Teamwork

Teamwork

Organizations require teamwork, especially in today’s highly digital world. According to studies, organizations that emphasize teamwork innovate faster, spot mistakes faster, find better solutions to problems, and achieve higher productivity. Improving teamwork aims to increase productivity and performance for the benefit of the organization. Teamwork fosters strong employee relationships because the more employees who work closely together, the more they get to know and like each other. They learn to live with each other’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses the more they work together. When they work together for an extended period of time, the team naturally becomes more collaborative, resulting in a more enjoyable work environment for all. A pleasant work environment leads to higher productivity, which helps organizations achieve their objectives more quickly.

Everything you need to know about Team Building

Team Building is not a one-time act. It is a process that brings out desirable change across the organization. There could be various factors for which a team can be created- It could be for a specific goal/task completion or for a shorter duration. Today, teams are increasingly becoming a tool for increased organizing. Teams have the potential to immediately amass, organize, relocate, and disperse. Thus, it is essential that teams become mature over time.

Increased team building activities help in creating a captivating atmosphere where employees remain motivated and can build vulnerability-based trust in each other. There are four steps to team development, and they are as follows-

  1. Forming – This is the first step in the process where the team is anxious. There are no predefined goals or mission statements to achieve. Here is when all partners of a team brainstorm and formulate the existence of the group thereby driving buy-in. This is rather a team familiarization stage where all team members get to know each other better.
  2. Storming – This is the second stage in the formation of the team where conflicts emerge more evidently. Team members begin to see more differences than similarities, the best way to sail through this stage is through constant communication. It is imperative for all to take part in the discussions and embrace diversities if any.
  3. Norming – Post the differences (if any) are sorted, members begin to see the commonalities amongst the team. They become more open to feedback, here is when it’s best for them to undergo training. It is important for them to remain focused on the main objective instead of getting sidelined.
  4. Performing – The final stage is where the team has matured as a result of the previous stages and are capable and competent to take up any project. They should now challenge each other and find ways of developing each other. Since they are now clear of the roles and responsibilities, there are higher chances of increased team success.

Often while creating teams, we want to surround ourselves with people who are just like us. In case you get to choose a team instead of going ahead with the easiest option, look out for a team of people with a variety of strengths. This will lead to increased team effectiveness as all the members can leverage their areas of strength and contribute to the overall team’s success.

Stated below are some of the advantages of team building activities

  1. Improves the relations and strengthens the bond among the employees. Everyone strives hard to achieve a common goal.
  2. Helps reduce the chances of confusion, misunderstandings and in a way makes communication effective.
  3. Individuals feel more positive and confident at work. Stress disappears and it reflects on their work. Chances of making mistakes reduce, including blame shifting and negative conflict.

Teamwork and Team Building are essential incorporates to make the organization a better place to work. Thus, focusing on the action points mentioned above is a crucial requirement in building more agile and effective teams.

Teamwork and Groupwork

It is common use to apply the term “Team” to mean any collection of people who perform some related function, regardless of how those people really work. A team is a quite certain kind of human organizational unit, characterized by how it works, as opposed to by what it works on. Basically, Teams are recognized by collaboration whereas in a group, individual try to work on a common goal independently without collaborating with other group members.

Difference between teamwork and groupwork

  • The fundamental purpose of group is to primarily interact and share performance, and that of team is collective performance.
  • The performance of a group is just the summation of each member’s contribution and there is no positive synergy. A team creates positive synergy through coordinated efforts. The degree of performance of a team is more prominent than the sum of individual inputs.
  • Every group should have clearly focused and strong leaders whereas a team has shared leadership roles.
  • In group, members are individually responsible for their tasks. In team, there is both individual and mutual accountability.
  • The primary goal of group is the achievement of organizational objectives and the team has their set objectives that is collectively achieved by the members.
  • Group has efficient and formal meetings. Team motivates meetings which are open ended and problem solving.

Why form groups?

Managers recognized many years prior that two heads are better than one, thus small companies have turned to departments or groups for various reasons. With group work, individuals have a common knowledge of the group’s goals, but specific responsibilities or tasks are assigned to different people. By delegating work into groups – for example, one dedicated to accounting, one dedicated to marketing, etc. – people in those groups can maximize their skill on a long-term basis.

Why form teams?

Organizations form teams generally to handle a particular – and typically temporary – project or goal with the plan of utilizing the collective skill of a variety of individuals. Since experts from different departments are included, teams can avoid potential issues at an early stage in a project. For example, a team of only engineers may develop a new product but may not understand if it is affordable until somebody with a finance background finishes a ROI (Return on Investment) analysis on its attainability.

In the organizational world, we have work teams and work groups. A work team has individuals who work interdependently on a certain, common objective to deliver a result for their business. A work group is two or more people who are interdependent in their achievements and could or could not possibly work in a similar division. Once again, the difference between a group and a team is there but the common line is while in a group, members are more independent of each other whereas a team works together and share the outcomes. The above difference clearly states that the teams go beyond the work groups, which are framed traditionally, by having a positive, collective synergistic impact.

ENHANCE TEAM TRUST

How to make a team effective? There have been various answers to that question. Establishing concrete policies and guidelines that give the team members direction, providing clarity in roles, mentoring and training team members to bring out their best, giving regular feedback to enhance performance are some of the general ways suggested to enhance the effectiveness of a team. All these ways direct us to one underlying principle – team effectiveness depends on the team members. Therefore, by bringing the best of the team members together into action, one can ultimately enhance the effectiveness of the team.

This leads us to the next question: how to bring the best of the team members into action? Framing it differently, it would rather be helpful to answer the question – what hinders team cohesion? Patrick Lencioni, the leading authority in teamwork and the author of the bestselling book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” stated that “genuine teamwork remains as elusive as it’s ever been”. The absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results are the five dysfunctions of a team which prevents team cohesion. Particularly of interest to us is the absence of trust.

According to Lencioni, it is the fear of being vulnerable with other team members that acts as an obstacle in building trust within the team. Being vulnerable means to be genuinely honest and transparent with one another. It also means that team members do not fear that their weaknesses, skill deficiencies, mistakes and requests for help will be used against them or taken advantage of. Being vulnerable means to be completely honest about their mistakes and faults and not disguising oneself to make an impression. When such vulnerability is present, trust develops. It is simple to understand from a basic interpersonal perspective that when people are not masked and disguised, it becomes easier to trust them. The same hold true for teams. After all, teamwork is based on interpersonal relationships.

An important difference to be highlighted here is that by “trust” we mean vulnerability-based trust and not predictive trust. Predictive trust is when two people have been working in a team for a long period of time and can predict and accurately understand what the other really means. Such a trust, Lencioni says, does not hold a team. Then what does? To this he replied, it is the willingness of the team to be emotionally vulnerable and being human with one another that holds a team. Saying things like “I need help in this”, “I think you would do better than me in this”, “I apologize for making this mistake yesterday” or “Let us do this together and help each other out” are all signs of being vulnerable and having a vulnerability-based trust in the team. Holding oneself accountable for what one has done is the biggest example of being human and vulnerability-based trust. When team members trust each other, the chances of risk-taking also increases. The team finds itself at a better place to face conflicts together and resolve them.

Therefore, going back to the first question we posed – how to make a team effective? The answer is – by increasing vulnerability-based trust among the team members. Once that is established, then everything else falls in place!

Bask in the aura of teamwork

Peer accountability is the most observable characteristics of a great teamwork. It’s the aura of teamwork.

Have you ever been told that your behavior has led the project into a messy situation? Or, have you ever told someone that they were responsible for not bringing a developing risk to team’s notice? How did you or the person you held accountable feel then? Offended? Guilty? Or was it feedback for you to improve? If you could reflect on these aspects with some empowering detachment, you will get a sense of what we are going to be discussing here.

Patrick Lencioni, in his bestseller “the Five Dysfunctions of a Team” asserted that avoidance of accountability is one of the dysfunctions of a team. The general assumption is that by holding someone accountable, we will offend them. And this is especially true amongst peers than between a boss and an employee. After all, why should we waste time or hurt someone by helping them improve, isn’t it? Such an attitude may usually stem from a feeling of competition or by just being ignorant.

In my view, its easy to make everyone accountable to the boss. That’s driven by structure and organization. Its also driven by individual’s drive for being successful. However, teamwork is about collective results. It’s about making every team member accountable to each other.

What we overlook is the bigger picture. By practicing peer accountability, we are not just improving our peers but the entire team. Peers in a team should have the love and care to help each other improve. The bottom line is that we all have our imperfections. Even the most experienced ones in the team are prone to making mistakes. The point is if no one ever holds us accountable, we will continue to be ignorant and consider our mistakes as being right. And when we are ignorant of our behaviors, the team suffers.

The underlying principle here is that don’t just hold your peers accountable for their performance but also for their behaviors. And as Lencioni says “behavioral accountability” is what leads to a positive change in team functioning. When the entire team does that together, feeling offensive is less of an outcome.

A boss may say “Oh yes, I did hold him accountable. And hence, I fired him”. Firing people does not mean holding them accountable. When we hold someone accountable, we are giving them a scope to improve themselves. Firing people is just like giving someone death penalty, whereas, holding them accountable is giving them a second chance.

Therefore, the ingredient for a coherent and strong team is asking tough questions to one another. And this is an equal responsibility of peers when leaders and bosses may be busy handling other crucial matters. It is only when you want the best for your team, that you will not hesitate to hold each other accountable and improve at each step.

Team building helps in team cohesion

Teams begin to get cohesive after they go through challenges and experience challenging situations together. Bruce Tuckman stated that team building leads to group cohesion and best operation of activities. In the beginning stages, colleagues must be goal centered and stay away from conflicts. Getting to know each other, not just in the workplace, will make positive connections. Bruce Tuckman’s theory is adaptable and can be applied to business, sports or public administrations groups. While experiencing these stages colleagues become acquainted with one another and can offer help to each other when they must. That is what makes a group cohesive.

