How Is Team Building Effective In The Criminal Justice Field

October 22, 2022

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of team-building programs for work settings. Companies have designed various courses to help employees connect and create strong working relationships. This is particularly important in fields that depend heavily on teamwork and communication like the health care field or the military!

Businesses now offer group activities such as goal-setting exercises, role-playing, and brainstorming sessions to promote collaboration and understanding. Some even organize retreats where groups meet away from the workplace to discuss things like career goals or ways to improve productivity.

These types of events are not only entertaining, but they also strengthen trust, unity, and cooperation among coworkers. They also facilitate open discussion, which can lead to better decisions and solutions. And because most people enjoy being with others, attending these events is usually a success.

Many employers use team building as a way to boost employee morale and keep them engaged at their job. It may even give them a chance to socialize and make new friends outside of work.

Be consistent

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

Consistency is one of the most important things to emphasize when doing team-building exercises or activities. Make sure that you do not make activity after activity, but instead keep it organized and structured so people know what to expect!

This will help prevent people from feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. If anything, people may feel inspired as they watch you work together and learn new skills.

Consistent team building can also create strong bonds among coworkers. People who participate in the same activity every week meet before the activity and then spend the rest of the time working together!

It’s easy to forget how to play an instrument at times, so why not organize a music-themed teambuilding event? Or maybe teach some basics of sewing at your next meeting.

Provide structure

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

A lot of team-building exercises look like fun activities that can be done at any time. Unfortunately, these are not effective unless they contribute to improving teamwork or creating trust within groups. Fun events cannot usually achieve either of those things.

Teambuilding is not a one-and-done event. It requires repeated interactions over an extended period. This makes it difficult for participants to focus on the exercise if it is only for a few hours.

Making teambuilding activities part of someone’s job means they will have to deal with them constantly. This may not work for some people because of personal commitments.

Providing consistent structure for teambuilders is important so they do not need to spend extra time figuring out what their next activity should be. Systems and procedures make sure everyone knows what to expect next.

Make it fun

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

A few years ago, I had the privilege of working with some very hardworking individuals at a non-profit organization. These professionals spent their days interacting with others to help them achieve their common goals.

At times, they would go beyond what was normally expected to have fun during workplace outings. Participants would organize teambuilding events such as hiking or bowling trips that were organized and paid for by the group.

But when I asked these people about the effect teamwork has on employee engagement and productivity, they mentioned something different – having fun is not enough. They said it must be more than just attending an event now and then.

Effective teamwork requires constant effort to stay engaged. It takes work to develop relationships and trust, and keeping up morale is a never-ending process.

So while going out for pizza is great, organizing a lunch date with someone else can be helpful too. Or planning a trip is nice, but investing time into this company so that everyone knows they are appreciated is better.

Hold team-building events

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

Team building can mean anything from attending an event that focuses on supporting others, to participating in an outdoor activity or sports tournament, to having lunch with your colleagues and talking about things that matter to you.

It’s not just for employers who want their workers to feel connected — it also works as a tool to boost employee engagement.

Studies show that when people work together, they enjoy working more than if they were isolated from one another. They may even talk more about what matters to them at work, which could help reduce stress.

At the same time, research suggests that teamwork is a key factor in success and productivity. For example, studies have linked group cohesion to higher job performance and lower turnover.

So why don’t we do this every day? It can be expensive to organize a team-building event, but there are ways to hold a free informal gathering without too much effort.

You can take some of the formal structures off the table and instead focus on creating conversations and connections. Doing so will probably inspire laughter, brainstorming ideas, and maybe even friendships.

Here are eight easy ways to invite members of your staff to join you for a chat or get-together during the week.

Enforce discipline

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

As discussed earlier, one of the main reasons why team building exercises fail is because they are too focused on having fun. Unfortunately, when organizers try to add some seriousness to the activity, people lose motivation.

This isn’t good when you need teamwork to accomplish an important goal. When participants don’t work together during the exercise, it sets back the effort to achieve that same level of efficiency in real life.

So, how can we make sure this doesn’t happen?

We should emphasize the importance of working as a unit instead of just enjoying ourselves. This will take more conscious effort, but I guarantee you’ll get the results you want.

Making sure everyone is on board with the plan makes it much easier to do so. Make sure each person knows their role and what needs to be done before the event to ensure success.

Enforcement of these roles and responsibilities is another way to boost engagement.

Help people be their authentic selves

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

One of the most important things that can help facilitate team building is helping individuals to learn about their true selves. What experiences you’ve had in your life, what lessons you have learned, and how you cope with stress are key components in this process.

People often pretend to be someone they are not for various reasons- perhaps because they do not feel like themselves or they fear being judged by others. By learning more about yourself, you will find out who you are and you will be able to apply these skills to other areas of your life.

By doing so, you will also feel happier due to knowing who you are. This will make it easier to connect with others as well.

Teambuilding exercises such as talking about why you enjoy watching certain sports or films, sharing stories, or exploring similarities are all great ways to achieve this.

Be honest and open

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

As mentioned before, team building is an integral part of any organization. If you want your teams to work effectively, and if you want people to trust each other, then they must be able to trust you as a leader.

You have to be straightforward with everyone and show that you are there for them- not only at work but outside of it as well. You need to earn their trust over time by being who you say you are and living what you preach.

This isn’t always easy when working in an industry like criminal justice where stigma and discrimination can make things difficult for some. But if you keep yourself focused on doing good work and helping others, I think you will find most people are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Teambuilding events in the criminal justice field should focus on having fun while educating individuals and groups about important issues such as diversity, equality, and health disparities.

Participants should feel comfortable speaking without fear of intimidation or retribution. This will go a long way toward promoting communication, teamwork, and trust within your departments and organizations.

Ask for feedback

how is team building effective in the criminal justice field

As mentioned before, one of the most important things to do as a leader is to ask for feedback. Not only should you ask your direct reports how their job function has improved or declined since you last spoke with them, but also colleagues and superiors.

Ask about everything — from what they like about their job to whether any areas feel more than justifiable- it will help you understand your organization and yourself better.

By asking around, you’ll get a much broader picture and can make informed decisions accordingly.

Never hesitate to give constructive criticism! It's your department, so share your ideas however appropriate. If something doesn't work, try to fix it -- offering alternatives and ways to improve is very motivating.

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