How To Improve Team Building
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As we mentioned earlier, team building is an integral part of any successful organization.
Building trust among coworkers, promoting teamwork over individual success, creating solidarity in times of challenge—these are all important components when trying to improve communication at your workplace.
Teamwork can strengthen relationships between individuals, and help you achieve organizational goals more effectively. When working together as a unit, people will feel motivated and invested in the project or mission that they're jointly pursuing.
It's easy to motivate yourself, but how easily others around you can be inspired by you makes a big difference in achieving their potential. In turn, this can boost their self-confidence and motivation, which helps everyone work harder.
This article contains some simple strategies for improving group cohesion and productivity at work. To start off, have a chat with someone outside of work about what types of things contribute to strong teams. These could include anything from casual get-togethers to organized events.
The best time to do this is early in anyone's career so they don't feel overwhelmed by the concept. Then, implement these into routines or practices at work.
A team that works together, shares in each other’s joy, laughs loudly at the same jokes, and supports each other during times of struggle is a productive group.
Team members who enjoy spending time with one another are more likely to work hard because they want to be there next time you invite them!
Having fun as a team means doing things like watching your favorite sports game or movie, going out for drinks after work, or taking an outdoor activity such as hiking or swimming.
It can also mean celebrating someone’s birthday or achievement by giving them a gift or singing their (favorite song) praise.
Or just because you feel like it – you could take part in a funny joke or humorous anecdote and see how everyone smiles.
The point is to not only make others around you laugh but to make yourself happy so that you can pass this happiness onto those you care about.
Happy teams become a powerful force that elevates both individuals and the organization as a whole.
Make it clear what is expected
As mentioned before, team building exercises should be clear and understandable. If you are doing something that most people consider stupid or weird, then no one will really appreciate the effort you put into it.
Team building activities should focus on having fun while educating individuals about different concepts. For example, going down as an activity where two teams battle it out in a game can teach everyone about competition.
Having a lunch time meeting with your colleagues can show how departments work and which areas of the company they belong to. A trip outside of the office space can emphasize communication skills.
Any group activity can educate others about certain topics.
Make it clear what is allowed
As mentioned before, team building can be done at any time or place, so whatever group of people you choose to organize a session with not only need to agree, but they must want to go!
Making sure that everyone is onboard with this event depends mostly on how well you advertise it. If someone hears about an open meeting via word-of-mouth, then chances are they will show up. But if no one knows anything about it, then nobody will come.
That’s why it is important to make sure that your advertisement includes the rules, the location, and who is bringing what to share.
Make sure to also check out if anyone needs special accommodations like wheelchair accessibility or headphones for a specific movie or video chat program.
This way, there will be no surprises when attendees get into the event, which helps promote trust in the organization.
Create an environment that encourages openness
As mentioned before, team building is not about having fun with your coworkers, it is not a way to make friends with everyone, and it is definitely not a chance for you to show off how much money you have. Team building is actually designed to strengthen relationships and create trust among colleagues or even between departments or organizations.
That’s why most companies organize events like this every month, weekly, or even daily. The organizers know that these types of activities are good ways to promote teamwork, communication, and collaboration. They also hope that people will feel more connected to each other and the organization as a whole.
Teambuilding can be expensive, which is another reason to do them less frequently. However, there are several low cost (or free) strategies you can use to facilitate interaction and conversation. Some of these include:
Ask open-ended questions
Give false assurances
Invite guests who normally wouldn’t be invited
Do something unexpected
Discuss topics that matter to you
The best way to implement any one of these into an event depends on the audience and the setting, so check out our article on the top 10 group activity tips! You may also want to try mixing and matching ones from various sections.
We would recommend doing at least two things every time you do teambuilding. First, have a goal.
Make it clear who is responsible for things
As mentioned before, one of the biggest reasons why team effectiveness drops over time is because people do not feel that they are being allowed to succeed or fail independently. When someone else has final say on what tasks need to be done, how they should be completed, and if they succeeded in completing them, then there is less motivation to put effort into it.
As a manager, you must create an environment where individuals can try their best without worry about punishment or reward. This will only happen when you make sure everyone knows what responsibilities they have and give them enough resources to fulfill those duties.
Team members may feel overwhelmed at times, but this is totally normal. Just because something seems difficult does not mean that person cannot handle it. You as a leader must understand that not all jobs appeal to each individual’s personality and personal style.
Some people love going into a room full of strangers and trying to get to know everyone. While this is good for making friends, it could be hard to gather information due to lack of conversation.
Focus on team members as much as possible
As mentioned before, one of the main reasons why teamwork breaks down is because of lack of communication. When you are not making eye contact or telling people about decisions that need to be made, it can become very difficult to have honest conversations with others.
Team building should include having open discussions about things such as what projects individuals want to work on next, how well someone does their job, and if anyone needs help from another person or department, etc.
By doing this, your team will feel more connected and will spend time outside of work together after hours or at events.
Try new things
As mentioned before, team building can mean many different things to many different people. What’s important is that you are investing in their growth as individuals and professionals. If there’s something they’re not doing, try to teach them or get them to do it!
And if you’re looking to improve your own leadership skills, consider exploring other areas of teamwork and collaboration. There are so many ways to develop group dynamics and communication strategies — what works for you and someone else may be completely opposite.
That’s okay! We're all unique individuals with our own styles and approaches to achieving similar goals. By being open-minded about how others operate, you’ll find a lot more success in yourself and those around you.
Challenge your team members
Changing how you build relationships is not easy, but it must be done if you want to see true improvement. This can mean doing things like having an open conversation about what makes someone feel bad about themselves, offering help with duties that they have been avoiding, or asking them questions about things that seem strange to you.
It also means being direct about what people do that make you unhappy so that you can address those issues immediately. If there’s something that seems off about work, ask why it is and whether anyone has talked to them about it before.
Team building isn’t just for big conferences either – every day opportunities exist to challenge individuals and groups in productive ways. Having lunch or drinks with colleagues one week may be seen as ‘normal’ workplace socializing, but anything beyond that should be encouraged.
Making time outside of the office to chat could include going for coffee together, taking a walk or workout at the gym, coming back from a holiday early, or simply spending time watching a movie or playing a game together.