Every person is a social being human. Shouldn't teamwork be a matter of course? At first glance, it seems that organizations are made up of teams. But are you sure? Even if we reject all the theories about the differences between team and group, not every teamwork is able to create a better result than the individual person could create. Communication is going, but there is no cooperation.
What is team building? Why is it needed and what gives? What types of team building exist and how to organize everything in order not to spoil the purpose of the team building? Where is the best place for team building and in what form? We will consider all this in the blog, as well as give ideas and tips on how to avoid mistakes.
In order to properly formulate your team, managers should first answer what will be the mission and meaning of teamwork - why, how, and what will it do? It's also important to decide what type of team will best help you meet your goals: long-term or short-term, closed or open, flat or hierarchical? Then it is necessary to decide who and how will make decisions, how to organize the teamwork, how and when to communicate.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. – Andrew Carnegie
Team members can effectively add a contribution to the overall result and trust each other only when they know what you expect of them. It is important that the team members' skills and competencies vary enough to cover all the functions needed to meet the team's goals.
Team building has long been used in large commercial companies and from a fashionable wind has managed to turn into a standard of work with staff. But one way or another, motivational techniques for rallying the team continue to evolve. Let's talk about them in more detail.
In my former workplace, we worked on very tight conditions with a team, each employee of which was a talented professional, a great person. But we all felt tension and working was not easy; sometimes it was almost impossible. Why?
Team building can happen naturally, without extra effort, but it rarely happens. Perhaps nobody expects that basketball players without a coach and agreement how they will seek gold, will win just by themselves, right?
The same is in the organization. If a team simply starts working without sharing responsibilities, discussing the core principles of work, they will do the work automatically and not necessarily efficiently.
Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. – Mattie Stepanek
Now I am working in personnel administration of the real estate field. Our company is enough large organization having offices in a few cities in our country. The main leading is going from the capital city via phones and internet meetings.
How the team building is going in our organization? Every season we have weekend meetings outside the workplace (each time in different cities) with theme parties, sports competitions with coaching part. So, even if we are not working together in one place, we are a strong team with a clear goal - to seek better results for the organization. And our boss, all managers also always take part with all other employees as one of them without enlighten - I am boss, I lead you.
So, from my experience, I can say to work as one team is more fun and it leads to better results.
Employees teamwork - Photo credit: youtube.com
What Means Team Building?
Team building is a complex of events designed to create a team spirit among the employees of the organization for the sake of bringing together the team. The main task is to increase the efficiency of staff, improve the interaction between them, which ultimately affects the improvement of business performance.
The first attempts to manage the effectiveness of employees groups happened in the United States. They found the form of a harmonious theory towards the end of the 50s. In the 60s, American psychologist Karl Rohnke developed the Ropes Course program. He turned ideas about team building and formed the basis of most team building strategies. Rohnke used an army training course for assault groups using equipment for mountaineering. In combat operations, cohesion is important than anywhere else; therefore, it is the army psychological experience is recognized as the best for corporate team building.
There is an opinion that team building came from sports, where both a group of players and an individual athlete achieve the victory only thanks to the team. If this is football or basketball, then without interaction between the players, victory cannot be achieved. If it is boxing or tennis, then it is difficult to become the winner without an experienced trainer, consultants, doctors, massage therapists, etc.
Team Building Tips - Photo credit: cerev.info
Why Do We Need Team Building?
There are four main goals for team building:
✿ Team building is creating a sense of common goals.
✿ We need team building for the improved interaction between members of the collective and increased trust. It replaces competition to cooperation. Simply put, so that no one hesitates to ask a colleague and, on occasion, be ready to respond to someone else's request. And also that nobody would worry about the fact that someone is lazy to work and others work for three persons but get the same salary.
✿ We need team building to increase the loyalty of staff to management. Participating in training along with ordinary specialists, the director is perceived by them as a person, and not as a position. The logic of his decisions becomes more understandable for the team and causes less rejection.
✿ Teambuilding is needed for the psychological relief for staff. This is especially true for people working in a tense monotonous mode.
When We Need Team Building?
There are several situations where team building is necessary.
Situation 1. The low motivation of employees.
People go to work without the wish to improve something in their work. They mechanically do their duties and wait for the end of the working day. If possible, avoid tasks assignments. Accordingly, low labor productivity, the team is torn by quarrels and squabbles, it is absolutely impossible to encourage employees to conquer some new peaks.
Situation 2. Organizational changes in the company - mergers, acquisitions, fragmentation or merging of departments and so on.
New employees may feel alien to the company, abandoned, disadvantaged, lack attention. Team building in these conditions allows integrating workers into a new corporate environment.
Situation 3. Conflicts within the team.
