Stop Wasting Money on Team Building
Team building is one of the most essential things a manager can do for his team.
It not only improves productivity at work but also establishes bonds between the workers and the team manager, which becomes firmer the more they find themselves in situations that are not related to work.
The main goal of team building is to boost motivation, which is of utmost importance, not only to the team manager but extremely important to the workers as well.
It is so due to the fact that the work productivity and quality of job performance are highly dependent on the motivation, among other things.
Having said that, even though team-building is important, more often than not, many corporations get to extreme lengths in their team-building exercises that it has recently become an obsession of some sorts to some people, particularly workers who feel that they are obligated to attend a team-building event, even though they do not wish to be a part of one.
In this article, you will learn why sometimes certain team-building activities are not an ideal thing or the most important event to be organized.
We will touch base on the negative sides of some team-building activities, what should be the goal of these activities, and talk about the possibility of finding something different that can be as beneficial as a new team-building activity.
Before you start reading, have in mind that team-building is still a good way to motivate your workers, but sometimes there are people who go the unnecessary extra mile in these events, and that is what this article will focus on.
NOT ALL TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES ARE GOOD
Team-building as a concept might be old, starting out in the 1920s and being interwoven with corporations ever since, having a slow start but reaching full speed nowadays.
There were a lot of critical points in its early origins and its later evolution, but team-building has stopped evolving in recent years, being caught in a revolving, boring, one-sided activities that are more an excuse for some managements to tick off the team-building activity off their notepad than to actually utilize it as it was meant to be used.
More often are the companies forced, in a way, to initiate a team-building event in order to motivate workers and boost productivity in them.
As a result, most of these team-building activities are made through a pattern and completely unoriginal, missing the result and only giving the company a financial deficit.
One of the goals in a team-building activity is to promote collaboration among the workers, the workers use the activities to get to know each one better and boost their social links which further helps in the workplace.
Having said that, it is a common occurrence that after the usual rope courses, running through an obstacle course while having a cookout in the background, all that bonding experience will evaporate when the workers get face to face with a workload pressurizing them without an end.
If you have a team of workers working under you, and you are thinking of organizing a team-building activity, there is a good sport analogy to use when thinking about the activities, think of it as a philosophy behind the team-building activity that you should follow, not as an instant solution to which activity you should organize.
Using the sports analogy, the basketball team consists of a certain number of individuals who are there to complement each other’s game and become better along the way.
The author added a word about a golf team, mentioning that sometimes a group of workers centering on their own individualistic and independent characteristics might prove to be better in some certain situations, the goal is to avoid the “group think”, which is not a default solution to every question.
The field that lies between the basketball team and the golf team is the relay team.
A relay team is good as its weakest link; the whole race depends on the individuals’ strengths and characteristics, in addition to their own collaboration efforts and collaborative ability.
There are the three main schools of thought you should employ when thinking about the team-building activities, specifics of some activities will be covered in the further writing of the text.
Usually, the point of the team-building activities is to emulate a stressful or uncertain activity or situation, so that people would automatically create bonds through those activities.
However, those bonds might be beneficial between some of the workers in an environment outside work, in a working environment, it might wither away, as the workers linked that feeling to the activities they have gone through.
In light of that, certain people have found out that the essential characteristic that one should build in their teams is trust. When your team members trust each other then the productivity and motivation should come on its own.
There are a few activities that you can incorporate to boost trust within a team, such as a simple talking among the colleagues about their own aspirations and dreams, as opening oneself to other people should pave the way for earning their trust.
There are a few more interesting ways, refer to this article if you wish to learn more.
Trust matters in the workplace because it presents a foundation stone of a successful team.
To go back to the aforementioned sports analogy, the most successful sports teams have achieved their successes because they trusted their coach or team manager.
The players trusted the coach’s plan of actions, and the players trust that if one of them fails to get the ball, the defending player will have their back.
Trust is essential and is one of the most things that one should focus on when planning team-building activities.
In conclusion, not all team-building activities are good, but there are those that focus on building trust that are the ones every company should focus on.
Of course, it’s downright stupid to think that the only way to build trust is through team-building activities.
Trust is best built through real-life experiences and troubles that you and your co-workers engage in as well as through simple conversations so team-building might very well be obsolete.
WHY ARE THESE TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES EXPENSIVE?
Most of the time, when huge companies decide to organize a team-building activity, they try to find a balance between price and effectiveness.
The price itself mostly depends on the number of participants and the type of the event.
According to the United Kingdom-based, English article, the price range from 1,200 pounds to 12,000 pounds.
The cost would include everything that is needed for the sure completion of the activity, pre-planning is done by the activities organizer, and travel to the event.
The events are not usually cheap due to a huge organizational effort that has to be put into the event itself. If the event is, for instance, a parachute jump, the cost would not be the lowest one out there.
A plane has to be rented, the instructors need to be hired, a minibus or a big bus has to be rented, depending on the number of participants. It is a logistical hassle, as well.
There is a huge amount of work needed in order to successfully organize such an event, especially if a third party organizer is hired to see the event to its successful end. That is why these kinds of events are in the higher numbers in a financial way.
Of course, there are much cheaper ways to organize a team-building event, even a simple pick-up game of basketball is cheaper and better in way of promoting teamwork and instilling a healthy dose of competitiveness in workers.
As children would say, all you really need is a basket and a ball, and you are set to go.
There is something about a more “exotic” team-building activity, but its biggest disadvantage is that it might prove to be a huge money hole that might not bring the best results.
