How Team Building Activities Help Leaders Create High-Performing Teams? — KNOLSKAPE
Summary- It’s no surprise that effective team building activities for work have helped businesses thrive and grow even in the post-pandemic era. Organizations are now looking for interesting ways to incorporate team building activities as a part of their culture. In this blog, we’ll take you through some recommended ways one can use to strengthen connections, and improve employee engagement, productivity, and performance within teams — all through team building activities.
For a successful transition to your role as a first-time leader, you need to adopt different approaches. And while there are seemingly a variety of ways to lead effectively in the digital age, successful leadership often boils down to how connected you’re with the organization and its people.
In general, there are many screen tests for emerging leaders; however, dexterity in team building and comradeship is certainly worth examining. From day one, you’ll want your team members to feel like they can make a difference in their roles. And, to bring it to fruition, you need to expand on how you approach employee experience. Take action on building comradery outside of work, make time to connect, bring people together, and do whatever it takes to keep them engaged.
In this blog, we’ll take you through some great ways you can use to strengthen connections, improve employee engagement, productivity, and performance within your teams, all through team building activities.
Here’s what we’ll talk about:
- What is team building?
- The importance of team building activities for work
- How team building activities for work benefits emerging leaders?
- Team building activities for employee engagement and productivity
- 10 reasons why you should invest in team building activities for work
What Is Team Building?
Team building is a broad term for various tactics, strategies, and actions organizations take to form strong, high-performing, and engaging teams.
The term ‘building’ in team-building implies success, power, and growth, which starts with the right investment in your people. When a group of people work towards a common goal, shared vision, and come together as a cohesive unit, the results are reduced attrition rates, improved bottom line, and happier employees.
No matter the industry type, team building has now become a necessity. Especially in a hybrid setup, when employees prefer to operate remotely and lack face-to-face interaction, the need to make them feel driven is imperative.
Organizations around the globe are realizing the importance of team building activities for work. It’s no surprise that effective team building has helped businesses thrive and grow even in the post-pandemic era.
One of the interesting aspects of team building activities is that they break down virtual barriers and allow you to socialize with your team members without feeling pressed by the corporate environment.
It is also important to note that team building activities for work are most impactful when practiced consistently. Instead of considering it as an one-off event, you should implement it religiously so that it becomes a part of your culture. Given the era of distributed teams, team building exercises that keep team members connected and heard should be at the forefront of all remote initiatives.
The Importance of Team Building Activities for Work
Employees are an organization’s most valuable asset. As a leader, you must recognize their role, discover ways to connect with your team, and also help them bond with each other. That’s what team building activities for work assist in!
Team building activities are also aimed at improving the performance of teams.
In the post-covid world, organizations across different industries and locations are experiencing an extreme turnover rate. Furthermore, holding on to existing employees and bringing new talent is becoming a key priority for leaders.
Organizations are now looking for unbeatable ways to enhance employee experience. In terms of driving employee engagement, team building exercises, teamwork, and team bonding are some of the top-notch ways that have shown outstanding results in the past. Businesses with loyal, engaged, and committed employees bring in 2.5x more revenue than those with disconnected ones.
Team bonding exercises are important because they can help strengthen employee morale and confidence. There will always be days when your teams feel bogged down by their workload. Whenever that happens, you must understand the reasons and look for team building activities that give them the much-needed rest.
Team building activities have a key role in keeping everyone on the same page. This is to develop rapport between your team members. When planning team building activities, ensure that it’s not boxed as a “nice refreshment” but has a strong purpose behind it to bind the entire organization.
How Team Building Activities for Work Benefits Emerging Leaders?
The biggest challenge young leaders face is earning trust, respect, and backing from their people. There are many published studies that reveal how the trust levels employees have in senior leadership is declining over the last two years. It simply implies that trust in leadership is not getting any better.
Considering the fact that a high-trust culture is an absolute necessity, you should be putting extra measures in place to forge connections with their employees.
