Why Team Building?

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?”

Over the next several weeks, I’ll address this question in a series of blogs focused on the benefits of team building. This week’s blog introduces the topic and gives an overview of the type of benefits we’ll explore in coming entries.

What is team building?

Team building is the process by which individuals in an organization or group learn to work together - as a team - toward a common goal. The key elements of team building are:

  • There is a group of individuals who wish to work together as a team
  • Some aspects of hoped-for teamwork are missing or below expectations of one or more members of the group

Team building goes by many names. Besides team building you might see references to team bonding, morale building, staff cohesiveness, organization building, and many other names. But it all amounts to the same thing:  getting people to work together better than they did before.

Benefits of team building

Team building can provide many benefits, depending on the type of activity you choose and the characteristics of a given group. Matching the type of activity to the group’s needs and background is key to the success of the event. Team composition, size, history, purpose, and current ability to work together all factor in to the type of team building activities that would be optimal for the group.

(Note that highly dysfunctional teams, such as teams that have experienced severe trauma, extensive downsizing, work place violence or harassment may not be ready for team building. In such cases, counseling for highly affected individuals may be a better initial strategy.)

Nearly all team building activities strive to deliver at least some of the following benefits:

  • Improved morale.
  • Better communication
  • Increased staff participation in organization activities
  • Empowers staff to take initiative and make decisions
  • Increased sense of ownership
  • Better team unity/cohesiveness
  • Reduced conflict and better conflict management
  • Trust
  • Increased productivity

Next week:  How Team Building Improves Morale



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