The world of business is changing.

No longer can the major corporations continue to be world leaders on the charisma of the CEO alone. This was true a few short years ago as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt began dominating their respective sectors through their sheer will alone. However, through the changing climate another force has emerged to be the determining factor between success and failure; team building. More and more organizations are starting to implement corporate team building days into their yearly schedule in order to assess, improve, and create skills required in a teamwork atmosphere in order to maintain continuity and integrity within a fast moving economy.

Why Corporate Team Building Days?

As the business world continues to evolve every few generations, there are more specialized skills, better equipment, and highly advanced technology in which corporations must take advantage of. All of this advancement means that the corporation itself must also advance, but it is severely limited when only one man runs the show. For this reason, teams have emerged in the workplace. These teams form a strong cohesive bond in which the continuing changing goals of the company are their focus.

Team building days, that are a consistent part of the yearly calendar, are non-threatening times of challenge, problem solving, and fun interactions that develop communication, creativity, and critical thinking. However, one benefit to corporate team building days outshines any of the latter. Leadership.

Leaders Benefit Through Corporate Team Building Days

Corporate team building days are typically thought of as a day in which big over the top activities like Total Wipeout and jousting events are held. Those activities are sometimes a part of the team building day, however, they are not a main staple.

Most of the events included within these type of team building events are focused on the development of new leaders, better communications, and better ability to solve problems. Leaders, both established and new emerging leaders, are those who benefit the most from corporate team building days.

Improved Leadership Skills Benefit Everyone

When you look at the big picture of the corporate world there is always a strong component of leadership. Before it was placed squarely on the shoulders of those men who, by their immense will, could lead people to do the things they needed. In the days of Rockefeller and Carnegie this worked because there were not many opportunities to go to other corporations. Today, this is no longer valid as opportunities abound for people to jump from company to company, startup to startup.

Teams are the building blocks of organizations today. Peter Drucker probably says it best when he wrote, “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

As you look at each of the areas in which corporate team building days elevate leaders, improve their performance and build their personality then it is easy to see how the entire corporation benefits. Everyone within the team benefits, the corporate division benefits and consumers benefit as the leaders continue to strengthen through corporate team building days.

Team building events can serve many purposes, from rewarding staff to focusing on specific needs that you feel your team need to improve upon.

They can concentrate on key areas such as communication or problem solving, or they can be a fun way for everyone to let their hair down and bond with each other.

Often we get asked ‘when is the best time to use team building?’   There are certain times when teams become disjointed or when newly formed teams need a helping hand to forge those working relationships needed to succeed.  But, the truth is that every team needs to focus on team building on a regular basis.


What is team building? Find out more.


Even teams that have worked together for years will benefit from a team building event.  Taking people out of their usual workplace roles and their comfort zone produces some amazing results.  People will unearth hidden talents and you can often find that when everyone is on equal terms as they are on a team building event, genuine leadership qualities from those who don’t usually lead can come to the fore.

Team building helps to strengthen working relationships but it also serves to enable the individuals to do something different and improve their own skill set.

A good team building event will galvanise a team and create lasting confidence and trust in each other, which when back in the workplace will lead to better productivity, more efficiency and a more enjoyable working environment for all.

What is team building best for?  It is best for your company’s future success, your teams’ everyday working environment and your individual employees morale.

Proactivity and hard passionate work are two of the amazing benefits of incorporating team building activities into the normal workflow of an organization. Through these team building activities, department managers and other leaders can help their respective teammates improve on their skills, work better together, and move towards common goals. This, of course, is not easily achieved in the general office space. For this reason, a “focus room” is the perfect solution.

Create a Focus Room For Team Building Activities

A focus room is a place where the unique personalities of each team member can come out because of the relaxing, non-threatening, comfortable setting. This is more than just using a break room when no one else is in the area. A focus room is a place designated, and dedicated, to team building activities, interpersonal relations, and critical thinking/problem solving skills.

The room should be large enough to groups of several different sizes in order to do different types of team building activities. These do not have to be “over the top” type activities, but simple games, or problems to be solved, for both small and large groups.

Benefits of Focus Room for Team Building

Team Spirit – There can be a strong case made that the same principles at play within a sports franchise are also those within the corporate world. One of those is team spirit. A winning team is always the team whose members love being a part of the franchise. Their spirit is high and kept high because of the stated goals and relationships. A focus room helps to build this team spirit as people are more relaxed and comfortable.

Define Roles – Through using a focus room within your organization, and consistent team building activities, team members have a great opportunity to work on, and know, their individual roles. Roles are essential to team building and team sustaining. Athletic teams all have positions where each player knows where they need to be, what they are to do in certain situations, and how to work within a common play. A focus room helps team members “focus” while they are working on these roles.

