Nowadays, the term Team Building is thrown around more than a deflated football at a New England Patriots game. However, team building is more than just a buzzword. Team building is very important if you wish to extract the best out of your workforce. When used properly, it can be an effective tool that does exactly what its name implies. It helps build your team.
According to the Small Group Research journal paper “Does Team Building Work?” which analyzed 103 studies conducted between 1950 and 2007, team building can have measurable, positive effects on performance.
Building Effective Communication
“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”
- Rollo May
According to studies conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, communication is one of the most important factors of any successful team. In fact, they found that successful teams share several characteristics:
- Everyone on the team talks and listens equally. Remember, communication is a two-way street.
- Communications are kept short and sweet.
- Team members face one another and energetically communicate. Body language is important.
- Collaboration amongst the entire group is important, not just with the team leader.
- Side conversations are not a deterrent, but a propellant. The more communication the better.
- Team members actively search for helpful information and share this with the team.
While it may seem easy, effective office communication can take a bit of work. This is where Team Building comes into play. Through a series of unique and interactive activities, we will knock down communication barriers, allowing your staff to work efficiently and cohesively as a productive unit. Team building helps to foster better and open communication between employees themselves, as well as employees and management.
Building Trust Amongst Employees
“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
- George MacDonald
According to a Harvard study published in 2006, heart surgeon performance improved over time when they were able to consistently work with the same team – a team they trusted.
In order to build better communication, you must first establish trust. Open and honest communication requires trust, which is defined as a “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” In layman’s terms, trust is one person’s confidence in another.
Unfortunately, trust is not something that is easily gained in the confines of an office. And a team without trust really isn’t a team. Once again, this is where Team Building comes into play.
One way to build trust is to put your employees in situations where they are forced out of their comfort zone. This will help improve communication and cohesiveness, and ultimately build trust. Team building can help break down barriers and get your employees to start trusting one another by putting them in situations that encourage them to interact, problem solve, and share ideas in order to achieve a specific goal.
“Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.”
- Don Tapscott
So what do you get when you combine trust and open, honest communication? Collaboration! And collaboration is an excellent way to boost performance. Conversely, lack of collaboration can decrease productivity and hurt performance. According to Talent Management, 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration for workplace failures.
The trick is to work smarter, not harder, and team building is designed to do just that. Again, this is where Team Building comes into play. Presented in a fun and creative way, team building exercises help break down communication barriers and encourage collaboration amongst your employees – ALL of your employees.
Building a Happy Workplace
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”
- Audrey Hepburn
According to research from the American Psychological Association (APA), “almost all employees (93 percent) who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work.” Further supporting research from Bob Nelson, author of “1001 Ways to Recognize Employees,” found that the top two drivers of employee performance are:
- “I am able to make a difference at work.”
- “I have been recognized recently for what I do.”
So how do you show your employees that they matter? How do you show your employees that they make a difference? If you guessed Team Building, you are correct! According to the APA, team building activities can help employees feel valued, creating a happy and more productive workplace.
Building Your Custom Team Building Event
Conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures is able to create a customized program (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) to help improve communication, build trust, and better collaboration. Our Team Building Programs will help your group learn more about themselves and how to work better as a team. We service Maryland and Washington, D.C., and have traveled to other states as well.
Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%, according to “18 Statistics About Company Culture You Can’t Afford To Ignore.”
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventures at 301.725.1313, or email us at email@example.com to learn more.