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Team building activities: do they work?
Every company strives to have effective working practices that allow employees to work together to get the best possible outcome. Many employers choose to organise Christmas team building activities to help boost workplace morale, increase productivity and collaboration between departments.
But does team building actually work? We believe it can work – although there are several things to watch out for to make sure it doesn’t backfire and become a fruitless mission.
Let's begin with the positive side.
Team building can help your employees to relax and socialise outside of the office, allowing them to get to know each other, helping to boost productivity and creativity:
Meet other members of the team
Your employees may work in the same office but actually have very little time to talk to one another. The office Christmas party provides the perfect opportunity for team building exercises. Divide workers into teams and get them to decorate a Christmas tree, the best team wins a prize. You could even get each team to create a ten-minute pantomime.
Team building across departments
It's a great way of encouraging members of different departments to work together. The only communication in the office may be via the phone or email, so team building gives them the opportunity to meet face to face, helping to build trust and to increase networking.
It can make your employees feel valued
Team building activities involve every member of staff, giving them a voice. During the festive period, you could get staff to work in teams and decorate different areas of the office. The best team wins a tub of chocolates. You could even have a Christmas games day, incorporating board games and games console competitions.
It all sounds incredible, but what do you need to watch out for?
To make sure it doesn’t backfire nor create negative impacts, make sure you choose a team building exercise with care. Some of the downsides team building could bring are:
Instead of uniting the team, your choice of team building exercise can divide your office environment instead. It may not be relevant to the skillset or interests of the team; a day in a room making your employees create paper snowflakes may not be conducive to the high-tech environment of the digital company. Karaoke will be a hit with some employees, whilst for others it is their worst choice and they will sit out and not get involved with the rest of the team. You need to think carefully about your choice of activity, so that it is both engaging and creates collaboration.
We have all heard about those awkward team building moments. Instead of a comfortable, cosy day, employees are left uncomfortable as they are forced to sing or speak in public setting. Team building should be about engaging with each other.
With end year coming, have you planned your team-building activities?
Ask staff members what they would like to do and involve everyone to participate in their own way without being forceful to avoid any feelings of left out.