It was once said that the “whole is better than the individual”. That is quite a statement that shows the importance of consistent team building activities and a dedicated focus room. If your business does not have adequate space think outside the box for other venues such as restaurants during slow hours, vacant shops, or a weekly meeting in a home. The important thing is to begin using a focus room to see bigger improvements in skills and production.

Leadership activities are great for uncovering a wealth of hidden talent in your team, as well as helping teams to galvanise and increase confidence and motivation in individuals.

Team building events that have leadership activities included are challenging and testing, but are conducted in a fun and informal manner so that nobody feels any pressure or anxiety.

When compiling your teams to attend a team building event, it is often best to mix up the team so different management levels are represented.  It is an opportunity for those who usually lead to sit back and allow others to take the reigns (while working on their own listening skills) and show what they can achieve.

Leadership activities rely on vital workplace skills such as communication, time management, decision making, and the ability to bring the whole team together to pull in the same direction.


Someone with good leadership skills will inspire and spur on their team, whilst showing themselves to be a good example of how to conduct themselves in business. They inspire trust and confidence, which means that people will enjoy working with them and want to succeed for them.

Team building events that are problem solving based are the best for leadership activities.  They allow people to delegate roles within the event, but to accept overall responsibility for the completion of the task.   Becoming the project manager in one of our Team Apprentice team building events means that you need to oversee all aspects of the task.

Leadership activities are designed to bring out the very best in your team and encourage them to build on what they have learnt when back in the workplace.

There can be many instances where team cohesion isn’t quite as it should be.  Changes of personnel, company restructures and internal promotions can all have a negative effect on how a team works together.

Taking time out to attend a team building event will help to reunite the team, forge new and closer working relationships and restore trust in one another.

Which team building events are best for team cohesion?   We think that team building events that require everyone to come together to achieve the end goal are best for team cohesion.

Assigning roles within problem solving team building events such as treasure hunts, or all working together on a creative task such as Catwalk Challenge or The Big Picture all help to really focus the team and allow vital skills such as communication, trust, listening and leadership to come into play.

Creative team building events usually have delegates doing something completely different and unique to their everyday work.  This often means that people can showcase skills that wouldn’t normally come to the fore in their usual roles.  Allowing different people to take the lead on a project and be responsible for areas that they wouldn’t usually be involved in, such as decision making or time management, lets the rest of the team see how they can be more involved and engaging when back in the workplace.

Problem solving team building events utilise every member of team, so no-one can sit back idle.  This hands-on effect helps helps to restore confidence in each other and therefore strengthen bonds and bringing back that team cohesion.

The business world today can be best described at hyper-competitive. This competition is not just limited to companies, nor is it limited to the marketplace. One of the areas that many companies have a big problem is in the retention of good, qualified employees. This goes for corporations, hospitals, schools, and non-profits. The short term solution is to focus on team building and the different team building benefits within that philosophy. However, the long term solution requires people being happy.

One of the keys to keeping people within an organization is that they have to love what they are doing. They want to know, and like, the people they are working with, and they need to trust that the people they work with are doing the right thing for the company. They also like to be a part of the process. Through a team philosophy each member of the team has important skills that are used on a daily basis. They work hard to reach company goals, that they also feel are theirs.


Read more about team building benefits.


Keeping these people happy, therefore keeping the team happy, is how you realize the full range of team building benefits like stronger communications, emerging leadership skills, problem solving, and innovative creativity. But, how do you do that?

Realize Team Building Benefits Through Four “Happy” Thoughts

Keeping the members of a team happy is a matter of four very simple processes that anyone would want returned in their direction. In essence, they are normal human desires, but are often times missing within the corporate world.

1. Be Honest – If you want to realize the full string of team building benefits your leadership must be completely honest with their teams. Don’t pretend to be something that you are not and don’t lead people on in believing something that will never happen. Always have an open door policy and keep everyone in the loop.

2. Be Transparent – It is quite difficult to move a group of people towards an end goal if they do not know what that goal is. Each team member must be adequately supplied with the direction that the organization is heading and how they are helping achieve each of the different goals.

3. Be Accommodating – Workspace is a big issue when it comes to productivity. You can have the best team skills, but if the members of the team are not comfortable, productivity declines. Many companies enlist the individual team members to help with their workspace. Whether it is a cubicle desk, a standing desk or a small partitioned room finding what works propels a company more than it detracts.

4. Be Investing – Every company wants to enjoy the wide range of team building benefits, but there are those that do not show it in their investments. Investing within the team – through team building events, special corporate entertainment, special awards and recognition days and bonuses are all great ways to continually invest in your teams.

Keep your teams strong, and happy, while the company enjoys the many team building benefits through the use of these four simple keys. They do not require much more than simple communications, but they can lead to a much greater success.

