When you hear the term “team building,” what comes to mind? A pep rally cheer like “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate”?
Yeah, us too. But team building is much more than just a catchy cheer that brings back memories of your high school gymnasium.
It’s the glue that makes for strong group cohesion. It’s what links flight crews to military units to a sports team – if you ever thought these three had no connection at all.
Our point is this: team building exercises might bring up notions of kumbaya and campfire songs. But there are plenty of team-building strategies that hold so much more power than just the sappy sentimental memory.
The benefits of team building activities
Team building skills are nowhere more crucial than in the workplace. After all, it aligns members’ focus on the same goals and helps them to better define success.
Increased productivity in the whole team
When it comes to ergonomics methods, team building is the perfect way to get all other team members involved with one another and on the same page. And that only reinforces team identity and team effectiveness.
Improved morale amongst team members
Effective team building naturally boosts morale, especially when the group’s ability to work together makes collaborative tasks seem like a piece of cake. Throw a positive attitude into the mix, and team building skills extend to enhanced mental health too!
Better interpersonal relations
Other members in the group will naturally get along better with each other as human factors cannot be denied. But even group development activities can bring folks closer together, helping to enhance social relations and build concrete relationships.
See Related: What To Do At Networking Events
Greater employee engagement
For remote teams who work individually, team building games are more important than ever. When teamwork skills become a core value of the work itself, employees will not only be more engaged with their own work, but will also establish the building blocks for effective working relationships.
Good teamwork improves your own goals
Teamwork skills might be focused on the collective. But even still, individual team members gain the confidence to work within a strong team and develop the soft skills necessary to strengthen their individual assignments as well.
Team building gives each team member measurable targets
A large part of any team building exercise involves goal setting. And when project goals are within reach, each team member will feel more emboldened to accomplish the task while contributing to the overall team effort.
Important team-building skills
Team-building activities are meant to help you develop these teamwork skills. So if you’re still not convinced that team building skills should be a part of your future, just look and see what teamwork skills you’ll be missing out on.
#1. Team builders delegate tasks
When you’re the leader of a team, you feel the weight of responsibility. Not necessarily a physical weight that gets translated through your body language (okay, maybe sometimes).
But a weight that is self-imposed, making you think you have to do everything just right. Well, team building is here to remind you that there are plenty of other team members there to help you out!
You might have the best management skills in the world. But you’re still only one person.
So why not use the help of your team members and delegate various tasks as needed? You’ll find this practice to not only improve efficiency, but also communication skills as well.
#2. Group members set team goals
Goals are always a great way for anyone to lay out all of their tasks and see the steps they need to take to get things done. And when those goals are set up within a team, they are virtually unstoppable.
That’s because every team member gets to weigh in on what the goals should be. Not only does each team member get to contribute their own unique skills.
They also get to offer up a new perspective when it comes to team goals, making for some healthy competition and enhanced problem-solving. Besides, when you have as many team members as you do, it’s easier to work smart, not hard.
#3. A successful team knows its team’s strengths
Ideally, a team is made up of a group of diverse folks, all of whom offer a variety of skills. And it’s this kind of diversity that allows a team to play into its strengths when it comes to obstacles or other challenges.
You might have Bethany who’s particularly skilled in math. Or Dan, the resident clean comedian of the office, who can charm the pants off of a stranger!
Both are valuable skills that can play into the team’s advantage when getting the task done. Especially if you need to charm some people then provide mathematical results!
(You’d be surprised how high in demand those two are together. Charm and math – you heard it here first!)
#4. A team’s success relies on its communication skills
Communication can be difficult in the workplace. Whether it’s communicating with people you don’t know socially or just have a different way of speaking to one another.
But teamwork forces individuals to get on the same page. Because at the end of the day, they both share a destiny.
Okay, we admit that sounds a bit intense. But you’d be surprised at how your communication can improve when you recognize that you’re on the same team as those around you!
Seriously, a team that knows how to communicate can be unstoppable. Just think – how many times have you lost out on opportunities or deadlines due to a miscommunication?
