Reaping the Benefits of Team-building Exercises

Matt Mcginty asked:

An outline of why team-building is crucial to the development of a functioning business and a breakdown of the key points that team-leaders should be looking to promote.

Companies today seem to be obsessed with the concept of team building, the idea that throwing a group of employees into a situation outside of the workplace will immediately improve their ability to work. Well despite grumbles and moans from some staff, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that it does improve productivity and has been a rewarding experience for centuries.

Whether you’re working in the high-octane bustle of London’s square-mile or a small office in Kent you need to be comfortable with your team. The slightest office banter can lead to mistrust and awkwardness amongst colleagues, which can have a huge impact on collaboration.

Historically, humans have always lived and worked in tight communities and as such we have this behaviour ingrained on us through evolution. From tribes of cavemen to feudal villagers, we have always been in static close-knit communities. Modern society has forced us to change the ways we live and work, organisational changes within a company mean that we may be working with several different groups of people throughout our careers and move around a lot, against our evolutionary instincts.

Smart employers recognise this and adopt simple team-building exercises and events to ensure that co-workers have the skills needed to function well in a group dynamic. There are several important factors to note when trying to bring a team closer together. In today’s companies you often only bond with the people sitting next to you or in your specific department, leading to the common rifts between accountants and salespersons or customer services and middle management. It is important to put these people together in an event that requires a balance of skills and teamwork to improve their ability to collaborate.

Secondly, establishing joint goals is key to the success of any corporate team-building event. The team-leader must explain to their colleagues the purposes of the event so that everyone involved has an understanding of why they are there and gives a sense of value and importance, which is key to a happy office. Assigning roles to your team-members is, of course, commonplace in an office and by using the same techniques in a team-building exercise such as a sailing trip or quad bike safari people can begin to take charge of their roles and improve their quick decision-making and learn responsibility in a non-work environment.

A good-team is a communicative team, colleagues should have the ability to speak-up if something is preventing them from reaching a sales target or goal, it has been well researched and shown that corporate teams work best when they are not afraid to take up an issue and communicate openly with their colleagues or management. Corporate events promote this ability to express needs and wants within the work environment.

Lastly and most crucially, everyone should have fun; an outdoor event such as go-kart racing or paintballing can bring team-members together in a competitive task while also giving the boss a run for his money.

More information on team-building exercises and events can be found at

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