The phrase “team building” has been around for decades but most still fail to see the importance or even the point behind it. If you were to ask, to most people the goal of team building would be to lessen drama/disagreements, smooth out differences and to create friendships between co-workers. What if we told you that team building measures could improve communication, assist in handling of work place conflict, encourage trust and also encourage collaboration?
We are not talking about your run of the mill trust-fall exercises. Team building exercises that bring to light individual strengths and weaknesses, problem solving, team collaboration and communication could improve all the things listed above and so much more.
Need more convincing that team building is for and should be used by everyone? Here are some facts:
- 96% of leaders state lack of collaboration/ineffective communication for failures at work
- 25% of employees search outside of their own department for information and knowledge
- 60% of employees agree that they do not receive enough feedback from management
- 5.9%-the average percent of teams who talk about daily goals
- 67% believe open communication with colleagues could help them do their job better
Clearly the facts and statistics support the theories of team building.
Here is more specific information on how team building can improve your business:
Communication is key no matter who you are and what you do. At some point in time, you will have to communicate to a co-worker, colleague or another industry professional. A staggering 85% of workplace failures can be blamed on lack of communication according to employees and that percent jumps to 96% according to managers. Team building activities that improve communication between co-workers will greatly reduce failures, increase problem solving and promote bonding between team members.
Today, communication improving exercises should not just be aimed at verbal communication. We live in the world of technology, so communication via social media, email and other non-verbal tools should be focused on as well. These tactics could not only improve communication, but can also increase productivity since we live in the world of “instant” communication.
Handling of Conflict
Let’s be real. There will always be a certain amount of conflict and drama when you have to work within a team. How you handle those conflicts and what you come out with is what is important. Conflict is necessary to grow and create solutions to problems. Team building exercises can help us to take those conflicts, see them for what they are and teach us out to create solutions from them. Learning how to get over the initial feeling of wanting to be right or wanting our own ideas to be the best will allow team members to listen, accept other ideas and collaborate together to generate solutions. Not only has this become a solution, team members have also learned how to accept and listen to others opinions.
Why should we trust our co-workers? Let’s revisit the statistic: 25% of employees search outside of their own department for information and knowledge. That is one quarter of a team and could be even more depending on the dynamic of your company. If you or a co-worker are looking to a colleague or co-worker to help solve a problem, for more information or, even more important, customer support, trust has to be key. Trusting your co-workers will guarantee that solutions will be made and customers will be tended to and satisfied which will increase your productivity and bottom line in the end.
While some may think this is similar to communication, effectively speaking/communication to someone and actually working with them are completely different. Simply put, lack of collaboration creates an increase of mistakes. An increase of mistakes means a reduction of productivity and profits, or sometimes worse, loss of clients. While working with someone is different than communication, communication is still the first step and key component. Being able to collaborate and work well with others will also improve brainstorming, create solutions and teaches you to trust others. As you can see, communication is the start and collaboration is the binding agent that pulls all other goals together successfully.
We would love to hear if you have participated in any team building exercises and what differences it has made for you and your teams!