Why Team Building: Improve Communication

Event planners, managers, facilitators, or anyone else involved in planning a team building event inevitably face the question asked by C-level execs, comptrollers, or stakeholders:  “Why do team building? What are the benefits, and is it worth the time and money we spend?”

We're addressing this question in a series of blogs focused on the benefits of team building. Last week’s blog discussed how team building improves morale. This week:   improve communication.

Team Building Improves Communication

Almost every team building game rewards team communication. This is particularly true of competitive games such as scavenger hunts or bike-building games where the short-term objective is to “win.” Participants learn quickly that they need to share information, and that no one person holds a monopoly on Truth, Fact and Know-how when it comes to a game they’ve never played before.

It’s a short step from that realization to its applicability to the work place. Your employees will remember how much more successful they were as a team when they communicated. The fact that they actually had success "playing" together at a team building event, particularly a fun event with positive emotional associations, bodes well for them feeling good about it when they work together, too.

This is in part due to the fact that well-run team building games group individuals into event teams who may not have strong current relationships. For example, if four geographically separated offices come together for a cross-company team building event, it often behooves the company to ensure that each team is composed of members from all four offices. The same could be applied to different departments, levels, etc. in the organization.

This communication improvement also will manifest itself in increased staff participation in organization activities, such as meetings, projects, and decision-making.

Like communication, participation is habit-forming. Once employees learn that their contribution is valued in one arena, they begin to experiment with contributing in others. Likewise, when they learn that the contributions of others are valuable in a “fun” event, they’re more likely to recruit participation in a work setting. This in turn results in higher levels of organizational buy-in for new decisions and initiatives, better quality assurance and a lower likelihood of errors.

Next week:  How Team Building Empowers Staff

 

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