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by OCC

Why Team building sometimes has a poor reputation

No Drill Sergeants on our eventsWhen you tell someone you are going to be taking part in some team building activities you will usually get one of two responses. One of these will be showing interest and asking about the activities and another will be a worried look on their face.

So why do you sometimes get the second response, the worried look? This is because Team Building often gets a bad reputation for itself. I am sure most people in the events and team building industry have heard things like:

  • Team building is a waste of time.
  • Team building doesn’t work.
  • Isn’t team building just an excuse for a jolly out of the office?
  • Isn’t team building just some sergeant shouting at you while you run through mud?
  • Can’t we just go to the pub? It’s the same thing isn’t it?

The unfortunate thing is these are often people’s opinion when you mention team building and they’re wrong, completely 100% wrong. The common reasons some people hold these opinions is they have been on or know people who have been on poorly chosen or thought-out activities which have been titled as team building but really aren’t.  There are plenty of Myths about team building out there which we have previously written about with the aim of removing some common misconceptions.

There are many activities which are titled as team building but aren’t really team building events or they are extremely poorly thought out and bear no real resemblance to the actual needs of the team taking part. There is often confusion between what is Team building and what is team bonding

Team building is a collection of activities with an overriding theme and goal designed to target and work on specific elements of your team and team bonding is aimed at helping team members get to know each other better.  For Team building to not be a waste of time and to make sure it does work it must be properly planned and executed. Thought must be given to the aims, goals and objectives of the event and assessing whether the event has worked should be part of the overall process.  If you don’t know what you need to achieve how will you possibly know whether the event has been a success or not. Well-run team building has a myriad of potential benefits to your company but a badly run event will more often than not just be a money pit.

What are some of the potential benefits of a well-run team building event?

The following list is just some of the potential benefits your company could gain from a properly run team building event:

  • Learning more about your colleagues so you can better understand how they work.
  • Improving communication between team members.
  • Improving the morale of your teams.
  • Improved operating efficiency and less misunderstandings between teammates.
  • A more harmonious working environment as team members will feel more comfortable together.
  • Reduced staff turnover because higher morale within your teams and a nicer working environment will make staff want to stay longer.
  • Improved efficiency as your team should have a more comprehensive understanding of what their colleague do so queries will be passed to the right person more often in the first instance.

The first thing you need to do when planning any team building event is to look at what you want to achieve from the day and what areas you want the event to help target. There is a wide range of objectives you might choose to focus on from better communication to cross collaboration between teams and reducing waste by implementing a lean thinking initiative to raising morale. Of course if you can find an event your whole staff will enjoy as well that is a bonus.

But hang on it’s supposed to be a learning experience isn’t it?

One of our firm beliefs is that most people will learn more and take more on-board if they are enjoying what they are doing and enjoy the subject at hand. This is why we always aim to make our team building events be fun as well as having a serious side to it. If there is a good message to the activities there is no reason your staff shouldn’t enjoy them as well. The danger comes when you separate the two. A visit to the pub is fun and most staff will enjoy it but they won’t lern very much. On the flip side a survivalist course might show your team the value of working together and beating the odds but you might find several of them hate the experience and it can cause resentment and a split between those that do like it and those that don’t.

So what is the right event for you?

The answer to this question is quite simple and it is that it depends on a number of factors. The primary one of these is what do you want to achieve from the event.

  • Make sure you know your primary objective before you start choosing an activity.
  • Try to choose an activity most or all of your team will enjoy it while still helping develop your team towards its goals.
  • Make sure your team sees the value on the event and what it is aiming to achieve. Make sure they understand how this will help them and their colleagues moving forward.
  • Involve your team in helping select the activities from a list which will help you achieve your goals. This helps them feel some buy-in towards the event.
  • Try and pick a memorable event as this will be talked about and remembered far longer than a boring event.

We have a huge range of events you could choose from and our team are happy to talk about the potential benefits of each one and how they could work for your team. If you are not sure the best thing is to give us a call and discuss your options.

So why does Team building sometimes have a bad reputation?

The most common reason is Team building is misunderstood or confused with other types of activities. Other times it’s because previous attempts have been poorly thought-out and planned. A third reason is because Team building is sometimes seen as an easy target but often articles or adverts for major UK telephone companies appear which denigrate team building but when you look a little deeper they are not really talking about team building at all. Usually it’s something  incorrectly titled as team building and is often something else completely.

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