Team building is the new corporate buzz word that is sweeping the world. Most often associated with big retreats, “Survivor” type challenges or softball tournaments, team building is much more than novelty games and sports. Fun team building games energize your organization, help people feel a part of a common goal, and provide a time for people to relax and be themselves.

Incorporating fun team building activities into an organization’s yearly calender will shine a bright light upon many improved skills within the workforce. Typically, team building is about providing a way for team members to form tighter relationships, improve communications, heighten acute problem solving and define leadership principles and practices. All in all, team building events and challenges are not only a great way to blow off steam and enjoy a day out of the office, but is a healthy return on investment.

But, is that all you can expect from fun team building games?

Bonus Benefits of Fun Team Building Activities

A bonus is something that has been gained through a particular activity that was not originally intended, but organically worked out. While improving skills, defining leaders and building stronger relationships are the three major benefits there are several bonus benefits that naturally happen as a result of the former skills improvements.

1. Creativity – Best selling author Stephen Covey once said, “Interdependent people combine their own efforts, with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” One of the ideas behind this quote is that as people combine their efforts with others they naturally step into a more creative mode. Problem solving, working through obstacles, making decisions and communication are all heightened because of this bonus.

2. Intelligent collaboration – There may be a lot of smart people within a department, but they will never be as intelligent as they are together. Ken Blanchard has said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” When a collaboration of team members get together to work through a shared challenge, they can do much more than just one who shoulders the burden alone.

3. Fun workplace – Fun team building activities lead to a more fun work environment. As people share laughs together during a time of fun, they can begin to associate that same fun when around the same people. It is a matter of mind and association.

4. Increased productivity – This can be both a required goal and a bonus. The goal is always to have increased productivity through fun team building activities or corporate retreats. However, a bonus is when that productivity is sustained without having to have a big push to do it.

5. Innovative input – You could make a case that this is the same as being more creative, but with one difference. This input is not just for the team, but for the organization as a whole. A team that endures games together can then put that towards finding new ways for the organization to forge ahead in the marketplace.

As you can see, fun team building activities have a tremendous place within the workplace. By taking on a team building philosophy and spending time fostering this within your workforce, there are plenty of bonus benefits that begin to kick in.

A quick look at the corporate world today and it is quickly apparent that the age old philosophies do not work any longer. New innovation requires a new way of looking at the interior structure of the workplace. For this reason, team building activities have become a very popular way to build individual skills which directly attribute to overall company success.

Perhaps the largest benefit to team building activities is that they can be tailored to your organization’s needs and timetable. Team building is the process by which individuals can come together as a team that works together, using various skills, in order to meet the corporate goals. They do this through working on skills like communications, leadership, and problem solving. Team building activities that are focused on these skills can be done at any time.

Team Building Activities At Any Time

Many who hear about team building activities believe that they have to be these energetic outdoor games, or multi-day activities that require a lot of time and money. However, there are many different team building games that can be done in an hour, indoors, or even in a company lunchroom.

This type of activity gives the corporation a great deal of flexibility when it comes to incorporating team building as to its return on investment. Here are 3 great team building activities that can be done anytime to help build up individual and team skills.

The Big Picture – A team building activity that can be done with few, easy to find, resources, the Big Picture is also a great metaphor for working together towards larger goals. Working in teams, each team has to paint a different section of a big picture painting, which when put together will reveal the big picture.

The Balloon Identity – Who doesn’t like making balloon models? This highly creative energizer allows teams to flex their creative muscle with balloons! Teams could recreate famous paintings, balloon sculptures of famous landmarks, balloon hats, film icons, table centres and a whole host of creative options. Once all of these are completed, judging takes place as balloons are identified.

Dancing Team – Another very powerful, but short duration, team building activity is called Dancing Team. In this easy to do anywhere activity, your teams come up with a dance routine to different songs and then perform them. This is a great leveler and it relies on individuals willing to learn something new, while working in a team supporting and encouraging each other.

As you can see team building activities do not need to be large events that require a lot of time and money. You can do these with just a few hours of time and very few resources, if any. Give your organization a competitive edge by incorporating a team building philosophy into your corporate life. You’ll see immediate results.

Team build events encourage guests to get to know each other and break down barriers. In many cases this will not be enough to create a better team. There may be deep-rooted issues that need a more focused approach.

There are plenty of organizations that sign up for team building weekends and retreats in the hope that they will find the missing ingredient, or the “Holy Grail”, that will solve all of the problems within their workplace. While there is no special ingredient, team build events can help an organization rise above their current level and become leaders within their industry.

Common Problems Highlighted Through Team Build Events

One of the problems in thinking that team building is the perfect solution is that teams have problems too. Therefore, while team build events are not the “Holy Grail” of business solutions, they are the one aspect that highlights the weak areas that need to be worked on. Things like:

  • Ineffective team communications
  • Lack of experience within teams
  • No confidence in team members
  • Inefficient leadership

Most events that focus on team building incorporate many different activities that put these weaknesses into the forefront of desired goals. These events are even more powerful when run by outside personnel, or team building specialists, who can bring a more objective look into what weaknesses need to be addressed.

Practical Team Build Events

Weekend retreats, multi-day conferences, one day games, or simply an afternoon with different challenges can all be incorporated into a full team building calendar. Each of these have their place, but it is always best to choose/plan team build events that are based on weaknesses you want to tackle first.

Practical events, that address any weaknesses, can reap many more rewards than those that are built on popular game shows or “over the top” adventures. Using a series of short problems will allow a team to be observed a number of times. An experienced facilitator will be able to pick out problems and provide feedback to the team after the task.

Plan Events With Care

Efficient teams are not born, they are created through great attention to the different events in which they take part in, bond through, and achieve goals and solve problems. For this reason, the team build events that are planned must be done so with great care.

There are several things to think about that will lead to an overall successful event. They include:

  • Venue – The actual place where the event is held can create either a winning or depressed attitude.
  • Duration – How long the event takes places is a major factor, especially if people are not completing the tasks.
  • Challenge difficulty – Challenges that are best suited for young athletic types are not going to go well for middle-aged office workers. Keeping in mind the abilities of your teams, and challenging them slightly beyond that, is the best way to improve skills.
  • Focus on skills – The games are fun, but not the main focus of team build events. The facilitators should always keep in mind the goals set and skills needed to improve.

As you can guess, trying to do all of this in-house can be a bit overwhelming for any human resources department. This is the reason that companies, like Accolade Corporate Events, are a vital addition to any corporation. They have the expertise (maybe not a “Holy Grail”) to help move an organization in the right direction in order to accomplish goals and strengthen the weaknesses that are found.

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.

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.

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