Many times, when employees hear the term Team Building they shudder with fear, envisioning horrible ice-breakers and forced, awkward interaction. However, “despite its reputation for being, well, lame,” says O2E Brands founder and CEO Brian Scudamore, “team building is the most important investment you can make for your people.”
The WHY of Team Building
“Clearly, building meaningful relationships in the office can have a positive impact on job satisfaction and, as a result, success,” says Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany.
This is where team building comes into play. Team building “builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration,” says Scudamore. “Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.”
Trust 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.
Trust is essential to an effective relationship, an effective team, and an effective business. Scottish author and poet George MacDonald once said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” For a company or organization to perform well, the members must have confidence in each other; they must trust each other. Unfortunately, you can’t force people to trust one another. That is just not how trust works. But you can put people in situations where they will learn to trust each other. This is where team building and the challenge course can help.
One way to build trust amongst your team is to put your employees in situations that get them out of their comfort zone and encourage them to interact with their coworkers. Team building can help break down barriers and get your employees to start trusting one another by putting them in situations that promote problem solving and communication in order to achieve a specific goal. This will help improve teamwork and cohesiveness, and ultimately build trust.
“Conflict arises from the clash of perceptions, goals, or values in an arena where people care about the outcome,” says researcher Tony Alessandra.
Every group – every team – goes through some form of conflict as some point. It is part of the Five Stages of Team Development, known here as “Storming,” and most often occurs when a team is first formed or during the early stages of a new project as team members have different opinions and compete with one another for status and for acceptance of their ideas.
“As a team leader, one must realize the paradox that surrounds conflict,” says researcher Erich Brockmann. “The team needs to embrace conflict as a means of generating and evaluating ideas. While at the same time, it must shy away from it to prevent anger, frustration, or alienation. The biggest challenge for the team leader is figuring out how to balance these two forces”
Through a series of exciting and carefully designed Corporate Team Building activities, your group will find better, more effective ways to communicate and work with one another in a respectful and meaningful way.
According to Talent Management, 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration for workplace failures.
“The general consensus of the executives was that effective communication skills are more important now than ever before for business success,” say researchers James Bennet and Robert Olney, “and these skills will continue to be a critical component of the information society.” In 2009, Watson Wyatt , Inc., a global consulting firm, reported that companies which communicated effectively had a 47% higher return to shareholders between 2004 and 2009. In this report, the Watson Wyatt noted that “Effective internal communications can keep employees engaged in the business and help companies retain key talent, provide consistent value to customers, and deliver superior financial performance to shareholders.”
Working together on the challenge course, 30 feet in the air, is a great way to test and further develop communication. Team building exercises like those done at Terrapin Adventures encourage participants to get out of their comfort zone and break through communication barriers. Our facilitators actively work to break down those artificial silos that people operate in, forging important improvements in working relationships. Then, after each exercise, participants go through a debriefing session, where the facilitator applies the lessons learned on the challenge course to the challenges of the workplace. This is also an excellent time for feedback, an important tool when trying to improve communication.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Collaboration as the ability “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” In other words, collaboration is teamwork.
According to the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a qualitative, ethnographic, global research study of collaboration at Cisco, an American multinational technology company, “Working together and having multifaceted perspectives trumps working alone and often leads to idea propagation.”
As one participant in the study put it, “Collaboration is the bundling of experiences. Sharing the expertise and being able to leverage the experience of many people gives you diversity, and different views. It sums up to more than if you do it on your own.”
According to the University of Oregon’s Holden Leadership Center, businesses should strive for open communication between employees and management – collaboration. However, collaboration does not always come naturally. Sometimes you, as a manager or employer, must urge your employees to work together.
In 1938, John Dewey wrote that “there is an intimate and necessary relation between the processes of actual experience and education.” What he was referring to is experiential learning. Humans learn better by doing. So instead of lecturing your employees on the value of collaboration, get out of the office and show them the benefits of teamwork. We’re talking about team building!
Employee Engagement & Company Culture
Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” And we couldn’t agree more. According to “18 Statistics About Company Culture You Can’t Afford To Ignore,”companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.
Sometimes the best way to improve your office morale is to get up and get out of the office. You can hold a happy hour, go bowling, take your employees out to dinner, or, if you want to enact real, positive change, you can consider team building.
The HOW of Team Building
Team building “can also be adventurous and enjoyable if you do it with a little pizzazz,” says Scudamore. “The most successful, memorable team-building events are ones that don’t feel like a day at the office.”
This is where Terrapin Adventures comes in. We are able to create a customized team building programs (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) to help better your business. Presented in a fun and creative way, our team building exercises challenge your group to step out of their comfort zones and break down communication barriers, which will, in turn, help promote teamwork and collaboration.
“Spending time together, sharing an experience or working towards a common goal allows bonding to happen more organically and far more effectively,” says Scudamore.
After each team building 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 help ensure that the progress made during your team building outing sticks.
Get in touch with a Guest Relations Specialist today and ask about how we can help you plan your team building event.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Scudamore, Brian. “Why Team Building Is The Most Important Investment You’ll Make.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 09 Mar. 2016. Web. 07 July 2017.
- Lavoie, Andre. “How to Build Meaningful Relationships in the Workplace.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 01 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
- “THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY IN TEAM SUCCESS.” Addocura. N.p., 4 Nov. 2015. Web.
- Glaze, Sean. “Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity.” Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity. Association for Talent Development, 30 July 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
- Bennett, J. C., and R. J. Olney. “Executive Priorities for Effective Communication in an Information Society.” Journal of Business Communication 23.2 (1986): 13-22. Web.
- Omuya, Jacqueline M., David M. Kungu, Leonard S. Mulongo, and Dedan O. Ong’anya. “Effects of Team Building on the Performance of Employees in Organizations towards the Realization of Millennium Development Goals: A Survey of Selected Banks in Eldoret Town.”International Journal of Current Research. Web.
- Phan, Jenny. “The Impact of Therapeutic Recreation through Ropes Courses and Teambuilding Activities.” Diss. 2011. Abstract. Print.
- “Building Great Work Relationships: Making Work Enjoyable and Productive.” From MindTools.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
- Garfinkle, Joel. “6 Strategies to Building a Stronger Team.” Garfinkle Executive Coaching. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.