Impact of cohesion in the team

Great group cohesion will expand chances of achieving the target effectively with high performance. Group will be confiding in one another and supporting. That will make work done quicker and even more successful. Individual colleagues need to come together in the workplace and do their jobs and duties responsibly.

Mentors, managers and leaders need to place enormous input in bringing groups together. Firstly, the leader needs to pick the right people. They must be talented and have a good attitude towards working in a group and being positive about the work they are doing. You don’t need individuals who have capabilities and aptitudes, but have no willingness, attitude or want to carry out the responsibility and having it just for performance would not suffice the objective.

Stages of team development by Bruce Tuckman

The first stage identifies by Bruce Tuckman is Forming. It is where the group meets just for the first time and colleagues are mostly dependent on the group head where they get the greater part of the information from.

The second stage is Storming. This is extremely unstable stage when colleagues have enough information to shape their own thoughts regarding objectives and targets of the entire group. That is the reason some of them may battle for position or power with other colleagues and they may challenge the leader for position. At this stage it is significant for a leader to take responsibility for the group and keep them focused on the objective.

Stage 3 is Norming. In this stage individuals focus on the group and their responsibilities. There is a feeling of unity and bonding between colleagues and not much challenge for the leader.

A significant stage for the group is stage 4 which is Performing where group truly starts to work and show results through high performance. They can work positively towards objectives and resolve conflicts effectively in a constructive and productive manner. At this stage the group creates cohesion and builds positive connections.

Last (stage 5) is Adjourning. This stage isn’t frequently observed as a part of the principal theory, yet it is still a significant part to be examined. The fifth stage is when the group is no longer needed as the group’s objectives and targets have been accomplished effectively and colleagues need to go to different tasks or occupations. This partition could cause insecurity to some sensitive individuals if they had strong bonds between teammates. It’s important to manage this stage delicately to guarantee that colleagues can proceed onward to different activities without being sad.

The team development is going to ultimately help the organization in achieving the vision and goals which they have set for the teams. Overcoming challenges while handling projects is going to make team members more cohesive together.

Importance of Team Building in Performance Improvement

As per an old saying, “teamwork is less me and rather more we.” For all things considered, this basic feeling gets right to the foundation of teamwork. However, as basic as it may be, for many companies, employees come up short on the abilities they need to pull it together and “take care of business.”

When individuals are focused on teamwork, the working environment works smoothly, issues are settled more rapidly, conflict is less inclined to turn harmful, and output is more prominent. Despite the advantages, individuals can be hesitant, even decline, to be a team player. To conquer this, here are five exercises leaders can use to quickly address any group dysfunction to build trust, improve communication, and at last make a culture of collaboration.

Promote consensus and create alignment.

When employees are investing more energy promoting personal agendas, attempt this strategy to promote team building in the working environment:

  • Stop the meeting and arrange the group with a flip chart or whiteboard handy
  • Make two sections: “Thoughts We Agree On” and “Pros/Cons”
  • Rundown the thoughts or points that the gathering individuals would all be able to agree on
  • Proceed with conversations dependent on different things, talking about the upsides and downsides of each point.

This basic action is ideal for pulling together a meeting that has gone off track. After the activity, groups will have a structure for conveying new thoughts and activities.

Reveal the problem with communication

In the workplace, effective communication is very important. With this activity, you can show employees how simple it is for misconception and conflict to emerge because of poor or unclear communication.

  • Present a series of statements one-by-one, and request that your group record what the expressions intend to them. For instance: “How about we meet downstairs,”, “Turn this in immediately,” and “By end of day please”
  • Have every individual read their translation aloud and note the difference in understanding
  • Ask the members for approaches to remove ambiguity in expectations and conversations.

This activity shows that even expressions we believe are clear may not be. Groups thrive when communication is concise, clear, direct and usually comprehended by all.

Strengthen relationships and collaboration

When employees have strong relationships, they can work together to solve problems, communicate and manage conflicts in a better way. The objective of any activity intended to strengthen collaboration and relationships effort is to help colleagues change their outlook from a “me” attitude to a “we” attitude.

Working together for the benefit of all is one approach to strengthen those relationships, so assemble your team for a couple of hours to accomplish something useful for the community. For instance:

  • Organize a toy drive
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Participate in a charity run
  • Fund-raise for a nearby school

These sorts of positive exercises unite the team, and they also give employees an example of the “feel goods”, which will be an overall advantage to the group.

If creating a culture of collaboration and improving workplace performance are business priorities for you, then these above stated ways can be used to bring employees together as one team.

Team Building

Team Building starts from collaboration and ends at a cohesive team. We believe in making teams work together in an active and lively atmosphere of learning and reflection allowing them to connect better in an informal way and setting. A team building event is the right place to test and try out pre-conceived ideas and concepts of how to work collaboratively as a team. Strengthscape has designed all the team building programs and activities with the sole objective of improving work relationships in an entertaining, informal way. It makes employees understand other individuals within the organization in a better way through engaging with them in various activities. It helps to eradicate the sense of hierarchy for a while and makes everyone feel equal leading to a better understanding about others.

To achieve success in a project, it is well known that all the members of the team must actively contribute and work cohesively. This process highly depends on the team’s project manager for it is his responsibility to efficiently build his team. Team building is no easy task. Traditional ways of team managing no longer works effectively because exercise of power and authority and being tough does not drive the team to produce expected results. It has been observed that this kind of leadership style discourages the members of the team, fails to persuade the members of the team do their best and lead to attrition. Team building is an art and it is essential to know how people behave in groups, what drives the team to perform better and what motivates them to work cohesively. To build a high-performance team, understanding the Tuckman’s Stages of Group development is essential which will aid in taking necessary action for each stage of team development. The model is shown below.

Setting a culture for the team is significant for team building. Collaborative team culture is essential for effective team building where each member of the team is viewed as an important individual who can make valuable contributions to the project irrespective of the designation or job role.

To be a successful team manager, one has to adopt two different styles or role that has to be implemented appropriately. One as a friendly, collaborative and supportive mentor and other as a tough and demanding figure so that he is not taken advantage of. This is best explained through the illustration of school children who know how to behave with teachers who are friendly, supportive and encouraging. Children are aware that if they behave badly they will damage the teacher-student relationship which will lead to the teacher adopting the role of a strict head teacher. It has been observed that sensible balance between reward and punishment, opportunity and threat, pleasure and pain and encourage and coercion are important for good balance of personalities and skills that will result in building high performance teams.

Some of the benefits of team building are:

  • Networking, socializing, and getting to know each other better.
  • Teamwork and boosting team performance.
  • Competition and bragging rights.
  • Celebration, team spirit, fun, and motivation.
  • Collaboration and the fostering of innovation and creativity.
  • Communication and better team work.
  • Work toward a common goal
  • Develop Strong Team Skills
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Improve productivity
  • Break down barriers
  • Reduce employee turnover

Apart from these it benefits individually to all the internal stakeholders of the organization.

Types of Team Building

Team building training programs are quite popular in the corporate world. There are multiple reasons for conducting team building from celebrating success to becoming more cohesive.

Here are some common types of team building:

  1. Culture – Some team building training programs are designed to build a certain culture within the team with a focus on common values and behaviors to be displayed by the team members. Such programs are conducted when:
    1. A team is being formed and therefore there is a need to define cultural norms and values at the outset
    2. An old team is redefining the way they work
    3. There is a significant change either in the team or in the environment that requires re-defining the cultural norms

Such team building programs are best conducted with a senior facilitator who has experience in culture-building interventions. The first step of a culture-based team building program is to arrive at the winning culture for the team and set rituals that will drive the winning culture every day.

  1. Teamwork – This is the most common type of team building intervention. Training programs designed to promote teamwork focus on building trust, getting to know team members better and promote camaraderie within the teams. Such programs are conducted when:
    1. There is a new team where team members don’t know each other very well and there is a need to accelerate the team formation
    2. An existing team is displaying dysfunctional behaviors like lack of trust, unhealthy conflict, lack of commitment and accountability.
    3. An existing high performing team that wants to get to the next level

Such programs are conducted both with the help of indoor and outdoor intensive activities that are designed to bind the teams together. Outbound sessions work best in this case. Having the team perform a complicated task or solve complicated problems with multiple hurdles is a good option. You can use assessments and surveys like Wiley’s Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team to build understanding around current state of teamwork to enhance the takeaways from the session.

  1. Skills – Some team building programs can also be designed to develop a particular skill within the team. For example, training the entire sales team in selling skills or negotiation skills. The need to develop the skills at the team level may be a result of:
    1. Past performance where the lack of a certain skill at the team level has impacted the overall team performance
    2. A new skill needs to be developed for all team members as a result of changing or new business needs

Such programs are best delivered by subject matter experts who understand both the skill in consideration and the business. Coupling the sessions with enabling teams to leverage each other’s strengths through collaborative techniques can add a new dimension to such team building interventions.

Team building interventions should be designed with the understanding of the purpose of the intervention. Such programs can greatly enhance the effectiveness of teams and eventually contribute positively to the bottom line. Designing an effective team building program requires experience and skill, you must look at the right training partner to help you make team building an impactful exercise.

Types of Team Building Interventions

Team building interventions are one of the most common kinds of training programs conducted in organizations. Team synergy is critical to business success. This is the reason that organizations try to enhance team effectiveness. There are many ways to do this like – hire right, focus on team building, improve collaboration and create the right environment for teamwork.

