Team building often gets put on the backburner for managers, but it’s a crucial component to get your team rowing in the same direction and to develop mutual trust.
If you’ve experienced a teambuilding event, you may have memories of awkward encounters. But here’s the reality: Teambuilding is critical to forging trust, promoting creativity, encouraging open communication, and initiating collaboration. High-performing teams have mutual trust and feel that team members have each other’s backs. Managers are the catalysts who create an environment of openness where team members can share problems and concerns without fear.
Often, managers trade in teambuilding for one-on-ones. They focus on building a relationship with each member independently. While this, in and of itself, isn’t bad, it neglects the richness that comes from your team members’ developing connections with each other. The team culture, including values and norms, also begins to take shape in moments when the team comes together to brainstorm and problem-solve.
Incredible fulfillment is found when you nourish the fertile grounds of team culture. You will be surprised by the increased performance when you begin to create connections among team members.
Here are some helpful tips for effective team building:
- It’s an investment. Teambuilding is an investment of time, and it’s easy for a manager to feel guilty about investing in fun. But remember that this will make team members feel appreciated! Plan something that taps into their interests. Ask for their feedback on what they would most like to do as a team. It doesn’t have to be a formal event, and it doesn’t have to cost any money. Be creative.
- Make it a habit. Most teambuilding activities happen once and are forgotten. Instead, strive to make these activities monthly, quarterly, or semiannual. Make them events that your team will look forward to.
- Roll with the excitement. Your teambuilding activities should be fun and exciting, bringing people joy at working toward a common purpose.
At the end of the day, while trying to determine if your teambuilding activity was a success, ask yourself: Were people experiencing joy? Were team members laughing, competitive, or exhilarated?
What are some potential teambuilding activities you can organize for your team?