Team Building: Some Ideas, Its Effect And Reasons Of Failure

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Team Building: Some Ideas, Its Effect And Reasons Of Failure - Photo credit:, Edition by Amber255 via

As I mentioned in my first blog Team Building: Tips On How To Organize It Correctly about team building that there will be a continuation. In this blog, we will talk about ideas for office and outdoor team building events, about why it fails sometimes, what the reasons of unsuccessful events, and how properly to organize such event, and the things you need to pay attention to. There are a lot of things I could tell about, but it would make my blogs too long and boring. So, I will try to write short, to add just an essence. 

There are many team building options, and a few I will describe in this blog. Events are held in offices, workrooms, cafes, swimming pools, and gyms, in the nearest forest, and even abroad.

There are many companies that look at the team building through a prism of benefits and are increasingly aware that united teams are not born on trips or parties.

Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results. -Ifeanyi Onuoha


All team building I would divide into three categories: team entertainment events for spending time and getting to know others; targeted team events that have very clear tasks and goals related to job functions; experiential team events for changing team members' thinking and providing a high-quality discussion of the situation, involving all team members and finding solutions together.

I created like a step by step tutorial to distinguish the most important aspects.

If you want your team to get together and become open, it is enough to organize informal colleague meetings and active activities together, which will allow people to become freer and bring themes for team's cooperation.

The Best Team Building Exercise  - Video credit: vvanpetten via

Team Building Options

There are two ways to organize team building events:

On your own

The employer himself plans and organizes events. This method is convenient if the company is very small (team-maker himself engages in team building, a creative person). Or, on the contrary, is large, and there is a specialist or department involved in organizing corporate events.

Pros - cost savings (although not always), full control over the process, confidentiality (and this is an important factor in team building).

Involving the third-party firms

There are many companies on the market that organize team building events - from seminars to elite competitions in exotic conditions. Such services cost a lot, but you don’t have a headache about anything - they will develop a script, rent a room or territory, organize coffee breaks and so on, your team will only have to come and take part. 

 INDOOR Team Building Activities - Video credit: VENTURE UP Team Building via

Team Building Event Organization On Your Own: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Just reading a couple of team building websites and downloading the script is not enough to have a good event. Here is what you need to do to achieve the desired result:

Step 1. Define the goals, tasks, and budget

What exactly do you want - to smooth out the contradictions in the team? To form a single team from disparate groups? To relax together? Just to introduce the staff to each other? How? And how much money you are willing to spend on it?

Step 2. Choose a format

Will it be a rope course, woolen team building or regular office training? Will you go to nature or go to the nearest sports complex? Will you "make a movie" or prefer sporting events? You can choose yourself, but it will be more competent to interview workers. Offer several options to choose from. If you share the decision, employees will become more active and interested in participating in the event.


Team building event - Photo credit:

Step 3. Consult with a team building specialist

You can simply chat with the right expert from a specialized company. And you can hire a staff development coach who will tell you how to organize an event and prepare morally the team.

Step 4. Develop a script

The easiest option is to download from the Internet and adapt to your team. Below I will give you some ideas that may are interesting to you. You can try to prepare the script yourself. It makes sense if you already have experience in holding such events. The idea should correspond to the goal of team building and the composition of the team. It is not right to organize endurance competitions if the majority of the employees are elderly.


Team building options - Photo credit:

Step 5. Choose the right time

Ideally, if team building activities are held during business hours. This is logical from all points of view: the employer needs the team first of all to meet his goals, and the staff will be much more interested in team building, held not in their legal days off. Although much depends on the relationship with the team. If people themselves take the initiative to jointly go on nature on Saturday or Sunday, you can fulfill their desire.

Step 6. Organize an event

To team building took place, you need to take into account the many domestic nuances. Arrange transportation if necessary. Provide participants with hot meals or prepare coffee breaks. Consider the possible deterioration of the weather. If you divide the event into blocks or sections, engage those who have already completed or have not yet begun to take part in their unit (entertainment, buffet, etc.). If team building is external, it is important to observe all the safety requirements of the participants, especially when it comes to extreme events - rafting on a mountain river, climbing mountain peaks, and so on. Before the start, instruct the participants. 

Team building event - Photo credit:

Unsuccessful Team Building: Main Reasons

Reason 1. A boring scenario

It is not necessary that the conceived game resulted in a tedious lecture on teamwork's importance. Maybe in a different way: the office quest turned out being too complicated, and most of the staff simply did not want to puzzle too long. Or maybe a new specialist, involved in the team building event preparation, building downloaded from the Internet a script that was already used last year.

Reason 2. The event is too saturated

The organizer arranged several energetic contests, training, and competitions, and then another 1,5 hour went for analysis. All are so exhausted so that about any team do not want to think. Sometimes there are no normal conditions for rest at the external team building place, and people have to stand for an hour or two during the event, this also does not improve the perception of leadership ideas.

Reason 3. The absence of food or bad organization of feeding 

No matter how prosaic it sounds, but it is for this reason that team building events are often unsuccessful. Employees who are used to a comfortable meal, had to push each other at the tables, someone did not get something, others had to eat cold food. Worst of all, when the organizer says: Now I announce a half-hour break; there is a cafe two blocks away, so you can go there for a snack. In this case, the team starts forming on the basis of outrage by the employer.