There are many types of team building interventions based on size of team, type of team, purpose and even venue. Let’s take some time to understand these types of team building interventions better:

  1. Size – Team building interventions and activities depend on the size of the team. Team building can be done for individuals who are part of different teams or individuals who temporarily work together on a project basis. The second type of teams are small teams of up to 12 people, these are generally static and team building exercises here are about team cohesiveness. Then there are team islands that are a set of few teams that work closely for organizational goals. Team activities at this level are about cross-functional cohesiveness.
  2. Type – Team building interventions can vary greatly depending on the type of team being addressed. The different types of teams for whom team building interventions are done, are – functional teams which are part of a single function and work very closely with each other to achieve common goals. Such teams generally have a single leader. Then there are cross-functional teams that have different goals but need to work with each other to achieve them, for example HR and Finance. Then there are task forces or agile teams – teams that are created to achieve a common task or a short-term project. Such teams, while temporary, are critical since they work on mission critical tasks.
  3. Purpose – The next aspect to consider is the purpose of the team building intervention. Team building exercises can be conducted for – problem solving, building a certain skill in the entire team, building trust, promoting positive team behaviors, addressing team issues in a dysfunctional team or improving inter-personal relationships within the team. Whatever the purpose, the team building intervention is designed to address the specific need.
  4. Venue – Another differentiator in team building activities is the venue. Depending on whether the team building intervention is to be conducted indoor or outdoor, the activities will vary greatly. The amount of space available is also a key consideration in designing a team building program.

Apart from these, another factor to consider is the tenure of the team – whether the team is old or new. For new teams, the purpose is generally to break the ice and allow members to know each other better. For old teams, the purpose could be to either address team problems or elevate the functioning of an already high-performing team.

Many times, organizations make the mistake of conducting only “fun” team building games for any kind of team building activity. While team building games are fun, they will miss the mark if other factors have not been considered while designing the team building intervention. The “one size fits all” approach to team building is an old and ineffective one.

Team Building Toolkit

Effective teamwork is important in today’s world. But as the leaders would know from their previous experience of leading a team, you can’t expect the team to perform exceptionally well from the beginning. Team formation might take time as the group transforms from a group of strangers to a team with a common goal. Whether your team is a temporary working group or a newly formed group of permanent team members, by understanding these stages you will be able to make the team more productive.

Back in 1965 psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the phrase “forming, storming, norming and performing”. He used this to describe the way of high-performance that most teams follow. Later, he added a fifth stage “adjourning”.

In forming stage, team meets and understands the challenges and opportunities, agrees on goals and begin to tackle the task. Soon, the team moves onto the storming stage where the group starts to sort itself out and gain each other’s trust. Gradually, the team moves into the norming stage when a hierarchy is established. This tends to be a move where they harmoniously decide working practices and rules and values by which they operate. When the team moves towards a performing stage where decision making is collaborative, disagreements are expected and encouraged as there is a high level of respect and communication among the team members. Adjourning up a team can be stressful for all the team members but is important for reaching personal conclusions and team goals.

Team building activities

While planning team building activities, look out for the challenges which your team is facing. Only then can you choose activities which can help the team to be more effective.

  1. Survival scenario – Tell the teams that their airplane has crashed in the ocean. There’s an island nearby and room for everyone on the lifeboat plus 12 items they would need to survive on the island. Instruct them to choose which items they want to choose.
  2. Human spring – Ask members to be in pairs and stand in front of each other. Their elbows should be bent, with their palms facing each other. They should join each other’s palms and start leaning towards each other so that they eventually hold each other up. Then, instruct them to step further and further back so that they solely depend upon their partner to keep standing.

Most managers plan one or two events per year. There’s no regular feedback or follow-ups which can hold back the team’s long-term success. Effective team building should be a part of corporate culture to make the team more effective.

Team charters are the documents which define how a team will work, purpose and the expected outcome from the team. These are the roadmaps which help the team to figure out how the team should continue in its work. So, the charters should be designed in a way which would demand the team members to be more productive and move towards the organization’s goals.

Gaining the team’s trust starts with the leader. Adopting a true team mentality and being selfless are the foundation of building team trust.

Exciting outbound team building activities

Outbound learning or outbound training is defined as training activities which enhance team performance with experiential learning. Outbound training mainly revolves around activities designed to improve communication skills, leadership, planning, delegation and teamwork. At team outings a pertinent question comes up about how to keep them engaged. Team building is a process of turning a group of people into a cohesive team, so that they can practice and enjoy healthy interpersonal relationships. Effective teams work together efficient cooperation and collaboration and interdependently meet organization goals and objectives.

Here is a list of interesting outbound team building activities which can make your team become more collaborative:

Activity 1: Tent Pitching

This game is literally what the name suggests, that is, setting up a tent. This is not just a great game but also a good life skill. The game becomes even more interesting when teams compete, and they are blindfolded. Whichever team coordinates well within a given time frame and comes up with a near perfect tent, takes the prize.

Activity 2: Tower Building

This again is a simple game with straight forward objective. Each team is given a fixed amount of office supplies such as paper cups, sticks, cards, etc. and whichever team can build the tallest tower in the given time is the winner. The key to winning this game is resource management and problem-solving ability. This game can be played easily as arranging office supplies is simple.

Activity 3: Pipes and Marbles

This is an interesting challenge in which the team members must plan, communicate and coordinate to transport a set of marbles from the start line to the container/box at the finish line. But one complexity in the game is this that the participants are not allowed to use their hands at all. Instead, they must only use the PVC pipes which are provided to them for transporting the marbles.

Activity 4: Scavenger Hunt

This is a very popular game in which participants are divided into small teams who compete against each other in completing activities/tasks in a set time frame. For e.g., the tasks could be finding any object in a color, taking selfie with a stranger, uncovering a hidden treasure, etc. This activity helps to build healthy competitive spirit within the different teams.

Activity 5: Mine Field

This game is played in pairs. Each pair has one person blindfolded and one person as guide. The guide must lead the blindfolded team member through a difficult route without letting him step on a landmine. The landmines are nothing but bottles, cans, paper, spread in random fashion to create obstruction in the path.

Activity 6: Pictionary

This is again a widely played and most enjoyed corporate game. One team member must come forward and draw a phrase or an object on the white board and other team members must guess it based on the drawing itself. This activity is a great way to simulate creativity.

Outbound team building activities are one of the many methods to increase collaboration and efficiency among teams. As a matter of fact, each team member is going to take a key learning from the team building activities with them.

Types of Team Building Exercises

Team building exercises are of many types depending on what the team wants to achieve. Most trainers who conduct team building activities first engage with the client in understanding the purpose and background of the team intervention. Based on the purpose and other factors team building activities are designed. Some of the key things to keep in mind while designing team building exercises are:

  • Purpose – It is important to know why a certain team intervention is being conducted. If the purpose is for the team members to know each other better, then collaboration related fun activities are good, on the other hand if the purpose is to address unproductive team behaviors like lack of trust, then the exercises should help in trust building.
  • Age – The second factor to consider is the age of the participants. This will determine the kind of exercises the group would enjoy.
  • Physical Health – Team building exercises can be physically strenuous. To ensure that the games do not result in too much physical stress or exclude people due to physical constraints, it is important for the trainer to know about the physical health of the participants. Any health concerns like asthma, knee and back pain etc should be known.
  • Size – The size of the group will determine the kind of activities that will be needed to engage all the team members.
  • Venue – While many times the client relies on the trainer or training company to decide on the venue for the team building engagement, they still might have preferences in terms of the venue being indoor or outdoor. The amount of space available and even the landscape has an impact on the type of team building exercise.
  • Gender and Culture – It is important to know the gender and cultural mix of the group to design appropriate activities. Gender and culture will determine whether the activities can be high contact between the participants or need to be low contact. For example, in India with mixed gender group, high contact activities may not work.

Once these factors have been considered, here are some types of teams building exercises that are generally used:

  1. Ice Breakers – These team building exercises are designed to welcome the participants, introduce the participants to the theme of the day, get energized and if the group is unfamiliar, also for the participants to know each other better. Some common icebreakers are – Two Truth and a Lie where participants share 2 truths and a lie about them, and others have to guess which statement is true and which is a lie. Another common ice breaker is – Find Waldo where participants have to find people in the group with some unique characteristics (different from theirs) like someone with pink socks or someone who likes cooking.
  2. Energizers – Another type of team building activity is energizers. These are generally used in between the sessions to uplift the energy by engaging participants in some physical activity. Energizers are generally used after a sit-down session or after a break. While designing energizers one must ensure that they match the larger theme of the session and bring out some learning for the participants as well.
  3. Collaboration Exercises – Most team building sessions are conducted to enhance and improve the collaboration between team members. Collaborative exercises like Tower Building or Treasure Hunt are designed for this purpose. Another aspect of collaboration is trust. Trust building exercises like Blindfold Treasure Hunt can be designed to explicitly improve the level of trust within the team.
  4. Problem Solving – Another set of team-building exercises are around problem solving. These exercises are designed to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving abilities of the team as a whole. Teams are given a problem to solve or a simulation exercise to complete in a specific duration. The activity brings out the problem-solving skills of participants, decision making processes within the teams and productive and unproductive team behaviors under stress. Games like Artic Exploration are good for problem solving.

A good team building program requires great pre-preparation in diagnostics, understanding the participants and the purpose and thoroughly designing each element of the intervention. Using the services of professional trainers and companies like Strengthscape ensures learning in a fun and safe environment.

Team Building Activities

Great teams are always an asset to a company. Effective teams work better and aid the company to stay competitive.  A team with a strong leader, cohesive team members and effective manner of communication strategies succeeds. Unfortunately, such a team will not pop up one fine morning. Effort must be made.  This is where team building comes into the picture.

Patrick Lencioni, in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, has observed that “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” No statement can emphasize the importance of team building more.

