There’s an old saying that goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. However, this doesn’t quite tell the entire story when it comes to group outcomes.
Organizations are made up of people and, as such, are affected by individuals – both good and bad. A great employee can positively affect group outcomes, while a bad employee can hold a group back.
At this point, you may start thinking about another popular saying that goes, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Again, there is some truth to this statement, but it fails to capture just how organizations work. For example, a strong employee can pick up the slack for a weak employee. While certainly not ideal, this would still result in a favorable outcome, negating the weaker employee’s lack of contribution. This illustrates how individual actions can affect group outcomes.
If your employees are not working together, they are working against each other. This can hurt morale, impede productivity, and negatively impact profitability. Teamwork, meanwhile, can have the complete opposite effect, boosting morale, increasing productivity, and positively impacting profitability.
“The importance of teamwork is essential in today’s multidisciplinary world,” writes Shada Wehbe. “The need for effective teamwork is critical for any business.”
So, the question becomes how do you show your employees that their contributions matter – they aren’t just a cog in a giant corporate machine – and how do you make this work to your advantage for the betterment of your team?
The Answer is Play!
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth
If you’ve read our blog over the last few months, you know just how much we believe in the Power of Play – using fun and exciting activities to drive lasting change and improve business outcomes.
“Play has been found to speed up learning, enhance productivity and increase job satisfaction,” says Lynn Barnett, a professor of recreation, sports and tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is why we make sure all of our team building programs are infused with fun.
Play helps you “see problems in a new way,” write Lawrence Robinson; Melinda Smith, M.A.; Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.; and Jennifer Shubin. This is particularly true when it comes to group dynamics.
“Play and laughter perform an essential role in building strong, healthy relationships by bringing people closer together, creating a positive bond, and resolving conflict and disagreements,” write Robinson et al.
Team Building Activities That Emphasize Cooperation & Teamwork
“[Team building] offers teams the opportunity for growth, reflection, and potential ongoing learning,” write Stephanie Sibille and Paul Cummings, Adventure Park Insider.
There are several fun and creative ways to show just how an individual’s actions can directly impact group outcomes, and one of our favorites is Whale Watch. In this team building activity, the group must all climb aboard a teetering platform without letting the sides touch the ground. This requires tremendous amounts of teamwork, communication, and cooperation. As you can imagine, even the slightest wrong move can bring the group down – literally.
Another popular team building activity is the Lily Pad. In this, participants must work together to cross an imaginary water hazard. Participants must not lose contact with the “Lily Pads” so coordination between team members is critical. To get everyone across, the group must formulate a plan! Finally, one person’s actions affect others, so groups must communicate and collaborate throughout the exercise, as they negotiate the “Lily Pad.”
Schedule Your Corporate Team Building Program
Terrapin Adventures, conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington DC, is able to create a customized program to help improve trust, communication, engagement, collaboration, and problem solving. We can accommodate up to 200 people in a comfortable indoor setting or we can come to you! Indoor or outdoor, on-site or off.
After each exercise, your group will sit down with their facilitator to discuss the lessons behind each activity and how they translate to the business world. This discussion is designed to reinforce these lessons and ensures that the progress made during your team building outing lasts long after you leave us.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at email@example.com to learn more.