Out of the different ways trust in leadership can be reinforced, team building activities are equally critical. Employees lose trust in their leaders when they feel neglected to their needs. It’s easy for leaders to get preoccupied with their daily agendas and deadlines that they may easily skip on employee recognition/engagement. Likewise, there are multiple instances at work that are often pushed aside because of skewed priorities.
But, simple team building activities can do big things for effective leadership. Just by practicing the right ways for team bonding, you can show employees how deserving, important, and valued their contributions are.
Addressing problems, treating employees fairly, small gestures, and resolving conflicts as a team are great morale and trust boosters. By investing in these team building activities, you will make your employees feel included, foster team communication, and solidify trust, as you navigate the hybrid world.
Team Building Activities for Employee Engagement and Productivity
Now that we’ve uncovered how making the most of team building activities for work translates to influential leadership, let’s talk about some team building activities that are great for employee satisfaction and organizational performance.
‘Get To Know Each Other’ Activities
When you’re starting as a first-time leader, you need time to understand your team members in and out. And when the relationship between a manager and subordinate isn’t that smooth, it can cause a real blocker, especially in the new normal.
‘Get to know your team’ is a team building activity aimed at knowing team members at a personal level.
Activities that fall under this category bring the best version of an individual. Besides, when leaders and teammates spend time with each other outside of work, they bond well. Learning about each other is also a great way to build team cohesion.
The best part about ‘get to know’ activities is that they act as great conversation starters. The more often you communicate with your team, the better you understand their strengths and weaknesses, which further helps in team alignment in the right direction.
Brainstorming Exercises to Foster Inclusion and Creativity
Ask your team to present a plan through group brainstorming. When done right, brainstorming exercises can help teams with creative thinking and a sense of accomplishment.
To utilize this technique to its full advantage, distribute individuals across teams over a while. If the same team strategies for a long time, ideas can turn cold.
Make sure to welcome people from different experiences and skill sets. This also promotes a culture of inclusiveness. As far as sharing feedback is concerned, go slow. It’s always wise to let the creative juices flow freely, at least at this stage. Judgments can be given later too.
Virtual Luncheons and Coffee Connects for Connection and Trust Building
Building trust in a virtual world is tough. And with the absence of cheesy games and watercooler conversations, it’s even trickier. Have you ever tried a casual, non-work-related conversation before discussing agendas? How often do you ask your team about their weekend plans? How do you decide if your team member is outgoing or introverted by nature? Have you ever known your team members outside of work?
If not yet, the bonds of trust within your team will slip very soon.
An excellent way to set up non-work-related conversations is by introducing bi-weekly coffee breaks or virtual luncheons. These activities should work beyond emails, deadlines, and calendars and are strictly used for fun chats, open communication, and relationship building. That way you’ll not only discover unlikely connections but also build the trust your teams need to get ahead.
Buddy Sessions for Teamwork
One of the powerful ways to strengthen teamwork is through frequent buddy sessions. Working in isolation sometimes leads to miscommunication and stagnancy. To overcome these barriers to productivity and improve teamwork, you must encourage your team members to perform as a team.
Networking, communication, and rapport building can fall aside when you don’t see your teams in person. But to emerge as a strong leader in the new age workspace, you need to create a culture of socialization, peer support, and open feedback. Buddy sessions can help you identify what your team members are up to, and how they feel about their work. Additionally, it’ll help you address blockers in their personal and professional growth.
How Team Building Activities for Work Can Help Leaders Create High-Performing Teams?
Without an effective, well-run team, it’s nearly impossible to manage as many responsibilities and workloads. As your organization advances in the coming years, allocating time and efforts in knowing your people, and understanding their temperament, attributes and opinions can make all the difference.
Listed below are some reasons why investing in team building should be at the top of your priority list:
Strengthens Collaboration: Aside from solidifying employer-employee relationships, team building also fosters cooperation among colleagues, which is essential to positive collaboration and teamwork. When two or more people come along and learn better about each other, their comfort level with each other evolves. They form good partnerships, are appreciative of diverse feedback, and are respectful of differing viewpoints. Eventually, these associations help team members understand each other’s responsibilities better, thereby leading to better-quality and impactful results.