According to Beer (1980), team building is the process of diagnosing the work style of a team and suggesting and execute changes to enhance the performance of the team. So, he meant team building is necessary when there is something wrong with the performance of the team and some changes have to be made. Team building activities are one of the best tools to ensure a high functioning team. The first impression of a team building activity is that “Oh! The same old paint ball games”. But that is not true. Team building is not always about paint ball games or other irrelevant activities to waste. A good team building activity can improve morale, instill cohesiveness, increase productivity and motivation and even solve an issue that is hampering the team’s performance. It is because team building activities are great ways to invest in a team, Harvard Business Review dedicated one whole article on just “Team-Building Exercises for Tough Times”.

But why is it that team building activities do not work most of the time? Probably because they were not well-planned. Poorly planned exercises will not just be unsuccessful, but can also negatively affect the team structure. There is a need for proper follow-up after the execution of the activities. Team building activities can yield the expected benefits only if annual team building events are integrated into the overall company structure.

Strengthscape is a training and leadership development firm, based in Bangalore, India. We began our journey modestly in 2007. Our hard work and dedication have resulted in several innovative and inspiring interventions for the needy. In our 11 years of journey, we were able to gain a reputable name among our selected clients.

We believe in the importance of reinforcing teamwork every day. Hence, we, with our 25 trainers, are happy to inform you that we provide a wide range of team building exercises that actually work in bringing about team cohesiveness, which is relevant and that guarantees results. Our activities assure a message to take back and are tailor-made according to the clients’ needs and hence each activity is unique.

We also provide a pre- and post-design intervention to bring about team cohesiveness followed by one-to-one coaching of the team leaders and members, ensuring that any team building intervention is not just fun but also fruitful and brings a high return-on-investment.

To know more about our design and strategies for team building, contact us.

Outdoor Team Building Activities

A workplace with a happy and engaged workforce converts into a productive organization. Team building activities help to uplift the team spirit and energy. It helps to break the monotony and negativity that is usually created by organization grapevines, internal team politics and competition. In today’s time, with employees getting exposed to newer technologies and innovation and the attention spans getting shorter, the need to think about innovative and engaging team building strategies has become imperative. Managers and trainers are pushed to think about creative ways of achieving the best outcomes from the activities.

Outdoor team building activities can happen either on-site or off-site. Either way, based on the learning outcomes and objectives, these team building activities can be clubbed into four buckets – a) Team Collaboration, b) Communication, c) Problem Solving and Decision Making and d) Agility and Adaptability. Also, some team building activities are for adventure’s sake. Two examples of learning-driven team building activities are given below.

  1. Team Collaboration: These kinds of team building activities focus on building trust, accountability and commitment within the team so that they collaborate more for meeting common goals. One activity that is often conducted to meet this objective is Scavenger Hunt. This activity can be played with a group size of 15 – 100. The greater number of people, greater the confusion, better the insights from the activity. To conduct Scavenger Hunt, the group is divided into 3 or more teams and the facilitator gives a list of defined items to each team. The task is to collect the listed items which are hidden in different areas of the venue. To find the item, the teams are given a deadline and some hints (in the form of metaphors and phrases) to decode and find the location of the item. This activity helps to drive insights around inter and intra-team collaboration, trust, playing on individual team member’s strengths, delegation, communication and time management.
  2. Communication: Team building activities that focus on communication aim to meet the objectives of clear communication, active listening skills, thinking on the feet, asking questions and breaking assumptions. Based on whether the team building activity is at the managerial level or leadership, the communication pattern and complexity may differ. One such activity that can be played is the Blindfold Obstacle activity. The group is divided into teams and one leader from the team is identified. Rest all the members of the team are blindfolded. There are obstacles planned on the way and the leader is expected to guide the blindfolded team members from one point to another. The game also helps to build trust within the team because a large part of listening to the leader of the team or another peer comes from the ability to trust them.

Most important thing for successful outdoor team building activities is the implementation. Accurate and flawless implementation requires the use of a thorough checklist which should include all the logistics (big and small) required for the activities. Regarding each logistic item, providing the quantity required is a must. This checklist ensures that all the items required for the activity implementation is available as planned.

Team building games for energized fun learning

After completing team-building activities together, employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. Below are some interesting team-building activities for energized learning:

  1. Team building kits. This is an enticing game where you mix an escape room, a movie and team building together to bond fun with teamwork productivity. In a group of 3-5 members, teammates try to solve a case with the help of clues and documents. They need to work together and develop theories to solve the mystery. It eases coworker bonding while focusing on communication and trust.
  2. Scavenger hunt. This team-building activity never fails and motivates teams to connect creatively. Divide the group into two or three teams depending upon the number of participants. Make and provide them with a list of items to find or do within a deadline. The first team which finishes it wins. This activity can be made more fun by including riddles, twists, etc. to lead their way to final rounds. This activity is popular to promote teamwork and creativity.
  3. Who am I? Teamwork is often hindered by stereotypes. This activity will help to break groups’ preconceptions. Make name tags for different kinds of people like, “Go-Getter”, “Sincere”, “Cooperative”, etc. Place these tags on the back of the person so that they can’t see it, but others can. For a time, let the group mingle and ask each person to guess what their label is by the way other people are behaving with them. As each team member figures out what they are, they can exit and let the rest continue with the game.
  4. Photo-shoot. This is a great activity to promote teamwork and task distribution, thereby mixing learning and fun together. Split the group into teams of 4-5 members, ensuring all the members have camera phones with them. Make up a list of objects/situations/ things/people that they need to capture as a team. Depending on the difficulty level, assign them different points for different things. Ask them to meet back after a specific time limit.

Try testing and find out the best activity that works out for you. The activity that you choose depends upon the number of participants, your purpose and preparation time. Combine fun-activity with learning to derive the best results.

Why Teamwork Games

According to Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, simple words but with a lot of weight. Team building is the process of bringing together every team member and turning them into a cohesive group. This would help them to work cooperatively and collaboratively to meet self, team and organization’s goals. Teamwork has always been the center of attention as far as employee-focused initiatives are concerned and its ability to bring happiness in the workplace has been non-debatable. Various benefits can be derived from corporate team building activities as it involves games and tasks designed to build behavioral competency.

Corporate Team Building events are more fun, as compared to instructor led sessions. In any team building session the facilitator poses a challenge to the team to achieve a goal, without explaining how to do that. Participants must work together and communicate effectively as a team to reach out to a solution. Learning happens with experience succeeded by reflection, discussion, analysis and evaluation of experience. Team building activities help the participants to discover their inner strengths and how to relate that to their workplace. It also allows them to learn soft skills required and in turn brings out their natural leadership style.

Team-building benefits include the following:

  • Enables motivated and collaborative team members, as this is a move towards bringing individuals together
  • Helps in quick problem solving and decision-making process as large number of heads contribute to it
  • Assists in creativity and unconventional thinking as employees are moved away from their usual workplace, which refreshes them
  • Enhances productivity by discovering and eliminating hindrances and improving current ways of working
  • Boosts morale of employee, as they feel organization and co-workers are interested in knowing and developing them.

Training on Team Building

Many multinational organizations spend extensive amounts of money on internal and external team building activities so that team members can build a strong bond with their team members personally and professionally.

Team building makes use of various activities which help to motivate and encourage employees. You can’t anticipate that your team can perform on its own. These team building activities help employees to groom themselves as an individual as well as a team member and also help the team to perform their best to increase overall performance.

Team-building activities are of utmost importance to any organization as they help to strengthen the bond between the employees. Employees come from different places and with varied perspectives they need to trust each other and should work as a single unit. It is not an easy task to bring together employees and extract the best from them. Organizations should plan some team building activities from time to time in order to encourage the team. It helps to communicate effectively which in turn reduces conflicts and misunderstanding within the team.

Team building training is very important for employees so that they can develop team skills. Training can help them to define a common goal and how they can achieve the goal with less effort while working together. The objectives of these team building training courses are-

  • Establish effective process within the team
  • Identify strengths and weakness as a team
  • Appreciate team skills and dynamics
  • Communicating effectively within the team
  • Encouraging healthy conflicts
  • Bringing the best within oneself as a team

The team leader plays a key role in binding his team together. Team building should focus on bringing in more suggestions from the team members. Leaders should motivate team members to share their responsibilities among themselves and should encourage effective listening among the team members and outside the team also.

Training must be flexible as every team is different and should also take the learner’s perspective into consideration. The main components of team building training include-

  • Team health checkup before planning any activity
  • Team should understand the purpose of the training and expectation from their end should be clear
  • Understanding the power of effective communication and team leadership
  • Role of a leader in a team
  • Identifying team processes and seeking ideas to develop on them
  • Understanding team differences and learn how to make the most from it
  • Team building activities and games to improve specific workplace issues
  • Individual action statements at the end of the day

Team building can also be achieved through regular team discussions, brainstorming sessions and get togethers where everyone is treated equally and has the right to come forward and put their thoughts and ideas.

Without a proper team bonding, the very basis of the team is missing somewhere. Thus, it is very beneficial for an organization to promote team building as much as possible and make sure that their employees are happy to collaborate with each other professionally.

Families fall apart if they lack bonding, same is the case with organizations and teams. If there is no bonding between the team members, organizations can’t achieve what they are intended to do. Team building will help to build a whole team while developing an individual.

TEAM BUILDING DESTINATIONS

Team building is a combined term for various types of activities used to improve social interactions and describe performance within teams, often involving collective tasks.  It is one of the most widely used group-development activities in organizations. A common strategy is to have a team-building destination where team members try to build trust by engaging in activities that are not part of what they ordinarily do as a team. Team building is the process of turning a group of individuals into a collective team. It brings people together by promoting teamwork.

Planning a Successful Trip

When arranging a corporate team building trip, choosing the right team building destination, plays a major role in whether or not the trip will be a success. Taking your employees on a team-building vacation tends to get everybody working together towards a common goal. The type of activities and exercises you choose, help in finding out that some of your employees have natural leadership abilities that aren’t evident in the workplace.  Giving employees a well-earned vacation can enhance encouragement and achievement once they are back to the workplace.

