If you do a quick search on the internet of ‘what successful businesses have in common’, you will find countless articles that emphasize the importance of a robust business model, market research, a long-term vision, transparency, and so on. Sure, having a good business model and vision represents the backbone of any successful business. However, if your teams are disconnected and, more importantly, disengaged, then it makes no difference if you follow business best practices to the letter because they will account for nothing.
If you look closely at companies like Google and Apple for example, you will notice a focus on company culture, cutting-edge technology to get teams to communicate and get things done and a variety of events to break down silos and engage employees.
In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of team-building activities and go through some examples that you can apply to your own business.
- Benefits of team-building activities:
- Break down silos
Disconnected teams, departments and subsidiaries constitute one of the most recurrent problems facing businesses today. It gets even worse when there are no tools in place to facilitate communication and additional work activities to encourage teams to bond. It is probably safe to say that the bond you have with your close teammates is much stronger than the one you have with colleagues from other departments, which is normal. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. This is where team-building events come into play. Their capacity to get people together in a fun and chilled environment can help create and solidify relationships and improve collaboration, which in turn can positively impact your bottom line.
- Promote a culture of healthy competition
Having a competitive mindset is one of the main traits that employers look for in a candidate. That, of course, coupled with their ability to integrate and work well within a team. This is why HR departments – even long after they recruit candidates – try several initiatives to create a culture of healthy competition within the workplace. Team-building activities are easily one of the most effective ways to ensure that your employees stay engaged and compete within an informal environment. The surge of new technologies like gamification and employee recognition programmes can give a high-tech dimension to these events with features like leader boards and badges.
- Retain talents and build trust
Besides recruiting talents, HR and communication specialists have the tricky task of keeping employees engaged in order to retain them. However, this is not an easy task as the competition for talents is fierce and today’s employees have much higher expectations than before.
There are a number of ways to guarantee high levels of engagement and a low voluntary turnover rate, ranging from digital workplace solutions with social and collaborative features, to dedicated recognition programmes, to team-building activities. The latter approach represents the most common and time-honoured way to get employees together and create a sense of belonging and transparency that will eventually bear fruit in the long term.
- Attract talents through social media
The changing dynamics in the workplace coupled with the rise in social media have meant that businesses have had to adapt their messaging to reach younger and tech-savvy audiences. A glance through the social media accounts of businesses, especially B2B, reveals that the focus has shifted from promoting products to promoting the brand and the workplace. There you will find posts relating to behind-the-scenes staff, various activities and of course team-building events. These posts are designed to attract talents, convey the company culture and appeal to future customers and clients.
- Examples of team-building activities
- Sports teams
The number of corporate sports teams has risen in recent years. In fact, the trend has gathered so much momentum that in some countries like the US, leagues have been created for specific sports like football, basketball, and so on.
Sports teams can be a great way to connect your employees, improve collaboration and, most importantly, keep your employees fit.
- Outdoor activities
Getting your employees out of the office environment for a day or two can help reduce their stress levels, pump up their adrenaline levels (depending on the activity) and create a strong bond among teammates. Go-kart racing, paintball and laser tag are great examples of such activities.
Every team has that one shy colleague who would think twice before getting his/her point across in a crowded room. Well, karaoke can help eliminate those fears and get your teams together on a fun night out. You can even take karaokes one step further by organizing small competitions between teams based on their singing and dancing abilities and their overall bold moves.
- Escape room
What better way to get your employees to communicate, collaborate and solve problems together than by getting them in a closed room with some clues and asking them to find a way out.
Escape rooms are a great way to connect your employees (provided they are not claustrophobic), encourage them to work together and – while you are at it – assess their IQs.
Employees are the most important part of your business. Keep them happy, they stay; neglect them, they leave. Although quite simple if we look at it that way, the process of achieving an engaged and happy workforce is long and tricky because ultimately it doesn’t necessarily depend on you. There are competitors who have more money, employees who want to take on new challenges, and so on. However, a number of initiatives – like team-building activities – can be utilized to help your teams bond, get creative and, more importantly, become more aligned with your vision and values. The above list isn’t a comprehensive one, but we believe it’s a great place to start on account of the simplicity and proven efficiency of such activities.