Builds a Sought-After Company Culture: Effective team building promotes a culture of inclusion that allows employees to express themselves in an authentic manner. If conversations flow honestly and smoothly, stress and anxiety at work are alleviated, which in turn heightens the overall vibe and gives HR heads a much stronger foundation to build a culture of care, compassion, and inclusion.
Improves Employee Engagement: Hanging onto your employees isn’t the only fix to organizational development. If your employees lack the drive, passion, and eagerness to show up at work or meetings, your leadership will go downhill.
Gallup reported that only 29% of employees feel connected and involved at work, which means 7 out of 10 millennial employees feel uninspired at work. The numbers are alarming! 16% of actively disengaged employees can indicate a shrinkage in your bottom line.
However, if you employ the right team building strategies, you’re more likely to prevent workplace burnout.
Team building activities for work invite employees to show their best version. It provides them with opportunities beyond their daily tasks. This cultivates a sense of belonging. Along with that, when employees see their efforts count, irrespective of how little or big, they feel recognized. Team building can also help build engaged employees who are self-motivated. They don’t need to be constantly micromanaged, which in turn frees up your time for other important activities.
Provides More Opportunities for Growth and Learning: Team building opens room for people from different departments to join hands together and learn something new. Several team building exercises like brainstorming sessions can help employees gain new knowledge and further apply them in their current roles.
Similarly, attending team meet-ups like webinars, or conferences also brushes up skills and makes employees more productive. Team building activities like training help employees with great networking opportunities and learn from their peers.
Helps With Conflict Resolution: Conflict management is a vital skill. If left unattended, conflicts can make workplaces toxic. No one likes to work in an environment where teams think of each other as “competitors” and not as a unit. So, if you don’t want conflicts to attack your workplace, involve your teammates in places where they can collaborate as partners.
Several group-based activities wherein team members are challenged to solve a problem with visionary ideas can be of much importance. Such team building activities require individuals to think through at the same pace and reach the desired outcome. With collaborative thinking, active participation, and a shared goal at hand, conflicts are almost nonexistent.
As a leader, you can also benefit from team building activities by recognizing your team members’ thought patterns, behavior, and understanding to attempt the task, which in turn suppresses individual differences and mitigates any kind of conflicts.
Team building takes time and, at times, trial and error. You may not get it right the very first day. Take small steps. Pick one initiative and experiment with it amongst your team. Just be sure to track your progress with each activity, and feel free to share your analysis with your team, in order to really support them!
Be okay with accepting feedback as you move through different team building activities.
Also, please keep in mind that team building should not be confused with a daily grind. Rather, it should be embedded in your culture and that won’t happen overnight. With all the benefits that team building activities offer, you can’t afford to not include them in your organization’s DNA. Take it slow. Have an open mindset. Be flexible when adopting innovative strategies and you’ll be surprised with how team building can change the game for you, your team members, and the organization at large!
Learn How to Build High-Performing Teams With KNOLSKAPE!
Most leaders struggle with their responsibilities when they employ the same leadership style with all their team members. To get the best out of your teams, you must adapt yourself to each team member’s needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing inspiring teams. Thus, you need to equip yourself with the skills that help you uncover more about your team member’s hidden talents, weak spots and figure out the best way to handle them.
Before getting on with managing a dispersed team, you need to be prepared to guide your team members through the challenges so they can deliver their best output. Team building can be tough but with the right leadership competencies, it can get a lot easier.
KNOLSKAPE’s iLead simulation prepares you for contextual leadership This simulation is designed to help emerging leaders like you build leadership capabilities by putting them in the role of a team manager.
To succeed, participants are expected to use a variety of leadership styles in response to their team member’s needs, as well as challenging situations that emerge within the simulation.
If you want to dive deeper into the insights that KNOLSKAPE has mined over years of experience with developing future-ready leaders, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to walk you through our array of experiential learning courses and targeted developmental journeys for new-age leadership.
Originally published at https://knolskape.com on July 25, 2022.