  • If you and your team are tired of being tied up all day long within the restrictions of the office and want to combine work with fun, then Discovery Village is the perfect place. Known to host the best resorts in Bangalore for corporate team outing, Discovery Village is  located close to the city of Bangalore and is a nice place for a day trip or a short weekend. You can plan corporate team building activities at their resort to bring the enthusiasm back into your team. With vast outdoors and magnificent indoor facilities at your disposal, both your body and soul get relaxed only to return completely relaxed and recharged for the corporate challenges that lie ahead.
  • The Tapola River Camp offering lots of fun activities, makes it a great outing spot in Pune for corporate teams. The tents at the Tapola River Camp are equipped with delightful verandahs to view the natural beauty of the countryside. The resort is the perfect spot for a group excursion as it is surrounded by plentiful green woods and offers a remarkable view of the River Tapola. Participating in many team-building activities wipes away all tiredness from your mind and body.
  • Facing the Arabian Sea, the Taj Exotica lying in the middle of lush gardens is a charming group vacation resort in Goa. From inside the rooms and galleries, you can enjoy scenic views of the ocean. The employees can take part in different workshops, remarkable indoor games, and can also visit old Goa. There is no other place as enthralling as Goa. The melodious sound of sea-waves and the glistening sun will soothe your mind and body. It is the ideal environment for fun-filled and adventurous activities. The employees can indulge in raft building activity, play sports on beaches, embark on a treasure hunt game and can take up the challenge of building sand castles or making sand art in teams, which will boost their imagination and creativity.
  • If you’re are looking for team outings places in Gurgaon that assures thrilling activities while associating you with nature, head for Botanix Nature Resort. This team building destination hosts varied thrilling team building activities for the corporate groups, which have proved an effective method in helping employees to relax and enjoy. The extremely busy and challenging work routine can lead to mental stress, weariness, arguments between team members and even job dissatisfaction, if not given a break at the right time.

 

We, at Strengthscape believe in making teams work together in an active and lively atmosphere of learning and reflection allowing them to connect better in an informal way and setting. Strengthscape plans  all the team building programs and activities with the objective of improving work relationships in a relaxing way. These programs help employees understand each other in a better way by engaging them in various activities. When the employees return to work, they are more productive, thus increasing the output and income of the company.  We, at Strengthscape have moved team building destinations up on our priority list.

More About Team-Building Destinations

Fun activities help employees see each other from a different perspective and allow them to connect in a varied setting. With the help of these team building events that are fun and inspirational, teams build skills like communication, problem-solving and dispute settlement. These activities help build long term team building through raising genuine connections, deeper discussions and processing.

Importance of Corporate Team Building

Team building activities involve getting out of everyone’s comfort zones and in an entirely new situation in which teamwork is still needed. This way, they can take what they learn and apply their newfound knowledge and skills when they are back in the office. Not only will colleagues acquire a better understanding of one another, but they may also learn more about themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses. This can result in developing better problem-solving skills, as well as innovative thinking. Whether a business is large or small, it is certain that some people’s voices can get lost in the mix. Team building helps those people to express their views, and their colleagues to listen.

One of the most important aspects of organizing a corporate team building trip is choosing proper activities that employees will get the most out of. Otherwise, there isn’t a point. Some teams may excel more with problem solving situations, such as survival exercises, while others may maximize their full potential through activities, such as scavenger hunts. Corporate travel planners should look into team building destinations that provide the best services and team building options.

Planning a Successful Trip

  • Rishikesh is a place that offers a huge variety of experiences. From being the yoga capital of the world, the abode of spirituality to the land of adventurous activities, it is the best place for corporate team outings. You can camp and learn survival skills, learn the importance of team work through river rafting, trek and organize drum circle jam sessions along with bonfire to strengthen the team bond. Besides, you can also take yoga and meditation sessions to completely rejuvenate yourself.
  • Ooty is a hill station which consists of tea plantations, vast meadows, waterfalls, lakes and mountains. It is also blessed with pleasant weather throughout the year. Whereas, Kodaikanal is also blessed with picturesque landscape. Trekking and Cycling in such a wonderful atmosphere are necessary to stay fit and refreshed. These activities will help your employees stay motivated and help them follow a healthy lifestyle.
  • Kerala provides you with breathtaking views and is the place where you will truly experience tranquility. There are numerous activities to do on a corporate outing in Kerala. Hiking or taking a bamboo rafting ride in Periyar, walking through cobbled streets of Kochi and losing yourself in the colonial times, cycling in Munnar and taking a tea garden tour are few of the activities to do. Besides, imagine conducting your business meetings in a houseboat on the backwaters of Alleppey. Kerala will mesmerize you and rejuvenate you like no other destination.
  • Coorg is the favorite getaway for corporates, as along with the lush greenery, it has lot of adventurous activities to offer. You can camp, do river rafting, trek, waterfall rappelling and organize drum circle jam sessions. All these activities will boost your morale and help you bond with your colleagues. These adventurous sports will also increase your feeling of excitement and keep you motivated to work efficiently.
  • Enjoy the nature’s beauty in one of the most exquisite places in India, Nainital. Here your employees can admire the wilderness, as Jim Corbett National Park is located here, which is India’s oldest and most prestigious national park. Wildlife Safari is an activity that will sharpen their observation skills and teach them to be patient. Moreover, this activity infuses in them respect for the natural habitat.

Cross-cultural Teaming

Speedy globalization has had a huge impact on work environments, employees and organizations, bringing them in proximity with clients and peers all over the world. This cross-cultural teaming can lead to organizational growth and development around the globe, resulting in an increased demand for a qualified, but diverse workforce.

Most organizations now have a cross-cultural workforce. As a result of this globalization technology has further accelerated cross-cultural teams to work together. Whether it’s on the phone or through video conferencing, getting people across the world in one meeting has become simpler than ever.

Benefits of Cross-Cultural Teaming

Having a varied global workforce can have many benefits:

  • It can motivate creativity and drive innovation because people of different cultures exchange views and produce out of the box ideas.
  • Having a cross-cultural team can give knowledge and insight of the local market which will elevate a business and give it that competitive edge, which eventually results in it becoming more profitable.
  • Finding candidates from a more varied talent pool also means that an organization can not only attract, but also retain the best talent. In a competitive job market, a business showing they are a multicultural company can make them stick out to the right contender.
  • Having direct meetings can avoid misunderstandings between team members and build more trust.
  • Furthermore, if a workplace is more diverse, the workforce will be more faithful because they feel respected for their differences.

The Challenges of Managing a Cross-Cultural Team

However, there are some challenges that arise with cross-cultural teams.

  • Language Barrier – Firstly, there’s the language and expression barrier. For some, English might not be their first language, and even though they speak it well, certain forms of expression may not be clearly understood and could lead to misinterpretation.
  • Work Style – No culture has the same work style. Some encourage individual thinking; some foster teamwork and others prefer the decisions to be made by the employer. These different styles could mean that some people come across extraordinary, while others flow into the background.
  • Information Gaps – Everybody should be on the same perception to stay on top of data and process flows. Every team member needs to have the right resources at the time needed for teamwork and completing their tasks. This specifically becomes a challenge with virtual cross-cultural teams. Having a common software with access to a shared database and making it possible to share files, online conversations, scheduling and jointly pursuing projects becomes very important. Effective means to share and access resources appropriately is a challenge.
  • Influences – It might be possible that a section of the team has a similar cultural identity. They may try to dominate the process and influence the entire team to move their way. This can result in needless tensions and a disturbing environment for other team members. Team and group elements can be a major concern in a cross-cultural team, leading to unnecessary group politics and conflicts within a team.
  • Motivation Factors – Normally, companies have a motivation and rewards system that is largely regulated by the norms and values of the company. It does not account for the different motivational factors of a cross-cultural team.

While there are many merits and demerits of a diverse workforce, it means that having knowledge of the best way for a business to manage cross-cultural teams has become more important than ever, to ensure that they make the best out of their team and have that competitive edge.

As globalization continues to rise, cross-cultural teaming will increase in organizations, making it more necessary to manage them properly. Maintaining a diverse workforce effectively will only benefit an organization. Most of the time understanding and accepting cultural differences is all that is needed to successfully manage a cross-cultural team.

How To Build Stronger Cross-cultural Teams?

We see more cross-cultural teams in today’s organizations. As the world becomes more and more universal, people are seeing a growing uniformity in lifestyles across borders, and cultures from all around the world are more revealing. This might lead to a misconception that we all think the same way, and therefore the challenges of working across cultures get depreciated. Spending some time at the onset of teamwork getting to know each other’s cultures is one way of dealing with this.

Strategies To Do It Effectively

A major concern in managing a cross-cultural team is to bring together all the distinct personalities. Since there are varied beliefs and styles of communication in force, cross-cultural teams are prone to conflict. There are simple ways to minimize this conflict and manage a cross-cultural team successfully. Steering a cross-cultural team in the right direction can lead to greater efficiency. Organizations are afraid to execute diversity with a fear that introducing people who may not agree with each other will hinder productivity. As opposed to this, having different types of people on the same team can help others look at problems wisely, while also being more innovative and comprehensive about their solutions.

