The Importance of Team Building

Work is never completed by one person. Even when someone comes up with a great idea, it takes a team of people to bring it to fruition. The ability of those teams to collaborate, communicate and overcome obstacles will determine the success of the outcome.

Building a team isn’t just assigning people to a group. It’s about creating the right mix of skills and personalities to get the job done. Too many companies never make it beyond the assignment. An investment in team building will increase productivity, reduce resistance and expedite the outcome.

According to Gallup, just 3 in 10 U.S. workers strongly agree that their opinions at work count. If 6 in 10 thought their opinions mattered – companies see a 27% decrease in turnover rate, 40% decrease in safety incidents, and 12% increase in productivity. 

When employees don’t trust a company’s intent or feel their efforts are not respected and valued, it does not bode well. Disgruntled and resentful insiders can slow production, create chaos and even damage company facilities and systems.

Top 7 Reasons to Build Strong Teams

1. Leadership

When teams struggle, the typical implication is there’s a problem with the members. It may very well be the team leader. Many middle managers or supervisors have no leadership training – personal management styles can foster dissension in the ranks. The first benefit of team building is an assessment of the team leader to provide training and support. The development of leadership skills is part of a sustainable business. Lack thereof can derail important initiatives.

2. Members

Employees who are assigned to a team may not have all the skills they need to be successful. Though they may have technical skills related to their job, “soft skills” like group problem-solving, listening and communication can be lacking.

Groups include all types of personalities, some dominant, others submissive. Assessing the team dynamic will reveal how personalities are affecting group productivity. Team leaders should push for participation by all members and step in if a member is shutting others down. Teams must work as a unit –

3.  Cohesion

When team members participate in interesting and challenging exercises, they share a memory. Shared experiences create a bond within a group. The exercise design is a key piece – there are tabletop exercises, physical challenges (like Outward Bound), and even escape rooms where team members face a deadline to solve a mystery.

The more cohesive the team, the more capable they are of working together to achieve their goal.

4.  Productivity

The reason it takes a team to get work done is that the workload is shared. During a team-building exercise, team members are put to the test. With the right blend of skill sets, team members will autonomously assign themselves tasks. They perform in a cross-functional manner, moving to assist each other if support is needed.

This builds trust among the members and increases collaboration. It is an opportunity for the team leader to reward members, provide support or make changes in the team composition.

5. Problem-Solving

Many team members are used to working alone. They do their job and if they run into problems, they kick the issue up a level. Team building helps develop the ability to collectively identify a problem, assess the variables, and find a solution together. As team members become more confident in their abilities, they will operate outside of any exercise and work with their colleagues to overcome obstacles.

Achievement is a great motivator and confidence booster. They become more proactive with their ideas, take risks, listen to each other and to arrive at a consensus. When employees learn by example, they add value to their position and the organization as a whole.

6. Process Improvement

Team building exercises forces people out of their cubes, offices and the invisible silos that define their roles. When they operate as part of the group, their vision is expanded. They get a view of the whole workflow and how tasks interact and in what order. Each team member brings their expertise and experience to the group. Collectively, their insights about the redundancy and vulnerabilities within the process is significant.

Minimizing the accumulated knowledge by workers on the job is a serious mistake. Their expertise is business intelligence and should be recognized as such. Leaving it on the table because of their role in organizational hierarchy is a waste that can cost a company dearly.

7. Aquired Skills

Team building exercises can identify gaps in employee skill sets. But those same exercises offer the chance to learn new skills. The health of the team requires a collaborative approach. Team members watch and learn from each other. Some employees will take the lead, providing direction to the rest. This creates a safe environment for workers to ask questions and learn new skills.

For some, it’s the soft skills like active listening, for others, it might be learning how to lock down a system. When concerns about “what they should know” or fear of being penalized for not knowing are removed, the team grows healthier, stronger and more productive.

Summary: Invest in Teams

people in a wheel
Building healthy teams need to be a priority. The cost of a team-building exercise is minimal in regards to the pay-off for the company.  Exercises should be designed specifically for your team. They need to be challenging, interesting, and interactive. It never hurts to add in a little fun.

The ultimate goal is create a lasting experience, not just a one time event. Team building is all about improving communication, attaining new skills and building a problem-solving squad that can replicate what they learned.  That’s how leaders are discovered and developed. It’s how employees know their contributions are valued and respected. It’s how the company increases efficiency, productivity and loyalty. With the fierce competition in today’s labor market, employee retention needs to be a KPI.

We offer team building exercises that include a leadership module and a team member module, bringing the two together in the final phase. We custom design the experience to meet the needs of your project or organization. Strong healthy teams are indicative of a strong, healthy company.


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