If the first thing that comes to your mind when I say team building is Michael Scott and his hilarious, awkward leadership principles, you’re not the only one. Still, in real life, his vision of engaging his employees and building a cohesive team simply doesn’t work.
Team building is an incredibly important aspect of your workplace management, as it helps you build a unique corporate culture and nurture stronger workplace relationships. As such, it needs to be taken seriously.
Here is why investing heavily in team building always pays off.
Boosting Employee Retention
Saying that employee happiness is the major investment for every business may sound like a cliché, but it’s actually true. Namely, statistics show that losing an employee can cost you up to 2x the employee’s annual salary. These expenses include the lack of the overall workplace productivity, higher error rates, as well as the process of hiring, onboarding, and training a new employee. Not to mention the cultural impact, as new employees need more time to adapt their habits to your corporate culture and goals. Given these facts, it’s not surprising that employee retention should be your priority.
And, this is where team building helps, since the relationships with a boss and the rest of the staff can significantly impact your employees’ satisfaction. Sometimes, even simple team building activities such as taking your staff to lunch or exploring a hot tourist destination as a team may fortify their relationships.
Improving Collaboration among Team Members
Yep, we’ve all been there. Once a project starts, there is always one person that takes the lead, not letting others express their ideas and opinions. Over time, your employees will lose motivation to participate in the project whatsoever. Obviously, as a leader, you need to prevent that by inspiring your staff members to rely on their team. And, that’s where team building shines.
Namely, there are numerous activities that require your employees to work together towards a common goal. For example, you could provide some fun classes for your employees or throw a team building game show, where your employees would work together towards achieving a particular goal. Just like Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
Handling Conflict Effectively
Conflicts among your employees are not necessarily a bad thing. If they remain within the boundaries of what we consider professional behavior, they may even leave room for some new, innovative solutions to certain workplace problems. On the other hand, negative conflict may hurt your employee performance and result in a much lower productivity. Team building activities will encourage your employees to express their opinions, accept their colleagues’ insights, and bring some fresh ideas to the table. For example, you could take your employees to lunch and motivate them to talk about various work-related questions. This is a great way to get them to know each other better and improve their communication.
One of the most common problems your employees face is the lack of confidence, not only in themselves, but in their coworkers as well. Some of them may be afraid to work in larger teams for two reasons. First, they’re worried about other team members’ abilities and professionalism. Second, they may be afraid that they’re not good enough for the team.
In either case, team building can significantly improve their morale and trust in the people around them. Different team building activities, from laser tag and the egg drop challenge to improv workshops allow them to see both themselves and their coworkers overcoming different obstacles. This will show them that being a part of a team of people with different skills, personalities, and roles is always more effective than resolving problems alone.
Understanding Other People’s Roles
Team building lets your workers step out of their common roles. During different team building games, the head of the sales team may become a receptionist, while an accountant can take on a managerial role for a few hours. Everything is possible. And, the beauty of such activities lies in the fact that your employees will now be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand the complexity and significance of their jobs. This will boost their appreciation of different roles within the company, enhance the mutual understanding among your team members, as well as reduce friction among them. Who knows, some of these exercises may even unveil some unexpected talents and new perspectives.
Over to You
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team,” Phil Jackson claims. Remember that every time you find yourself thinking that team building is not worth the investment.
As you could see in the previous examples, team building gives you the opportunity to encourage your teams’ collaboration, build trust among your employees, boost their self-confidence, and help them understand the importance of workplace diversity. Most importantly, you will manage to reduce employee turnover, build a unique corporate culture, boost workplace productivity and, of course, reduce your costs.