Here are some tips to encourage cross-cultural working relationships:

  • Getting to Know Team Members – It is essential for the team leader to get acquainted with each team member. This will help them study individual skills and utilize the knowledge to help the group. Leaders can disclose specialized skills that can be advantageous to everyone and also understand the personality of the member at the same time.
  • Promote Open Communication – Every team member must be given a chance to express their opinions. An open communication line is necessary otherwise team members feel undervalued and dominated by either the management or the controlling members in the group.
  • Encourage Team Building Activities – When varied cultures are trying to come together in a team, organizations should make every effort to create opportunities for informal interactions. Happy hours, team trips, lunch and learning, birthday parties, etc. help employees to bond with each other regardless of their differences. Encourage team members to interact during their break time and through social events.
  • Listen Actively – Don’t let faulty beliefs and biases control your decision making. Biases can destroy trust and obstruct collaboration. Instead, a leader should try to understand why certain members of a team work differently. If you neglect the local cultures and needs that affect each team member, it can lead to unnecessary conflict. Listen to your team members, ask questions and develop the resilience to manage across different cultures and learn different ways to motivate groups with different thought processes.
  • Create a Structure for Success – When you have a cross-cultural team, you are sure to have different work styles. This doesn’t mean everybody should work according to their own routine. It is up to the leader to establish clear rules and help the members to follow them. When establishing the norms, try to execute practices from multiple cultures to create conformity.
  • Tackle Conflict Immediately – If a conflict appears regardless of your efforts, make sure to handle it promptly before it is too late. Understand different cultural perspectives and try to resolve the issues by taking the middle path. A leader should serve as a cultural link to connect different members of the team and bring harmony.
  • Create a Cross-Cultural Awareness Program – Awareness can include training in greetings, business amenities and dining customs. This will help to eradicate the tension and educate members on the prevailing cultural styles of other team members. Organizations will be able to create adaptable global teams and better relationships with customers worldwide.
  • Clearly Define Responsibility of Members – Having a shared goal and a common objective will give your team members a uniqueness that can bring them together and let each team member know that their contribution matters. Break down the common goal into actionable steps that depict each member’s role and responsibilities. This way, everyone will collaborate and work together without interfering in each other’s territory.
  • Build Great Rapport and Trust – Building work relations and trust cannot happen suddenly. Build an environment for collaboration slowly. Regard individual differences and understand them to build unity in a culturally diverse team.

The growth of cross-cultural teams might bring challenges, but it can be tackled successfully with sensibility and respect for other cultures. Having a cross-cultural team is the best opportunity to learn varied backgrounds, innovate new remedies and generate success. It’s time to contemplate cross-cultural teams as an asset and not a liability.

Team building tips in hospitality industry

Research shows that by working through the differences together at work, employees can build a more profound sense of mutual respect, trust and cooperation. Experts and researchers agree that regularly conducted team building activities can promote positive outcomes ranging from increased morale to increased profits. For specific context in hospitality industry, studies have examined the ability of teambuilding activities to impact turnover, a continuing problem which has impacted the hospitality industry.

As per research data, engaging and effective team building activities can help increase the rate of retention for hospitality employees. Although, ineffective team building activities can have the opposite effect of making the employees disinvested and alienated from the organization. Effective team-building activities have also been proven to improve communication, solidarity and cooperation among team members and managers. In the hospitality industry, these variables can foster interdependent, dynamic organizational culture and independent working environment

Encourage organization-wide participation

One of the mistakes which organizations make while forming teambuilding activities is focusing only on staff- level employees. However, in order to promote teambuilding experts, suggest that cross-level interaction of the employee base is required. Clear interest and support from upper level will support the kind of trust, connection and morale that are the goal of team building activities.

Introduce the lessons learned in the workplace

Before, during and after the exercise it is important to discuss the importance and meaning of having such teambuilding activities in the workplace. An open discussion period after the conclusion of the activity can help employees learn what they have learnt, and periodic follow-ups can reiterate the learning from the activity.

Getting the most out of team building activities

A major inadequacy of team building activities is the failure to link it to everyday work, concern or challenges which occur in an organization. In order to maximize the return on effort, time and resources that are invested in team building activities, it is important to make tacit connection between real world challenges and the learning exercises.

Merrymaking with a mission

Several notable studies have linked ongoing team building activities with improvement in cooperation, team functioning, communication as well as increased retention. The team building activities should always be aligned to the mission and goals of the organization as it would help the employees to be clear in their daily work routine also.

Develop long-term team building program

Sometimes, single, stand-alone team building activities can be enough to bring refreshment to the employees. However, the best results are gained through extended team-building activities. The incremental build-up of lessons learned through teambuilding over a sustained period is most likely to promote longstanding change in the organization.

Hospitality organizations now-a-days are focusing more on performing such engaging team-building activities for their employees which are connected to their work. If there is teamwork any kind of critical situation can be solved by discussing it among the team members. There are many types of team structure such as horizontal, vertical and virtual team structure. Different teams should be engaged in different teambuilding activities as per their work.

Team Building Training for Supervisors

Team building is a process of making a team cohesive. The main objective is to turn a group of individuals contributing to project to a team which work together and help each other to achieve the goal. A team is a group of individuals who work together to achieve the target.

The natural form of team building is the daily interaction between employees. Groups should take some time out and work with each other, know each other, and support each other in their tasks. It is important that employees are bonded and form teams. Teams achieve targets efficiently and effectively than non-bonded group. Teams communicate well and solve problems together. This fastens the process of achieving the targets.

People who work together feel as a part of the organization and are motivated to put their efforts towards achieving the goal. This also increases the confidence of people and build leadership qualities. Working in teams built the trust among team members which is very important. Working in teams also improves the problem-solving skills of team members. When people work together, they face a lot of challenges while completing the task. This motivates people to overcome challenge and build problem-solving skills.

Moreover, working in teams gives people a sense of responsibility. As each person has to contribute to the team, each person feels responsible and completes the task on time so that the functioning of other team members doesn’t get affected.

Team building training for supervisors will help them to learn to share the vision behind any task to employees and team members. It will help supervisors to drive meaningful collaboration in the team. Supervisors who are skilled at team building will motivate team members to improve their performance and achieve the targets within time. Overall, team building training for supervisors help them to build high-performing teams which work together to achieve targets within the set time.

The training should focus on defining the critical factors which are required to build high-performing teams. Supervisors will also learn about the positive behaviours that team members should adopt to work together efficiently.

Training will also enable supervisors to learn the metric that will measure the performance of the team. It can include factors like achieving goal on time, collaborating with team members, problem-solving skills, coming up with innovative ideas to solve problems, etc. The session will also focus on the potential obstacles that can sabotage the performance of teams. Understanding the obstacles and solving it would be a crucial responsibility for supervisors. Obstacles can be different personalities of team members, different objectives and goals, difficulty in adjusting with other team members, etc. Supervisors have to understand the root of the issue and provide solution accordingly in order to keep the team cohesive.

Team building training will also enable supervisors to motivate team members and give direction to them at regular intervals. Continuous feedback from supervisor will help the team members to get clarity about the overall objective and their performance. Constructive feedback will help them to build upon their strengths and work on their weaknesses also.

Hence, team building training for supervisors will help to build productive teams.

Team building tips for employees

A team is a group of individuals that work collaboratively to achieve a common purpose or goal. Team building is a process of developing individual contributors into a cohesive team. Good teamwork has proven to significantly improve productivity, reduce intrateam conflict, creativity, innovation and gives members of the team an opportunity to network, perceive other’s styles, preferences. All these factors result in strengthening employee commitment and greater returns on investment for the organization.

The following are a few fundamental team building tips for employees:

1) Make Team Building a Part of Culture

Teamwork and team building practices must be made a part of the organizational culture by tying it into the practices, norms and policies in the company. This ensures that all teams in the given organization place teamwork at high priority and prevents subcultures of bad teamwork from taking root in the workplace. The success of this strategy adds to the company’s brand equity and can be used during hiring.

2) Set Clear Goals and Clarify Context

The manager or leader must guide the team in understanding the roles and set specific short term and long terms goals at the start of any project. Setting the context and having clarity is also essential to promote collaboration and prevent role ambiguity.

3) Leadership

The team leader or manager bears the responsibility of guiding the team building process which does not only include team building trainings that can be coordinates with the HR or external consultants, but also continuously establishing norms and monitoring the progress of the team in terms of cohesion.

4) Maintain Team Charter

The team must collaborate to establish short term goals, deadlines and discuss dependencies on other team members. This is possible only when the roles are clearly communicated by the leader while taking into consideration each member’s strengths and preferences.

5) Communication and Networking

Effective communication amongst the team members and with the leaders and supervisors is essential to the functioning of any team. It aids the achievement of goals while also helping the members establish a good professional network.

6) Collaboration and Interdependency

Effective communication in a team goes hand in hand with collaboration and ensures that tasks that have interdependency between team members will be completed without glitch due to unnecessary conflicts. The three concepts form a triad that form the foundation of good teamwork.

7) Psychological Safety

When the vision is shared within a team, goals are set, and the tasks are divided, each member of the team holds a share of responsibility within the project. The team must establish a culture of shared responsibility that promotes learning and innovation where individuals are not opposed to taking calculated risks and are not held solely responsible or reprimanded for the same. This level of teamwork is especially of high priority for high performing teams.

Promoting teamwork and team building in an organization empowers its teams and employees to function at an optimal level. This promotes creativity, collaboration and innovation that allow any organization to progress and keep their competitive edge in the industry while surpassing competitors. Imbibing team building into the organizational culture will result in continuous growth and guarantee a good return on investment.

Team building process in Organizational Development

Team building is the process of transforming group of individuals into a cohesive team. A group of people working together to accomplish organizational goals and objectives. Team building helps a work group to collaboratively work in accomplishing individual and team tasks.

Team building is one of most widely used and reliable group development activities for all the organizations. The aim is to help individuals and teams work more effectively and efficiently together while building stronger relationships between the team members. There is a long way for team development and in the initial days it has been seen that the team is unclear about its objectives and roles, low morale and motivation can discourage group which can lead to low commitment and conflicts within the team. Here is when team building plays an important role.