Reason 4. Poor organization of team building

One hundred participants of team building arrived on three buses, unloaded at once, approached the tables of the organizers, and there was a bunch of badges mixed up. Hustle, cursing, motivation down, half an hour went down the drain, all feeling angry, no friendly communication. And the business was - competently spread out on the tables these unfortunate badges.

Team building effect - Photo credit:

Reason 5. Forced participation

And if they don’t go, we will deprive of the bonuses, - some leaders do this. They arrange activities on weekends or holidays, make employees of pre-retirement age, despite their apparent reluctance, climb rope walls along with young people and so on.

Reason 6. Weather conditions are not taken into account

You can not organize exit team building in uncomfortable temperatures, rain, wet snow or suffocating heat. It is not always possible to predict sudden changes in the weather, but you can adjust the program of the event. Otherwise, people will freeze, get wet, or someone will get sunstroke, and they will not have training, but unpleasant feelings.

Reason 7. Psychological discomfort of participants

This happens when management is distancing themselves from participation and remains an observer in general activities (employees feel like test specimens). Or requires a special relationship to themselves in the process of competition. Even if the director simply does not stop attempts of his subordinates to please him, this already makes team building as a formal purposeless event.

Unsuccessful team building - Photo credit:

Team Building Ideas

Ideas For Team Building In Office Space

Corporate games and indoor competitions are not just training on professional topics.

Office Quest

Simple, but giving a lot of room for a creativity group game. The employees are divided into several teams. The moderator hides any object (this can be a prize to the winners or any item, preferably having a symbolic significance). The teams get several tips on how to find an object. Access to each tip gets the team that is faster than others to solve the proposed tasks. You need to guess the encrypted proverbs, correctly put together the cut fragments of the image, remember phrases from famous films and so on - there can be as many options as you like. The essence of the game is that usually those who are better able to use collective knowledge win it. Quest, like any other intellectual team building, works to get closer employees, increase mutual respect in the team.

Team building options - Photo credit:

Discussion at lunch

A theme for an organization where most workers eat in the same canteen or cafe. Between employees, a draw is held to find out who is sitting at the same table with whom (the leadership must also take part in it). Naturally, it broke up the usual dining companies and form new ones. Then everyone is given a general topic for discussion - such as important transformations in the company, a new motivation system, projects relating to everyone, and so on. Employees not only get to know each other more closely but also receive a lot of new information.

Such activities are recommended in companies where there is a lack of information among staff, employees are excessively isolated or divided into competing groups. Before conducting such a team building, you should ask the opinion of the employees and in no case force them because for some people eating food is a purely intimate matter. To attract the staff is best of all offering the prospect of receiving exclusive information from the first persons. 

Team Building Ideas in Nature

Sports day

The team building through sports is very diverse and limited only by the budget and imagination of the organizers. You can arrange a race, fishing for the biggest fish, joint running in bags. And if finances allow, rafting, snowmobiling, climbing and so on. The main thing is that the competitions correspond to the physical capabilities and aesthetic ideas of the team. Not every 50-year-old accountant wants to jump in a bathing suit in front of 20-year-old managers. so, you need to think about this too. 

Team building activities - Photo credit:

Ecological team building

It unites people not only for the joint rest but also for joint work for the sake of good goals. Therefore, management can organize (and take an active part) cleaning the river bank from debris, planting a grove, arranging a children's playground, and so on. In a joint work, not related to the main work, roles in a team are often distributed differently, and this opens up new perspectives for the team.

Team Building Effect: What Does It Depend On?

It is necessary to understand that even the most successful event is just one episode in the life of the company, which can benefit the team, or it can stay just a pleasant memory. Psychologists believe that to make an effect, commanding values should not only be declared but also realized in everyday activities.

The head can hug the participants as much as he wants, but if he returns to the office, he publicly humiliates his subordinates or hurts them, there will be no sense from the past event. Team building should not be based on spells about a company as a family, but rather specific measures: recognition of employees' success, development perspective in the profession, fair conflict resolution, support for the initiative. Then the person will have enough motivation to continue working in the company and to support team values.

Team building effect - Photo credit:

There are several situations where team building will only worsen the situation in the organization:

✿ If the manager has a purely administrative management style and believes that subordinates should take it for granted (team building, in this case, turns into trying to adjust the team to the director’s values, which very rarely gives results);

✿ If achievements of individual employee are considered the main value of the company, and the motivation system is set up to encourage them (for programmers working in a partially remote mode on individual projects, there is no point in forming a team);

✿ If there is a high change of staff, and the management does not see anything wrong with it;

✿ Management fears of competition from downstream employees;

✿ The company does not have a clear system of motivation; management evaluates employees based on internal feelings (in these conditions it is difficult to formulate the direction of team building because employees do not know what competencies they need to develop for career and professional growth);

✿The team already exists and works normally. 

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. - Helen Keller


On The Final Note

Team building is often confused with corporate and other joint activities. But between them is a very big difference. Team building is therefore called that the goal is not just to make friends with each other, but to get a synergy - to combine their skills and abilities to achieve a new, higher result.

Most often team building is used in companies that have just emerged, during reorganizations, and also if teams make a lot of conflicts or employees work by inertia, without initiative.

But whatever method of team building is chosen, regardless of how you organize events - independently or with the involvement of specialists - it is important to support the ideas stated at the training in the daily activities of the company. Otherwise, it turns out that you have spent a lot of money on an ordinary party, from which no more sense than from friendly gatherings after work.

Team building ideas - Photo credit:, Edition by Amber255 via


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