When it comes to successfully competing in today’s fast paced world of business there is a tremendous need for companies to begin operating as teams working together for a common goal. Corporate team building is the means through which any corporation, school, hospital, church, or other organization can learn new skills, build up weaknesses and come together through the many benefits of team dynamics. However, not every team building event is a success.


Read more about Corporate Team Building.


Corporate Team Building Must Be Owned by Teams

There are plenty of examples where a team building philosophy has been brought into a corporate structure and the concept was not well received. The reason, experts have opined, is the overall business culture of individual recognition and reward. Within a team concept that individuality is not as well-recognized.

The successful team building efforts all have one common factor that can be found in every instance. The teams involved took ownership of the philosophy and gave a concerted effort, within the individuals of the team, to succeed. This ownership leads to a more organic, naturally growing, and dynamic team environment where all persons involved improve upon skills.

Ownership is Through Leader Communication and Involvement

Leaders within the organization are all a part of teams themselves. For this reason they are the cheerleader, to use a sports analogy, for the corporation’s goals, desires and philosophy. Through their communication, interpersonal, and team building skills, the corporate team building goal thrives.

For better interactions in teams, leaders must be deeply involved within the team life. Through this deep interaction and participation, the leader can then make recommendations on what corporate team building activities, events, or games can be used to meet any deficiencies in communications, problem solving, critical thinking, or relations.

It doesn’t matter if your company is staffed by 5 or 500, a corporate team building mindset, that is owned by the individual team members, can/does supply the tools necessary for company’s to achieve continued and sustained success.

Using problem solving games for team building events is a great way for individuals to come together as a team and hone vital workplace skills.   To achieve the goals set in the problem solving games the team must make sure they use their communication, leadership, listening, decision making and time management skills to the best of their ability.

Here are some of our favourite problem solving games:

Team Apprentice

Our Team Apprentice problem solving game can be either an indoor or outdoor team building event.  The Team Apprentice Buying Task can be set in any location in the country (or world) and will really test your team’s bargaining power along with other vital skills such as decision making and time management.   The Team Apprentice Manufacturing Task will challenge creativity and thinking outside of the box.


Read more about Problem Solving Games.


Spooks

Turn your team into undercover spies in the MI5 based treasure hunt.  We will provide delegates with all the tools they will need to complete tasks, which include safe code breaking, deciphering invisible messages and meeting up with our very own undercover agents.

Cereals Wars

Do you think your team could challenge Kellogs and Nestle?  Teams have to devise and market a new brand of cereal, using creativity, communication and decision making to bring out a better breakfast cereals than their competitors.

All of our portfolio of problem solving games can either be used as stand alone team building events or as part of a larger corporate event to break down barriers and allow people to bond with each other.

 

There is no question that team building is a very powerful tool that a company can use to help them continue to grow and innovate even in the worst economic climates. As great as the philosophy of team building is, there are companies that have a hard time implementing it. The most limiting factor to the success of many team building efforts on the part of companies today is not whether they should focus on outdoor or indoor team building activities, but rather understanding which is the best approach for your personnel.

When a company hosts a large corporate event such as a conference or annual ball, there is often a bit of trepidation from some delegates.  Some people don’t relish being outside of their comfort zone and worry about meeting new people.

Including ice breaker activities in your corporate event helps to put people at ease.  The sooner you break down barriers between people, the sooner everyone can relax and enjoy the event.

Using ice breakers at formal dinners where seating plans often mean people are not sat with their everyday colleagues is an excellent way to help everyone to quickly bond with their dining companions.   Fun and impacting, ice breakers start the event off on the right foot and immediately give everyone some common ground to start conversations and begin building their relationship.

Traditional quiz and game shows make exceptional ice breakers because everybody knows the rules already and they can be played in teams with each table being represented.  Questions can either be related to your business or general knowledge. They work well between courses or at the end of the meal when everyone is relaxed and in good spirits.

Ice breaker activities are also very effective if they come as a complete surprise to delegates.  Crashing waiters not only have the dramatic surprise element, but they are also a powerful tool to help bring everyone together and reinforce your company mission statement in a way that will not be forgotten lightly.

Ice breaker activities add fun to any corporate event, but more importantly they turn a good event into a truly memorable event.

Indoor team building events are designed to stretch and challenge your team, but in a fun and informal manner.  They can be tailored to focus on specific needs for your business, or be used as a tool to build upon existing skills and help a team to bond.

The key to a successful indoor team building event is to choose an activity that will appeal to all of your team.  Making sure that it works for all the age groups involved and physical abilities is paramount, anyone who feels uncomfortable attending the indoor team building event will go away from the day with negative feelings rather than the positive attitude that we are striving to achieve.

Teams of all ages may well enjoy a creative indoor team building event such as Catwalk Challenge, experience the exhilarating feeling of singing in close harmony with a group in the Your Song event, or trip the light fantastic with Dancing Team.