NEGATIVE SIDES OF CERTAIN TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Most often than not, workers do not like team-building activities, as the company does not provide the workers with a challenging or interesting activity.
While some prefer game activities such as the “Escape Room” kind of challenges, the companies opt-in for the old-fashioned motivational speaker who centers around the good old “trust fall” technique.
The negative sides are that the company wastes money on something that provides no benefits to the workers.
Another negative side that has been mentioned in the article is that the effects of the team-building activities are not a characteristic that permanently stays with the workers.
The workers’ newly found skills would fade out and be forgotten, as they connected the trait and feeling to the situation that it was acquired in.
Another negative side is that not all workers feel comfortable doing certain activities.
This way, you would do more harm than good. The worker might not be confident enough or might find the activity silly and embarrassing.
If the manager tries to force the embarrassed worker into doing the activity, it might create an even bigger gap between them.
According to Kate Mercer, a co-founder of the Leaders Lab consultancy, most team-building activities should focus not on the one shared experience that affects the individuals, but on the experiences that the group can tackle together, and go through it as a one, synchronized group.
In conclusion, certain activities that are still being used today have become slightly archaic and are not proven to be as impactful as they have been or as other activities can be.
IS THERE ANY OTHER ACTIVITY THAT CAN PROVE TO BE A BETTER INVESTMENT?
There are definitely some activities that bring benefits to both your workers and to the company as a whole.
One of the best activities that can boost the motivation of your workers and can paint a better picture of your company is any activity that has the goal of helping the community.
There is a lot of power in giving back to the community, and it is a thing most other companies completely ignore.
In reality, it is a simple thing that will, in the long run, prove to be beneficial to the worker and the company, the former by giving him a sense of being a part of something noble, boosting his confidence in his work; the latter by increasing the reputation of your company and presenting the company as trustful business that are friendly and loyal to its customers.
There are several ways in which you can help your community. One of the simplest, yet most effective ways, is to simply directly help the town or the city.
You can directly help the people by organizing your workers into volunteering in the soup kitchens and providing supplies for the particular city’s soup kitchens.
As previously mentioned, the workers will feel motivated, which is one of the most important traits for workers, and feel as they are not a simple cog in the grand, corporate machine, but an integral part of the team.
Involving your workers with the community is the easiest course of action. It is popular due to its low financial kick, and the final results usually bring more benefits than worrying about the company’s bottom line.
In addition, you can always organize a charity event in the city.
This can further boost some workers’ skills, as they can, for instance, organize a Christmas play or a similar event, and boost their own leadership, organizational, and communication skills that will definitely prove useful in their further careers.
The community helping approach is good for the company as well, as it provides the company with a more positive reputation, as one that is aware of its city or town, and is willing to help and ensure a better life for the community in any way possible, and the customers will be reciprocal with your company in terms of trustfulness: if you earn their trust and respect, they will support you through buying your products.
This activity should be a more popular way of team-building activity, as it does not require a great amount of planning as other typical team-building activities.
The only pre-planning one should do is survey the city for possible spots that might be the points of interest for your plans: any soup kitchens that need volunteers, big and open spaces where an event can be organized, such as a fundraiser or similar.
Another important aspect here is to connect your workers with the community in that way that they feel like they are contributing to the community.
The only part of organizing this part of the event is that you should be acquainted with the needs of the community to fully utilize the benefits it can bring to your workers and the company as a whole.
Another activity that might prove interesting is to guide your workers into experimenting themselves, instead of forcing them to do some activities that they do not fancy doing.
For example, some people have tried to let the workers figure out how to improve results, which was a highly successful experiment.
The workers realized that a strong relationship was an important aspect of a workplace and the workers who were highly ambitious and focused on success were eager to collaborate among themselves and other workers in order to improve themselves and other workers, as a result, they achieved productive teamwork.
The only downside of this experiment is that your workers might take some time to take action and analyze themselves and their colleagues.
One of the most interesting approaches might be the covert team-building technique.
Basically, this one mostly boosts cooperation, but it is highly sensitive and depends on the willingness of the workers. There are a few ways to approach this type of team-building.
One of the ways is to put into groups colleagues whose skills would complement each other to promote cooperation between the members of the groups.
Another way would be to implement a tradition of getting together at a bar once a week after the work has been finished.
The strengthening of social bonds between the members of your team might help them understand each other better and provide better results in further projects.
The only disadvantage of these two final approaches is that neither of them guarantees success. These are the options that can prove to be better than the basic team-building games and activities, but there are many variables on which the success of the whole plan depends.
Maybe some people simply are not into bars or group work, have social anxiety but a good set of skills, or simply find your approach to be a strange one.
All in all, these are interesting activities that might turn out to be better than the traditional team-building activities, but they might prove to be a bit of a risk in a team that does not have the luxury of time on their side.
In conclusion, team-building activities are important and essential things that any company can do for their workers.
The thing is that some companies usually go overboard with some of the activities or just to them in order to satisfy the higher-ups and tick it off their notepad, nowadays.
Corporations are wasting money on these extremely convoluted team-building activities that have no substance.
Team-building activities have been in a stagnant state due to the corporations refusing to innovate and try something new and different.
The main idea in team-building activities is to encourage the team members to work together, to help them understand each other’s weaknesses and advantages and learn how to play off of each other, and finally, to reignite their motivation and willingness to give their best in the upcoming projects and break the wheel.
All in all, team-building is important thing for corporations and their projects, the main idea is that many corporations should not waste exuberating amount of financial resources in order to organize team-building events, as there are many other ways to achieve similar if not better results and other additional benefits that come as a byproduct of a way that has been mentioned in this article.
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