Here at The Great Barn, we’ve been running corporate activity and team building events for over 30 years. Each and every year, we host over 150 different corporate events and in all of that time, we’ve seen groups generate some fantastic results, with many opting to run similar initiatives for their teams year after year.
So, the question is, why should you run a team building activity day? Based on our experience, here are the top eight reasons to do so.
Why team building is important
1. Your team can get to know each other
If the only interaction your team members have is work-related, they’ll only have a one-dimensional view of one another. Gathering your team outside of the work environment and taking part in games and activities will allow them to open up new dimensions of their personalities. It’ll help to provide everyone with a more rounded view of the people they work with, what makes them tick and how they like to unwind. After all, the better you know and understand someone, the better you can work alongside them.
2. You can build connections across disparate teams
A disparate team can be spread across multiple locations (particularly in the age of remote working technology) or one location; the key is that a disparate team rarely gets the chance to truly interact and spend time with other teams. A team-building event is a perfect solution to this problem. It brings people together in a single place and bonds them by asking them to work on a shared goal.
3. It can improve staff morale and engagement
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ goes the idiom. An overworked team is at risk of, at best, becoming bored and, at worst, disengaging from the organisation. This is one of the most important reasons in favour of running team building days. By their very nature, they break up the potential for the monotony of daily work, offering staff the chance to stretch their minds with new challenges.
4. Done right, it makes your employees feel valued
Team building days have become a common theme in TV comedies such as The Office, but they needn’t be uncomfortable affairs. Done with a touch of class and care, team days can be genuinely good fun and a great way to show your team how much you value them and their input. Avoid gimmicks and stick to well organised, valuable activities.
5. It will foster a positive attitude
Working together as a team and seeing people you know from work become energised in ways you haven’t seen before is an uplifting experience. So too is spending a day out of the normal work environment and taking part in something different. A well-run team building day isn’t about forced fun, instead it should provide everyone taking part with the opportunity to focus on something a little different to the ordinary, a chance to show off some skills that are normally hidden and learn about the people they work alongside. The positive outcomes will last longer than the day itself, even if it’s the occasional giggle about the result of one of the team challenges!
6. It’s a hands-on way to develop skills in communication and collaboration
Communication and collaboration in the workplace are usually fundamental skills, but they often only get applied on an as-needed basis. Busy team members caught up in a deadline will develop a short-hand style of communication that, when misinterpreted, can cause difficulty. Team building days are simply one of the best ways to develop healthier communication and collaboration skills. Your team will be given the opportunity to work together, but with the pressure of work removed from the equation. The result will be that your team rely on their natural, relaxed skills in communication and will learn how best to work together when pressure isn’t mounting.
7. It’s a hands-on way to develop creative skills
You may not think it, but we all use creativity in our work. Whenever a problem needs to be solved and there’s no obvious answer, we need to use creativity to come up with the answer from the ingredients we have at hand. Much like with communication skills, the need for creativity in your work can sometimes start to feel like overcoming hurdles. A team-building day is a great way to hit the reset button and remind people that creativity is about enjoying the problem-solving process and not about focussing on the problem only.
8. It’s an investment in your team, not a business cost
Team building days are an investment. It’s all too easy to see such events as a cost to your business but it’s important to quantify the outcomes and realise the impact on your bottom line. A well-run team building day can:
Make your team happier
Enhance your team’s creative skills
Bring team members together
A team that works better together will produce better work, will be more productive and will be happier. Your business can realise the gains in increased productivity and in the reduction of problem-solving related costs, such as replacing employees who decide to move out of a role they’ve become disengaged with. A team-building day may not be a problem-solving silver bullet, but run well by professionals there will almost certainly be quantifiable benefits to be had.