The team building process can be helpful in organizational development by grouping people together with common skills and providing them with a common goal. The most important fact that an organization must know regarding team effectiveness is that members should have a clear and concise knowledge of the tasks and duties they need to perform as an individual as well as a team member to increase team productivity.

In fact, it has been seen that 80% of the success of a team is due to team building and cohesive team relations and around 20% is due to knowing what needs to be done as a process. Therefore, the aim to achieve organizational goals and objectives developed the need for carrying out team building activities. One of the most powerful reasons for the team building intervention is to improve collaboration, cooperation and innovation.

Team building is not a one-time act. It is a step-by-step process which aims at bringing a desirable change in the organization. Here are the team building steps-

  • Establish effective and transparent leadership for the team
  • Find out the purpose of the work to be performed by the team, required skills for the job and other requirements before forming a team
  • Develop a Team of Individuals and make them aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • Establish the rules and communicate them within the team in a clear and concise manner
  • Conduct team related exercises to bring out the strengths of the individuals. Familiarize them with teams’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Take necessary steps to improve communication, cooperation and trust amongst the team and to reduce conflicts if any
  • Next step is to monitor the productivity and performance of the team as a whole and hold purposeful meetings from time to time
  • Discuss team performance, task-related problems and discuss the future course of action with individuals and with the teams.

As this process unfolds, team members will begin to trust and support one another in order to effectively achieve organisation’s goal. By making proper use of team building experience, we can help team to build ownership for the goals as well as commitment to the success of the team. It will motivate the team members and will build stronger working relationships within the team and organization. The overall outcome is team’s creativity, motivation and enthusiasm which will eventually increase the productivity of all the individuals. Thus, increasing the productivity of the organization.

Team building games for energized fun learning

According to Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”, simple words but with a lot of weight. Team building is the process of bringing together every team member and turning them in a cohesive group. This would help them to work cooperatively and collaboratively to meet self, team and organization’s goals. Teamwork has always been the center attention as far as employee-focused initiatives are concerned and its ability to bring in workplace happiness has been non-debatable. Various benefits can be derived from corporate team building activities as it involves games and tasks designed to build behavioral competency.

Corporate Team Building events are more fun, as compared to instructor led sessions. In any team building session the facilitator poses a challenge to the team to achieve a goal, without explaining how to do that. Participants must work together and communicate effectively as a team to reach out to a solution. The learning happens with experience succeeded by reflection, discussion, analysis and evaluation of experience. Team building activities help the participants to discover their inner strengths and how to relate that to their workplace. It also allows them to learn soft skills required and in turn brings out their natural leadership style.

Team-building benefits including the following:

  • Enables motivated and collaborative team members, as this is a move towards bringing individuals together
  • Helps in quick problem solving and decision-making process as large number of heads contribute in it
  • Assists in creativity and unconventional thinking as employees are moved away from their usual workplace, which refreshes them
  • Enhances productivity by discovering and eliminating hindrances and improving current ways of working
  • Boosts morale of employee, as they feel organization and co-workers are interested in knowing and developing them.

After completing team-building activities together, employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. Below are some interesting team-building activities for energized learning:

  1. Team building kits. This is an enticing game where you mix an escape room, a movie and team building together to bond fun with teamwork productivity. In a group of 3-5 members, teammates try to solve a case with the help of clues and documents. They need to work together and develop theories to solve the mystery. It eases coworker bonding while focusing on communication and trust.
  2. Scavenger hunt. This team-building activity never fall and motivates teams to connect creatively. Divide the group in two or three teams depending upon the number of participants. Make and provide them a list of items to find or do within a deadline. The first team which finishes it, wins. This activity can be made more fun by including riddles, twists, etc. to lead their way to final rounds. This activity is popular to promote teamwork and creativity.
  3. Who am I? Teamwork is often hindered by stereotypes. This activity will help to break groups’ preconceptions. Make name tags for different kinds of people like, “Go-Getter”, “Sincere”, “Cooperative”, etc. Place these tags on the back of the person so that they can’t see it, but others can. For a time, let the group mingle and ask each person to guess what their label is by the way other persons are behaving with them. As each team member figures out what they are, they can exit and let the rest continue with the game.
  4. Photo-shoot. This is a great activity to promote teamwork and task distribution, thereby mixing learning and fun together. Split the group into teams of 4-5 members, ensuring all the members have camera phones with them. Make up a list of objects/situations/ things/people that they need to capture as a team. Depending on the difficulty level, assign them different points for different things. Ask them to meet back after a specific time limit.

Try testing and find out the best activity that works out for you. The activity that you choose depends upon the number of participants, your purpose and preparation time. Combine fun-activity with learning to derive the best results.

Top team building trends

The main purpose of team building is to improve interpersonal relations among coworkers, both for their well-being and for the productivity of the organization. And it is no secret that the skill set needed by the employees and leaders is rapidly changing. Each year crunch numbers, and customer data are analyzed, and industry indicators are reviewed to predict the trends in team building, training and development and coaching. These trends can help to identify how your organization should function accordingly to be updated with the trends. The following are the trends which can be expected.

Trend #1: Integration of corporate messaging

Throughout last year, many organizations have been vigilant about their budgets. Companies have been focusing on team building which can be tangibly tied as business benefit. Therefore, organizations have been conducting a lot of teams building activities in order to introduce and integrate corporate messaging. These activities include sessions centered around company core values, product expansions and launches and integration of the company’s future vision.

Trend #2: Team building focused on business simulations

In the past, it was observed that organizations, departments and teams focused more on fun team building activities. Recently, it has shifted to team building activities on analytics. This has been done to check the effectiveness of the activities they spend on as this way they would be able to assign results to the activities they spend time on. As a result, as more scrutiny is placed on budgets, it is expected to see a shift in purely fun based team building activities to those that have quantifiable business outcomes. For instance, it has been noted that employees are now more involved in simulation activities so they can think more out of silos. The organizations should also keep in mind that the pendulum does not swing too far towards all business and no fun in team building activities.

Trend #3: Increased focus on accommodating remote employees

Remote employment has increased in recent years which has offered big cost and culture benefits to the organizations. Property cost has increased, which has made office space less affordable and technology has become increasingly accessible. And with remote employees growing significantly in the organizations, it is expected to see team building activities to accommodate them. However, off-site employees create new challenges for the organizations. This makes it more difficult to build individual relationships as employees do not see each other in person. So, team building activities should be such that remote employees are integrated directly in the team building activities rather than peripherally.

Companies investing directly in team building activities will help improve your engagement with the employees, calm conflicts, develop trust and facilitate better teamwork in the office. Team-building activities are win-win for everybody. Your team feels appreciated, they get more comfortable with each other, they enjoy a refreshing experience outside of their workplace and their engagement levels rise which increases workplace efficiency.

Team building benefits and productivity

As per Vince Lombardi, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a civilization work, a society work, an organization work, a teamwork.”

The success and future of an organization can be defined by its ability to build productive and effective teams. Many organizations are now investing their time and money, not because everyone else is doing it, but because it is a win-win situation for both employee and employer.

Increased Productivity

Team-building’s benefits are long-term. It gives away a clear message that you, the employer, are prepared to invest in your workers just as their success, which makes them more enthusiastic, increasing productivity– the primary objective of team building. Before we get the opportunity to understand team building advantages and profitability, we should dig into what productivity involves.

What is Productivity?

Productivity is the quality and quantity of work completed in a certain period of time. To be productive, any individual in a company must be motivated. Motivation does not just involve the money they receive rather it goes beyond that. The paycheck is very short-term when used as a motivating force. A better method of ensuring productivity is through team-building programs.

How does team building increase productivity?

Unveils hidden potential

Team building activities allow employees to better understand and utilize their talents. When team members get involved in such team building activities they coordinate better at their workplace. The employees learn that diversity is a resource, if utilized well, it can give great results. Once the potential of team members is unleashed, they become more confident in each other’s abilities.

Allows for development of team roles

Every team member has a role to play which they are best suited for. Team building helps to better identify these roles, so that each member knows what they are good at and develop that talent. Through this, each member performs the tasks they are good at, while working towards the common, ultimate goal.

Mutual support

Team members depend on each other to achieve a common goal. They help each other, motivate and support one another to accomplish set objectives. A productive working environment would require support and involvement from all its members. Not doing that disturbs the cohesiveness of the team, which in turn, reduces productivity.

Better working relationships

Since team members work towards achieving a shared goal as a team, it is hence easier for them to create better working relationships in their workplace. Every team member is involved in activities wherein they have some knowledge about the task assigned. It calls for collaboration as they work together, creating a positive environment where colleagues can form healthier and positive work relationships.

Team building events can be a powerful tool, nurturing strengths, improving motivation, developing trust and collaboration and addressing weaknesses. However, without clear objectives & aims, a real purpose and proper planning, they would not have the real impact that they should. Team building activities and outings should not be seen just as fun activities, employees should try to make the most out of this opportunity to enhance productivity.

Team Building Advantages and Disadvantages

When a set of people sharing the same set of ideologies, opinions come together, it is termed as a team and any activity undertaken that causes people to come together and creates a harmonious environment of high spirits and motivation is team building. Team building can be in the form of outbound. By engaging in activities like these, employees are expected to increase their motivation level. Teams do not just begin to outperform the others; companies need to invest proportionally in them.

Here are a few reasons why team building is necessary-

  1. Serves a platform for networking – Socializing and making friends at work are the best ways to encourage workplace productivity. It not only improves the overall morale of the organization, but also helps in ensuring their day-to-day tasks are completed. Fun get-togethers and team lunches are still a great way for work buddies to bond.
  2. Encourages teamwork and boosts team performance – The more the team is engaged in activities, the more comfortable they are working with each other. On days where a complex project has been assigned to a team, team disputes due to lack of understanding of each’s working style are the last thing that the team would want to get involved in.
  3. Celebrates team spirit, fun and motivation – Engaging your team in a playful manner would help raise the team spirit and would motivate them to win more each time. They challenge each other to be the best version of themselves.
  4. Fosters innovation and creativity – Teams that work closely with each other, can think out of the box. The reason being that the people in the team are all well versed with each other’s thinking and people think differently when they are amongst a set of familiar people. Workplace collaboration is the key to continuing business.

