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What Makes Team Building Exercises Work?

11 September 2018

One of the most important things to know about your business is that your services are only as good as your employees as a collective whole. If they can’t work together as a team, or are off doing their own thing instead of co-operating, then customers will notice the cracks in your service. Tasks get put off for days or even weeks, projects are delayed, customer complaints pile up, and other problems can develop if your team isn’t acting like a team.

The standard managerial response is the team building exercise. While some team-building ideas are unique and can really get the ball rolling on building a stronger team, it takes a special effort by the exercise planners to produce that result. The team building exercises that we’ve all seen before: stuff like trust falls or building Lego models, need to be discarded or given a twist for it to be anything other than an embarrassing ordeal.

One of the things that stop team building exercises from working is that a lot of these exercises are transplanted from school exercises, which can seem patronising for some employees. This is where team building exercise planners need to step in and add some additional challenges to make it a real exercise and not just a wasted hour of the workday.

The main reason team building exercises exist is because, when done right, they produce a sense of community and shared values in the workplace. When left to their own devices, team members may not form a real bond with each other, as there’s no ice breaker to prompt conversations. In larger companies, forming connections between departments is vital to inter-department communication, and the larger number of people can make exercises like Zombie Escape more fun and less awkward.

When it comes to team building exercises you should avoid cliches, add some challenge and avoid the more patronising aspects to make them work, for you and your employees. This, and many other activities and thought-provoking exercises are part of our Tribe 365 programme. To get the best results from your team, you require an understanding of how your employees tick, what they excel at, and how to get the most out of those skills while minimising the weaker parts. If you have employees are new and untested, perhaps Tribe 365 will be the programme for you.

Ryan Shotton