This article aims to provide you with a mix of expert insight and example structures to allow you to know what to do and where to look when your organisation is in need of team building exercises.
Team building consists of a wide variety of tasks to enhance existing skills and implement new ones in team members. Specific tasks can be chosen to ensure the group get the most out of the experience. It is helpful for the group to be told which specific needs will be addressed in each task they carry out as this will allow them to see how what they discover about themselves and each other can be applied to the business world. For example, it is very important to have social skills such as communication and negotiation when working in a team. If this is an area in which the team is lacking, then novel tasks can be introduced to combat this. Alternatively, technical skills may be an area for necessary development so more business knowledge orientated task may take place.
There are several different groups or segments when it comes to team building strategies. Firstly, communication exercises are speech orientated tasks where the teams talk productively between each other to get the task completed effectively. The goal is to highlight which members communicate well and are possibly more influential members of the group, but also to locate potential problems with communication within the group. The most common activity is a problem solving task, as this relates most directly to business and forces the team to use their creativity to come up with a solution. Another exercise can involve planning and adapting. It shows the team the importance of laying out a plan before they tackle a project, and how they may have to alter it to fit the situation along the way. One final exercise could involve testing the trust between team members as they must be sure in each other that deadlines will be met.
In team building, as in business projects, there are many things you must be aware of when working as a team. One example is that you should always do what you do best. You were brought into your team for your specific skill set, so you should use it whenever possible. If you feel a part of a task could be better done by someone else, have the confidence to say this and do something where you can help the team more. Another example is that not everyone can lead a project. There may be a very loud and dominant person in the group, but this does not mean they should lead every task. If they do not have the best expertise in the specific field then someone else should be found. You should have the confidence to both stand up if an area of the project matches your talents, just as you should stand down and let someone else lead if you are not the best person for the job. This leadership structure in teams can also be seen in team building activities.
If you do decide that a team building programme would enable your organisation to higher its standards and move to the next level, there are several places you can look for expert analysis or external help:
- Susan Heathfield is an organization development consultant who can provide expert knowledge for your research and help your companies teams.
- ACAS aim to improve organisations through better employee relations and team dynamics, raising working standards.
- Train in a Day aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your business through team building and development courses in which training models and strategies are complemented with expert knowledge to instil confidence in working teams.
The development of teams can only be achieved once the group understand each other from a business perspective and can acknowledge individuals strengths and weaknesses. Team building helps massively in this regard as skills applied to tackling team building activities can be analysed and transferred to the workplace. For example, some employees will be more proactive and energetic, whereas others may be just as engaged, but not look it as they take a step back and look at things logically. Team building can help any and every organisation because regardless of their size, if individuals do not work together, very little will get done.
Train in a Day can help develop your team using bespoke team building methods, models and strategies, raising employee and team effectiveness. If you feel team building shoud be applied to your organisation, visit traininaday.com for more details.