What Is Team Building? Team building is essentially a philosophy for job design where employees are looked upon more as members of interdependent teams rather than as individual workers. It refers to an array of activities designed to bring about an improvement in team performance and applied in sports teams, schools, businesses and other non-profit and religious organisations. It can also refer to the process where a team may be built up from scratch.
Why Team Building? The reasons why organisations make use of team building activities may be varying. Some of the most commonly provided reasons are as follows:- Improvement of communication- Morale boost and motivation for the employees- Getting to know effective strategies from others- Improved productivity- Knowing about individual strengths and weaknesses.
Team building activities are largely used in businesses, big and small alike, for aiding teamwork at the workplace. One popular Australian team building activities companies is teambuildingactivitiesguide.com As most managers and business owners are sure to have found out, a company’s success is largely associated with how effectively the organisation can promote teamwork within itself.
Team building activities are mainly of four different types: Activities to build trust, planning activities and adapting, decision making and problem solving capabilities and activities that improve communication of the employees. The main idea is to enhance the teamwork skills of an employee to help him improve upon his productivity through various fun-filled and challenging activities.
Here we take a look at some of the most commonly followed team building activities that improve the productivity and performance of employees within an organisation.
- Two Truths and A Lie (15-20 minutes): Start by making the team members write two truths and a lie about themselves secretly on a piece of paper while not revealing anything that has been written down. Once this step is completed, have an open conversation akin to what is seen at a cocktail party and quiz each other on these three questions.
The main idea of the game is to convince others that what you think is a lie is actually the truth and guess the lies of others by questioning them. Never reveal the lies even if majority manage to figure it out. Once this conversation is over, gather around and repeat your three statements one by one and make others to vote on which they think is the lie. The game can be spiced up by adding a competitive edge to it where employees get points for catching the lies of others and trumping them with their own lies. This game is aimed at improving communication in the office while it allows you to know your coworkers better.
- Life Highlights Game (25-30 minutes): One of the best icebreaker activities, this game is ideal for both small as well as large groups. Start by asking the participants, one at a time to close their eyes and think of the best moment in their life for a minute. Such moment can be individual experiences or one shared with friends, family, a professional success, life adventure or simply any form of personal revelation. In the next round, narrow down the search and make them think of the thirty seconds in their lives that they would love to live again.
While the first bit is aimed at making participants reflect back on their individual life experiences, the second bit allows everyone to know their coworkers at a more intimate level through the review process where the activity leader asks each individual to explain the reason behind them choosing those particular thirty seconds. This makes for the perfect platform where people make revelations about their loves and interests.
- Classification Game (10-15 minutes): Another of the icebreaker activities, this is relatively much easier to partake in and less time consuming. Divide yourselves into four groups and explain to everyone the concept of finding stereotypes among themselves. The stereotype classifications should not be made on the basis of critical judgmental factors but purely on a subjective basis.
Ask the team members to introduce themselves within their respective groups and discuss their likes and dislikes. Further, tell them that it would be their responsibility to identify the subject based on which the classification should take place. Some subjective classifications may be pizza lovers and night owls. This activity allows participants to know their coworkers better while also enabling them to make a collective consideration of all team members.
- Picture Pieces Game (25-30 minutes): Such a problem solving activity calls for the leader to choose a well known cartoon or picture that is filled with details. This picture must be cut into as many number of pieces as there are participants and everyone be handed one of these cut-out pieces. Next the participants should be asked to recreate this piece of the puzzle at five times the original size, not knowing in which way their work is likely to affect the overall picture.
All forms of stationery materials may be provided by the leader in order to ease the work of the participants. Once completed, they must assemble the pieces into an enlarged version of the original on a table. The activity fosters teamwork and also allows the employees to understand divisionalised departmental working which is the realization that every person is responsible in their own way towards the achievement of a group result.
- The Great Egg Drop (2 hours): Messy, yet an engaging and classic activity for problem solving, this game has to be played by dividing the room into two groups. Each group is entrusted with the task of having to build an egg package capable of sustaining a drop from eight feet. The two teams should be provided with an assortment of tools and materials to choose from. Once the package is complete, teams must present an advert of half-a-minute stressing the importance of their package and how it is different from the others.
At the end of this presentation, the teams must drop the eggs using their respective packages to see if the arrangement really works. Apart from teaching team members to effectively communicate and work with one another, they are also brought together with the common aim of building a successful package and winning the game of egg drop.
A Risk at Team Building: One of the biggest risks involved in team building activities is of a person becoming cynical of the organisation. This is normally the case when an organisation holds such activities outside the ambit of its normal functional domain. It is also often suggested that team building leads to following of meaningful workplace ethics.
However, if the individuals feel that there is a lack of improvement arising out of the activities, they may consider all of it to be a waste of time. This offers a potential risk of loss of trust, demotivation among workers and decreased production out of the organisation.