Over the past several decades, management theory has evolved from the promotion of competitive work environments to the development of cooperative ones. As part of this evolution, businesses, especially small businesses, have put an ever-increasing emphasis on team building. Team building activities, whether they are five-minute games or week-long retreats, teach essential collaborative skills while helping employees develop trust in each other and each other's abilities.
Very often the main goal of team building activities is to improve productivity. As employees learn to work together more effectively, they are able to do their work more efficiently. Less time has to be spent correcting errors and work can be divided according to team member abilities, reducing repetitive or overlapping work. Team building activities often give employees the opportunity to identify ways to improve processes, policies or procedures that have inhibited productivity.
Team building activities can increase employee motivation in several ways. First, when employees succeed in team building activities, they become more confident, which boosts their motivation. Second, commitment to team building activities demonstrates that the business is willing to invest in their success. Third, employees are often more motivated when they gain trust in their fellow employees and feel confident that their work as a team will be recognized and appreciated.
Foster Problem Solving
Team building events typically involve introducing a problem that team members have to solve together. The problem solving skills that they practice in a simulation can transfer to into the workplace. Through the activities, team members gain the skills that let them identify barriers to accomplishing goals and come up with ways to overcome those barriers. Team building activities can give employees structured ways to solve problems together while making each aware of the resources that each team member brings to the workplace.
Team building activities take employees out of their usual environment and give them an out-of-the-ordinary task to perform. This environment often gives permission for employees to be more creative and to use their imagination to accomplish the tasks set before them. It also sends the message to employees that their creativity is welcome in the workplace. These creative problem-solving skills transfer back to the workplace once the activities are complete.