Over two decades delivering team building events across Australia and New Zealand, I have seen how team building has grown to become an integral part of HR plans and budgets and an important responsibility for Executive Assistants in organisations.
So what are the actual benefits of investing in a team building program, you may ask? Why are there more and more businesses investing in corporate team building activities?
To help answer these questions, here are the top 10 reasons why companies have approached us to deliver team building events in 2015.
1. To enhance team morale
We spend a fair portion of our lives at work, complying to rules, policies and regulations and for most it, being serious. Team building events enable staff to have fun, break up routine and enhance morale.
2. To send a message of value
As most team building activities are fun, away from the workplace and non work-specific, they show your team that you value and appreciate them.
3. To encourage fun in the workplace
A well-structured team building program reinforces that work can and should be fun and rewarding.
4. To address specific team issues
Team building programs can be tailored to address specific areas that your team may need to develop in a non-threatening environment. For example, interpersonal communication, team leadership, strategic planning and even new product development.
5. To reward staff
A fun team event is a popular way of recognising your team for achieving good results, recording a milestone, or reaching your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal).
6. To observe your team under specific stresses
Team building programs can provide a learning environment where all team members are required to deal with new and varying stresses. This will help identify strengths and skills in staff that you may not have known beforehand as well as areas for further training.
7. To deliver a unique dinner experience
Many organisations want ways to turn a standard corporate or conference dinner function into something unique, memorable and entertaining for guests or delegates.
8. To reinforce company values
Team building programs are a great way of reinforcing company values. There has been an increasing trend in companies using team building as part of their corporate social responsibility programs, and undertaking activities that provide a benefit for a charity or cause.
9. To challenge belief systems
Programs can be designed to challenge individual and team beliefs against company values or codes in specific areas such as integrity, loyalty, profitability and honesty.
10. To interact with clients
Team building activities can be a unique way to entertain, network and plan with clients in a fun and relaxed environment.
The benefits of team building can be diverse as these 10 reasons highlight. Ultimately, a good team building program will come down to the reason for doing it, so it can tailored to achieve this objective.
In the end though, teams that know and understand each other will perform better than teams that don't. As Plato said, "you learn more in an hour of play than a lifetime of conversation".