#5. Even when a team loses, motivation persists
Losing sucks. But it’s also inevitable. Luckily, when you’re working within a team, it’s a group effort to get to the finish line. And a group grief when that effort goes down the drain.
Fostering team building in times of hardship is a great way to pull everyone together for the greater good. Try bringing in a virtual emcee to kick things off on a better.
They’ll be particularly good at reminding folks that they’re all on the same gravy train. And that means that their motivation is never quite as lacking as if they’d gone through this hardship alone.
Besides, there’s always someone in the group to offer up a new perspective that might just shift things around. And before you know it, motivation begins to soar when the next task is at hand.
So don’t underestimate the power of a team when it comes to motivation. Now that you think of it, those high school pep rallies really knew what they were doing!
#6. An effective team employs active listening
Earlier, we said that communication is one of the number one priorities when it comes to making a team work. But we probably should have also mentioned listening skills in there too.
So we’re doing it now! Listening – and active listening at that – is perhaps the most important part of communication.
Nobody likes to feel like they’re talking to a wall. (Unless, of course, most of your friends are walls.)
But what we mean to say is that when a group listens to one another, they get more things done. And within a more timely manner.
If your team is having trouble communicating, you’d be surprised at how much an effect a corporate entertainer can have on a group. Laughing together is the first step to communicating. So really, it sounds like a win-win to us!
#7. Great teams bring forward creative ideas
Get ready for another blast from the past (read: four points back) because diversity is where it’s at! (Okay, that sentence alone sounds like a pep rally cheer and no, we’re not sorry.)
When it comes to bringing forward creative ideas, teamwork is crucial for bringing out the creativity in one another. When we try to problem-solve on our own, there’s always a point where we inevitably get stuck.
But when working with a team, individuals can offer up new ideas, making for an entirely different result that not only works better. But it is much more innovative than one person could come up with!
#8. Problem-solving is a team’s purpose
You might not have asked yourself what the purpose of a team is. But when you do, you’ll find that problem-solving is at the very core.
Obstacles and challenges come up all the time. And sometimes, those challenges can be difficult to tackle head-on when you’re only just one person!
But, a team is all about bringing together multiple skills and skill sets into one arena. Then, sharing the brunt of work to get the work done faster and with greater ease.
See? Doesn’t sound so scary anymore. And besides, that sounds like some great teamwork to us! And you’ll probably get home a little early for dinner too!
#9. Project management gets a boost from team training
When it comes to project management, you might only think of that as being one person in charge. But a team effort allows for that responsibility to be equally shared.
You might decide that Jesse, who is particularly organized, does well checking in with folks on their assignments. Or that Nicholas is great at coming up with these crazy ideas that actually work!
Now, you’ve got two different cogs within one machine going full steam ahead. And you’re generating work out of your wazoo!
(Wow, we’re getting pretty pepped here! High school pep rally’s strike again!)
#10. Team development comes from constructive feedback and positive feedback
We know that feedback can be a little scary to some people. But it’s a necessary part of growing and learning from mistakes or simply just areas of improvement.
Within a team, you’ll get no better feedback than from those you’re working closely with. And that feedback becomes a crucial part of not only your personal development.
But the team’s development as a whole. When feedback is phrased in a constructive and positive way, folks are much more receptive and open to changing their ways.
Well, with a team, you’ve automatically got that open reception. Because everyone’s actions (or inactions) directly affect one another.
So use team building as a way to foster accountability and sustainability. You might find that everyone’s just a little bit more conscientious of their actions around the workplace.
Your team’s shared destiny
All of these skills and more can be yours for just $19.99! Just kidding.
But in all seriousness, these skills are an absolute game changer when it comes to improving efficiency in the workplace and enhancing personal and workplace relationships.
And when you really think about it, humans are social creatures. Yes, even the introverts too.
We all need a little help here and there. And teamwork allows us to not only reach out for help. But to receive help with understanding and patience.
So if you find that you’re in a little need of some of these skills, look up some fun team building exercises. Introduce them to your office and get everyone involved!
That way, you’ll have a strong network of folks you can rely on. And you’ll be prepared to step up to any challenge when you’ve got friends and coworkers by your side.
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.