Teams who have a more varied age group may benefit from TV inspired indoor team building events such as Team Apprentice or Team Millionaire.

Whatever you choose for you team, you can guarantee that they will come away from the experience as a more rounded, motivated and energized team ready to put into practise what they have learnt on the day when back in the workplace.

Team building exercises are great for boosting morale and helping to bridge any gaps in communication or working practices.   Whether they are used as stand-alone team building strategies or as part of a larger corporate event, indoor team building should be an enjoyable learning experience that will stand with the participants for years to come.

There is a great deal of emphasis on large corporate team building activities where the employees go away on a multi-day retreat. While these are great to begin a team building philosophy within a corporate entity, there is also the need for ongoing team building activities within the weekly work routine.

Adding in weekly team building activities throughout the regular work week has tremendous results in many areas for continued corporate success. The many benefits to these weekly activities vastly outweigh any type of negatives that may result.

Common Goals

Team building activities are great for getting the entire company traveling towards the same goals. The company as a whole is much more productive when everyone knows that needs to be accomplished and works together to achieve it. Incorporating quick team building activities will continue to build this type of cohesion.

Trust

Weekly team building games and events within the office environment is great for building long lasting trust. Through trusting each member of a team to do their respective jobs and perform at their best companies can get the best effort of everyone.

Creativity

Problem solving challenges are a part of many team building activities and should be a part of the normal life of an office. Through working together on quick challenges the team members begin to think more creatively in solving problems and brainstorming.

Motivation

A well done corporate wide team building philosophy involves rewards and recognition of excellent teams. The individuals within the team have great pride in the work that they can accomplish and are motivated by being recognized for it. This motivation is then transferred into their work and their personal lives.

Team building activities do not have to be big elaborate retreats and conferences. They can be simple weekly opportunities to work together on a project, solve a problem, or play some games for a more cohesive team. These activities can take up to an hour or three depending on what you want to devote to them. The point is to adopt team building as a part of corporate life rather than just a major event each year.

Whilst whole-day team building events are often favoured by companies as they take people away from their workplace and engage them in fun and informal activities, team building can also be just as dynamic and effective in short bursts.

Incorporating quick team building games into other corporate events often serves a dual function.  Not only are you getting the teams to work together, improving vital skills such as communication, listening, decision making and leadership, you are also providing a quick and fun way to break the ice and help people to instantly bond.

These quick team building games work well for conference energisers, giving everyone a welcome chance to get out of their seats and do something engaging rather than just listen to presentation after presentation.  They are especially productive used for the opening or closing slots and the usually lethargic after-lunch period.

They can either be fun and a way to introduce colleague to each other—perfect for large dinner events such as Christmas parties or the annual ball— or they can be used to further illustrate your company message in a powerful and profound way.

Concentrating effective team building activities into a short space of time is easy than you think and can often yield surprising results.  Who could forget your company message delivered via song or dance? Certainly none of the delegates who take part in it!

Short and sweet team building activities can be very uplifting and rewarding, serving to get everyone on board and really feel a part of a team that is going places.

Twitter is one of those corporations that have changed the rules of news, communications, and the way that people live. Last year, the social media giant went public and the spotlight has been shining on them ever since. That spotlight has revealed several team building benefits through a recent award given to the CEO, Dick Costolo.

During the 7th Annual Crunchie Awards, held in San Francisco this past week, Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, was given the “CEO of the Year” award. This is a great achievement for the social media leader as the company just went into the public sector a few months prior to that. What is of great significance in this award is that Costolo did not take the credit for himself as the leader of the company, but said that the award is actually a “team award.” He also went on to say, “it’s the people inside the company that make the company what it is, and I certainly wouldn’t be here without them.”

As the Sochi Winter Olympics continue, the hopes of Team GB continue to grow.  Last night our men’s Curling team edged further towards the medals with a win over Norway.

Team building skills certainly came into the fore for Team GB as a debate over tactics was needed for the final tie-break throw of the game, but the communication and leadership skills of skipper David Murdoch won through as team’s final shot was hailed as the shot of the tournament so far, taking Team GB through with a score of 6-5.

Curling is one of the true team sports of the Winter Olympics, and is a great example of how it take a real understanding of each other to accomplish the task.  The game is started by the curler who throws (or pushes) the stone along the ice, however in true team work style the path of the stone is then helped along by two sweepers who sweep the ice in front of the path of the stone to determine its speed, direction and hopefully its final placement.

Communication skills really need to be on tip-top from for a team to succeed as they need to strategize each move carefully to outwit their opponents.  Curling has often been referred to ‘chess on ice’ and certainly cool heads and the ability to deliver under immense pressure are very much part of this sport.

Building a team for success for any business can be modelled on Team GB’s curling team and serve as a timely reminder of how working together to find the best solution can reap huge rewards.

 

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