Being an HR professional means being able to handle challenges with grace. You need to be creative in finding ways to work with people who may not always be easy to work with. That is why, sometimes, you should bring everyone together through a team-building event.
Team building does not have to be expensive. You can hold a potluck lunch or organize a small group activity like bowling. Your intention should simply be to bring people together to build relationships and stimulate growth. Therefore, we invite you to take advantage of the downtime after the end-of-the-year holidays and plan for your next team-building event for 2019.
Can Team-Building Activities Contribute to Skills Growth?
Of course. Here are five benefits that team-building activities can bring to your workplace colleagues.
1. Develop problem-solving skills
Team-building activities can bring team players together to solve key problems. If everyone knows their role, they can enhance their collaborative problem-solving skills as they break down large problems into manageable parts. This way, individuals can feel competent approaching different tasks that contribute to the whole. Consider implementing a team charter (team weekly roadmap) and clearly define roles and tasks. In this way, team members can address their individual responsibilities, work together more effectively, and following each other’s progress. Although this method is not a team-building event per se, the team’s weekly review of the chart is an event that will help the team collectively refocus their energy.
2. Cultivate interpersonal skills
97% of employees and executives believe a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a shared task or project (Source). That’s why a team needs to bond — to develop a sense of “looking out for each other” and a personal investment in the entirety of the group task. Team building provides the opportunity to learn about each other and gain respect for each other in a non-threatening and fun environment. You can create a workplace that supports employee well-being, success and enthusiasm for work. For example, you can send random employees to lunch together or ask everyone to take turns keeping break areas clean. Such strategies create more opportunities for close interaction, where team members can cultivate their communication and interpersonal skills.
3. Grow in specific skills and expertise
You can design team-building events to focus specifically on results or developing skills. For example, you can use a team-building exercise to develop a new marketing strategy for the company, or you can do brainstorming exercises to generate ideas for handling certain company challenges. These kinds of activities encourage creativity and give each team member a chance to develop leadership skills while simultaneously strengthening the team’s collaborative ability to problem-solve, strategize, and plan. For example, you can include in your weekly tasks “The Learning Hour” where each member of the team shares something they read related to their area of expertise. This way, you encourage team members to develop their presentation skills, teaching skills, communication skills and leadership skills. Of course, you can use this hour to craft a strategy for your department or generate development ideas.
4. Improve their sense of community
A positive and enthusiastic team will create good morale in the workplace. You can boost this morale even further by encouraging your coworkers to share their energy and team pride by helping others beyond the company walls. For example, you can take a day to hold a blood drive in your office, giving your fellow employees a chance to donate blood without having to go to the hospital. Give the day a fun name, like “From Zero to Hero: Blood Donation Day.” Such an event is not costly and, as your employees help the local community, they will feel good about themselves and cultivate their inner need for “making a contribution.”
5. Drive their collective productivity
40% of Millennials (who are soon to comprise the majority of the workforce) say they are willing to pay out-of-pocket for social collaboration tools to improve productivity. Even if you do not have the budget to invest in productivity tools, you can still foster an environment that cultivates open communication. Team productivity depends largely upon the relationships among the team members. If the team members get along with each other and understand and respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the workplace automatically becomes a happier place, and team productivity and efficiency will automatically shoot up.
Overall, you can use team-building activities to give team members a way to develop their individual and interpersonal skills and foster their engagement, innovation, and leadership. Sadly, team building events are commonly underutilized because of budgeting issues. Don’t let a lack of funding stop you, however. Your events do not need to be costly. Simple and inexpensive activities can make a huge impact upon team bonding and performance. Let us know in the comments below some of your ideas for successful team building in 2019.