strategy and planning for the future.
The role of leaders in team building
In their book The Big Book of Team Building Games, John Newstrom and Edward Scannell believe that a team’s performance depends heavily on what leadership skills their leaders have and how well they are able to conduct effective team discussions. They believe team building should be about strengthening teamwork.
An effective team needs a supportive work environment. They need different skills, purposefulness, and there is a need for team members to communicate with each other, learn from the interaction. According to John Newstrom and Edward Scannell, building a high-performing team is a long process. Team building serves to explore how they are currently working together, where sources of error may be, and how they could ideally work together. Team building never just happens on its own.
Its purpose and consequences can be, for example, the development of team discussions or the provision of effective feedback. Where appropriate, confrontation can also occur in the sense that the trainer asks participants to try to describe their behavior and what effects it may have on others. It is the job of the trainer to continuously monitor the nonverbal signals and help with problem-solving. In a good cause, the team will begin to see alternatives, see the consequences of their actions, and be able to act independently. Well-chosen team-building games can have countless benefits, on the one hand, it builds team morale, team members learn to trust each other, people become more flexible and adaptive, and it’s a good opportunity to see how each team member behaves.
Who wants to carry out the team-building process always depends on the management of the company or organization. Some people decide that the best solution is a long weekend in a luxury hotel where those staying can enjoy the relaxation provided by the SPA and the team-building process is solved within the framework of a casual conversation.
Others seek the help of various HR companies who organize the entire activity from A to Z. Usually this is when the organizers prepare a number of games and team-building activities for the members. And after the programs, there is a smaller part where what is learned is analyzed. These programs are great opportunities to get to know ourselves, our employees, and learn about the importance of cohesion.
However, when it comes to team building, it is also the case that employees are already in such a close relationship that no effort is required from management, as members are already so accustomed to wanting to be together. Spending time together can be enough to sit down for a coffee, go to an escape room, or just sit together to play poker or blackjack with someone at home.
Whatever phase an organization is in, it has a leader whose one of the most important tasks is to make sure his team is cohesive. If there are disagreements in an organization, it can be very counterproductive which can be detrimental to both the leader and the members. But with a little attention and creativity, all of this can be avoided.