However always getting involved in a team building activity may –

  1. Develop conflicts – Often there are cases where the team does not mingle too much, thereby resulting in clashes of opinion and conflicts. This reduces the productivity levels throughout.
  2. Unproductive Team Members – There are a lot of times when the freeload team members begin to do social loafing. This creates undue pressure on the team who are working and getting things out of the door.
  3. Individual contribution not looked at – In a team setting, since all the members are working together to achieve a goal, the result is given away to the entire team instead of recognizing individual contribution. This can dismay in the minds of the performers.
  4. Involves Cost – The entire process of planning and executing a team building activity involves resources, money and time investment. If there is a deficit in any of it, the purpose gets defeated.

However, a well strategized team building activity can do wonders for a team. It will pull up the morale and motivation level of a team so high that a minor bottleneck will not affect its cohesion. It is of utmost importance to know that while individual performance must not be ignored however it is team efforts that help a company to win laurels.

SUCCESSFUL TEAM BUILDING USING DiSC PROFILES

Successful Team Building Using DiSC Profiles

Have you ever wondered why is it that some teams work so effectively and smoothly together, while there are others where there is a lot of internal conflict?  While there are several reasons behind this, but one of the most significant factors is the interaction of different styles that takes place within the team. Using DISC it becomes relatively easier to highlight probable problem areas and suggesting means of resolving these issues. In other words, DISC  can be used a powerful predictor for team effectiveness.

Team Building Activities

  1. Teamwork Using DISC Styles

For the purpose of this activity, you need to divide your team by styles. In case you have one huge group, you may further divide it into one of the eight DISC styles. For instance, if you have a group full of Ds, then you may ask some of them to move into a D, DC, or Di group.

Here are the questions:

  • Whenever you are placed in a new team, what is your immediate reaction?
  • When you are being told that you need to lead a group going forward, what is your immediate reaction?
  • How easy do you think it is for you to share your personal details with the members of your team?
  • What is it that makes it relatively easier for you to accept your mistakes or weaknesses with your team?
  • How do you usually deal with a conflict within your group?
  • How do you usually deal with conflict in a group where you are the leader?
  • How do you usually celebrate team success?
  • Do you usually speak up in case you disagree with a certain opinion within a group?
  • When you are in disagreement with a team member or a team, how do you express yourself?
  • How do you usually respond to brainstorming sessions in a group?
  • What is your preference in terms of receiving positive feedback?
  • What is your preference in terms of receiving negative feedback?
  • When a member of your team misses a deadline, how do you typically react or respond to it?

After the group has answered a few of these questions, you can have them add a couple of answers to their Everything DISC Workplace Style Guides.

  1. Role Playing

The participants of this exercise should be aware of their own styles and they need to have an understanding of the traits of all the styles. The participants should select a style different from their own style for the purpose of role playing. Instruct each participant to wear labels displaying the style that they are playing, as it is helpful for observers. Encourage the participants to go over the top while acting. The pairs who are doing the role playing are allowed to pick from one of the below scenarios. You can also create your own scenarios to reflect realistically the group with which you are working. This activity is best done in groups under five participants.

Here are a couple of scenarios:

  • A sales executive is trying to sell a car to a first-time new car buyer.
  • A manager who is stressed is trying to motivate a disengaged employee to finish some assignment.
  • A team leader is trying to hold a regular late comer accountable to get to meetings on time and to come prepared for the meetings.
  • Team members in disagreement on the budget allotted for a technology upgrade.
  • A team leader is trying to get a team member to join a committee.
  • A group of friends trying to convince one another to watch a certain movie or a favorite TV show.
  • Your team has experienced a major setback owing to another team member failing to share the information that he or she had. Nobody is aware as to why the information was not shared. One of the participants wishes to engage in a gossip or to criticise the other team member. One of the team members has been asked to assist the team leader to prevent this type of negative ‘in hall’ discussion.

DISC is not about enclosing anyone in a box, but it is about paying attention to the preferences and needs of others. It is all about how you adapt to one style to make communication more satisfying and productive within a team.

Effective Team Building: Work together for Success

Most organizations are recognizing the importance of team building and are trying to encourage it in the workplace. However, building effective teams requires more than just a commitment to teamwork; it requires input from managers to grow it. After completing team building activities together, employees better understand each other’s interests, merits and demerits. This way they work even better together on future progress, which is important to a company.

  • Better Communication – Tasks that encourage discussion led to open communication among employees, and between employees and management. This can improve work relationships and also the quality of work done.
  • Employee Motivation – There is a close connection between team leadership and team building. Employees become more confident if they are able to express their opinions. This will motivate them to take on new challenges.
  • Promotes Creativity – Taking a team for outdoor activities and exposing them to new experiences will help them to think beyond their normal routine. Working together with other team members can light creativity and fresh ideas, which are great qualities to bring back to the office.
  • Develops Problem-Solving Skills – Team building activities that require coworkers to work together to solve problems can improve the ability to think wisely and strategically. Teams that are able to figure out a problem and know how to deal with it, can then effectively take charge when a real problem occurs.
  • Breaks the Barrier – Team building helps increase trust. Usually in organizations there is a gap between the leaders and employees. Team building exercises give leadership the chance to act as a colleague with their employees, then a boss, which helps to boost employee morale.

Team Building Activities

Team building is about understanding, appreciating, and developing the people in your team. There are several benefits that any organization will attain by undertaking team building activities. These events will reinforce the value of having fun in the workplace, thus leading to significant results. These activities also provide the opportunity to learn about each other and grow respect for each other in a fun environment. Participating in team building exercises in a comfortable situation will help to develop confidence in yourself and others.

Through the tasks and exercises in a team building program, participants will learn more about each other which will contribute to a deeper relationship between them. These activities can also help to reinforce the values and vision of a company and can contribute to the overall organizational culture. Team building programs can lead to stronger results.

No matter how you look at it, team building is extremely important to incorporate into any business or organization. Team building in the workplace helps in encouraging better communication and good relationships and thus increases output. Team building is a term used for different types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams, usually involving collaborative tasks. It is one of the most widely used development activities in organizations. It could actually prove a difference.

Enhance Team Building

Team building is a continuous process that a manager needs to guide and encourage. As this process moves further, the team members begin to trust and help each other and share their skills so as to complete the organization’s goals more effectively. One of the things that leaders often think about is the performance and relationships of their team. Effective teams will almost always surpass people working individually, especially in intense situations or when several skillsets are needed. Without team building skills, the productivity of employees is restricted, whereas encouraging team building can unite your team around a common goal, which will eventually raise productivity.

Team building involves several activities, meant for improving team performance. Its purpose is to bring out the best in a team to ensure progress, positive communication and being able to work together as a team to solve problems. This article is an attempt to outline the challenges and to give a glimpse of what can be achieved through teamwork.

Building a Productive and Effective Team

Building a high-performance team includes not just gathering a group of talented individuals, but also uniting its members with the same vision and being inspired to bring that vision to life. Each employee must share clear goals, and play their part in the overall success of the team.

  • Establish leadership – If your employees trust your decision, they will work effectively even when you’re not around. You need to develop the right kind of leadership skills, before you start team building. Try to foster trust through honesty and clarity.
  • Building Relationships with Employees – Try to learn more about each member of your team, their skill sets, their likes and dislikes, their motivations. This helps leaders to utilize each employee’s expertise and skills to specific problems, which will help increase their productivity and job satisfaction. Whenever possible, include your employees in the decision-making process. Give your team flexible projects and allow them to determine the best solution. This will encourage them to develop problem solving skills.
  • Build Relationships Between Employees – See employees begin to work together, take steps to improve communication and trust. If there are any conflicts, try to resolve them in a friendly manner. One way to do this is to devise solutions which help to empower your employees and may lead to new solutions to the problem.
  • Foster Teamwork – Help your employees work together effectively and encourage them to share information. Hold meetings which include suggestions and concerns. Keep a record of each team member’s work and offer help where necessary. Communicate with your team in a clear and honest way to encourage team building.
  • Set Ground Rules for the Team – You can establish your team through creating goals, as well as evaluating their performance alongside individual performance. Make sure to include your team in this process, so they know what’s needed and they agree with it.
  • Define the Purpose – Define the purpose of the team, clearly. Also mention the goal to be achieved together and each person’s role in the team. When the team members face challenges, guide and give them directions.
  • Assemble the Team – High performance teams have individuals who willingly embrace the vision, believe their contribution is worth it and are motivated to give their best effort. All team members should trust, respect and support each other. Select those with equivalent skills and abilities, who can bring a wide range of ideas to the table. Achieving a good balance of personality types will help the group to work together but also challenge each other when needed.
  • Determine the Goals – Once the team is made and united behind a shared, appealing purpose, the next step is to break the vision down into smaller, manageable goals. Decide the role to be played by each member. Be sure to also consider other resources needed in terms of time, materials, space, support and money.
  • Set Expectations – Each member should be aware of what is expected of him. Setting clear standards at the very beginning will ensure that each member’s conduct and contributions are proper.
  • Monitor and Review – Regularly reviewing and monitoring the group’s performance through team meetings ensures that progress is being made. This allows for adjustments and improvements to be incorporated along the way.
  • Celebrate and Reward – Recognize, reward and celebrate both team and individual performance on a regular basis. This will help to build morale and motivate the group to continue their hard work. Find the most appropriate way to celebrate team milestones to continue their positive contribution to the team’s progress.