Team building activities have long been used by organizations to bring together teams and improving employee engagement. They were known to be used by organizations of all sizes to forge valuable bonds among team members. But executives often fail to realize that organizing team building activities is not as simple as doing an ice breaker or a fun event.
Team building activities organized without a purpose are ineffective and futile. When organized well they can serve as an intrinsic motivation to employees and reflect an organization’s commitment to employee well-being. Although they may sound routine, they are best contemporary alternative to raise team morale. With the advent of many technologies team building is no longer boring. For example, corporate team building in Singapore is now dominated with use of tech like virtual reality than simple board games and icebreakers. Similarly, team building activities in USA are now customized for remote, hybrid, and physical teams.
While there are no set rules for organizing engaging team building activities, here are a few ways to organize outdoor team building activities that raise team morale and improve team communication:
Focus on team bonding and personal relationships
Often team building activities are organized to facilitate team interactions and motivate team members. The foundation of productive teams and interpersonal relationships among team members is bonding with each other personally. When team members get to know each other personally, they are more likely to work collaboratively and exchange ideas openly. Team members also feel a sense of trust, integrity, and camaraderie when bonded personally. Therefore, team building activities must focus on team members bonding with each on a personal level.
Bring in a facilitator for activities involving large teams
Organizing a team building activity for a large team is challenging on many levels. While it requires many resources like money and time, there is much more that goes into organizing a successful team building activity for a large team. One of the major challenges in bringing together large teams in facilitating interactions between all the team members. Each one of them has a different personality and perspective. Some activities may feel biased towards certain groups if not organized well. Bringing in an experienced facilitator can resolve challenges like this. A facilitator can also make the activities more engaging and fun to participate.
Plan for more engaging and exciting activities
Outdoor activities are generally preferred over indoor activities when the team is looking for exciting activities to participate in. Research has also found that when team members participate in physical activities that involve an adrenaline rush, they are more likely to get closer to each other. Outdoor activities like sports, yoga, fitness activities etc. are not only engaging but also develop competitive spirit and a sense of wellbeing among employees. While activities like scavenger hunts are also fun when organized outdoors, they can easily become mundane and routine. Hence, plan for more engaging and adventurous activities when doing outdoor events.
Organize them regularly and gather feedback from team members
Lastly, team building activities need to be organized regularly to be more impactful and efficient. Often, executives consider team building activities as a fun event that can be done once or twice a year. This leads to less productive interactions between team members. Relationships that are built at work needed to be nurtured more regularly as opposed to personal relationships. Also, one other thing organizations often miss out is asking participants for feedback. It is often assumed that these activities are enjoyed by all participants. However, sometimes team building activities end up as mundane day at work. To avoid this, gather feedback from teams and work on it for your next activity.
To conclude, team building activities are indeed the most engaging and interactive way to raise team morale and improve team communication. However, without appropriate planning, execution, and resources they can become unproductive and ineffective. When poorly organized they can also have the counter effect of being unengaging and demotivating employees. Therefore, team building activities need to be planned in advance with the right resources and must begin with setting a goal for the team.