This refers not to one-time quarrels of employees, but to constant tensions between people (such as, for career reasons) that interfere with work. Team building activities make it possible to identify points of contact even for the most irreconcilable disputants and turn competition into cooperation.
Situation 4. The company has just been created and needs to form a workable team from the newly recruited employees.
Team building is very good for this.
Team building tips - Photo credit: youtube.com
Ways Of Team Building
Entertainment events for teams focus more on activities and short-term fun experiences than on long-term change. They are suitable for inspiring the team, strengthening its spirit, feeling of communion.
Team building seminars focus more on skills development, understanding and transferring that knowledge to work situations. The professional organizations' consultants conduct such seminars.
Sports-related team building occurs most often - this is all sorts of competitions (often on the street, sometimes in the halls), race, games. Despite the name, special physical training is not needed: tasks are selected taking into account the age and physical condition of employees.
Psychological team building also is enough frequent: various training, tests, joint problem solving, and searching for ways out of difficult situations. Their meaning is that employees learn to better understand the logic of decision-making by other people, learn to tune themselves up in a team, find out the psychological roles and attitudes of their colleagues — this further helps in solving work tasks.
Ways of team building - Photo credit: blog.unfranchise.com
Creative team building way is the most interesting type but also the most difficult in preparation. Here participants put on plays, sing karaoke, draw pictures together, arrange dance battles, conduct historical costumed reconstructions and so on.
Exotic team building way - expensive types of activities that can be done mainly in specific climatic conditions. These include river rafting, mountain climbing, joint travel in exotic countries, and so on.
The complex team building solutions focus on the long-term change of attitudes and behavior and its continued support. Complex tools are used to change attitudes and skills or to acquire the necessary skills: training, coaching, leading, developing of internal trainers, motivational systems, changes in structure, and others.
Also, team building activities are divided into office team building and team building in nature.
Team building - Photo credit: medium.com
In the office
In four walls, in a confined space, you cannot make a big sporting competition, but the office is quite suitable for training, intellectual competitions, quests and other forms of team building. The advantages of such team building are that the events take place in a familiar atmosphere. After such a team building event, employees perceive the working premises quite differently, which adds extra motivation.
Here, on the contrary, changing the situation plays a big role. Outdoor team building usually is organized in nature, at recreation centers, in the country camps, at stadiums, and so on. The content of the events is not limited - it is both a competition and a relaxing joint holiday with training and competitions.
Team building event - Photo credit: miifotos.com
Team Building Mistakes
It is not good when the decision-maker looks for alone, not with the other team members. The manager should lead by example, not dictate, as well as ask his team members, but not one to make decisions, give the necessary tools, and name time limits. Therefore, one of the most common mistakes is the absence of a leader in the formation of a team.
In larger organizations, an employee can be assigned to a project team, and his or her immediate manager does not even know the goals of the team or how much the employee will have to devote his time to it.
It is wrong to assume that one team building event can solve all the accumulated team problems. A continuity and constant focus of the manager is important in solving team problems and discussing important things. The right choice of communication channels ensures feedback at the right time and form.
Team building mistakes - Photo credit: blog.register.it
Events organized independently, often do not prove the hopes of the employer and leave a bad feeling from the staff. The same happens when inexperienced third-party specialists are involved in the organization.
If the event was unsuccessful, you should not decide that team building is not for you. First of all, understand the reasons why it failed and the mistakes involved. The problem in the script or in the organization? Or maybe it was not enough resources or just unsuccessfully selected time?
To find out the reason, the best option is to collect reviews: to conduct a survey in a team, either verbally or in the form of a questionnaire. It includes both possible reasons for employee dissatisfaction, and positive team building factors. Examining results, you can adjust the organization of the next team building event - such as, entrust it to a specialized company, change the format, number, and composition of participants, and so on.
Team building events - Photo credit: plus.google.com
On The Final Note
It is said that a synergy effect is achieved in the team. What is it? The synergy effect, generally speaking, is that team members achieve much more than each team member can make if they act individually.
In today's organizations, teams are rapidly gaining popularity. If we look at job advertisements, we can see that serious organization, as one of the requirements for a candidate, want employees able to work in a team.
It is great if the peace and openness prevail in the team. Employees must communicate freely and at ease with each other. It also applies to employees relationships with the manager. The tension in the prevailing work environment will certainly not help to make better results.
It is also important to deal with conflicts every day, as soon as they appear, to strengthen conflict resolution skills, to support those team members who feel unsafe, to respond positively to the challenges of leadership. And most importantly, keep in mind that team building is a continuous process that involves both managers and employees.
In the next my blog, I will write about some ideas for team building, both from my experience and from the coaching sessions we had. So, if you are interested in how to improve work quality through team building, you are welcome back to check my new blogs.
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