Organisational Psychology defines a team as two or more people who take individual and collective responsibility for their shared objectives and research has shown that team building has a significant positive impact on teams, whether or not they find it difficult to work together. Team building involves coaching both employees and management to improving working together cohesively. Organisations all over the world use a variety of techniques and strategies to help company workers get to know each other and learn how to solve problems, boost personal and collective creativity, and work well towards achieving a common goal. Goal setting and role clarification are particularly effective, as they help each employee better understand their individual role, inspire them to set goals, increase motivation to reach both company and individual goals and reduce conflict in the office.
What can team building do for me?
Statistics show that Australian businesses who have an engaged workforce can earn up to 2.5 times more income than competitors whose employees have a lower engagement level. What is more, engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave a company, meaning business leaders can expect to have much less turnover and higher productivity.
Team building, when done properly, fosters strong connections and relationships in the workplace. Research has shown that having a good friend at work can boost engagement levels by up to 50%. Team building exercises that are effective in helping employees make friends with their peers include a weekly or monthly “Social Hour”, a company volunteer project and internal seminars hosted in turn by individual employees or small teams.
Another important aspect of team building involves building trust between managers and their direct reports. In fact, a 2015 Gallup study shows that a highly engaged leadership team can boost employee engagement by up to 39%. Studies have shown that leaders can improve engagement by setting individual and organisation-wide goals in collaboration with employees, being transparent about company progress and creating a company culture.
Improve Communication Skills
Over 85% of all workplace errors have been attributed to lack of collaboration and/or miscommunication. Team building activities that require team members to communicate with each other to resolve a problem or win a competition can be effective in helping employees become effective communicators. At the same time, these activities should be coupled with office policies that promote team bonding.
Many of the world’s largest companies realise that creativity can significantly boost a company’s bottom line. Organisations such as Google and 3M all allow time for employees to get away from their regular duties and dedicate time to innovation, for new systems, processes and products. These large companies all credit this “company creativity time” as being the inspiration behind some of their most successful products. Team building improves creativity in a few ways. Firstly, it puts employees in a new environment and requires them think outside of the parameters of their daily routine. Creativity-based team building exercises also communicates the value management places on creativity to employees.
While hiring the right employees is certainly important, it is clear that choosing good people for your company is not the only key to success. Helping your employees work well together can not only boost your bottom line but also reduce workplace tension, reduce employee turnover and even lead to the creation of new products or services that will propel your company forward.