Home Entrepreneurship Why Team Building Means Far More Than a Weekend Get Together

Why Team Building Means Far More Than a Weekend Get Together

by Olufisayo
Team Building

You’ll no doubt be familiar with the concept. A day or weekend is selected, a venue is booked, and you and your colleagues head for a day or two of either fun, challenging activities, or frustratingly mundane team-building exercises.

Ever done the one about surviving a plane crash and relocating from the wreckage to a safe location, across a desert? (If not – here’s a hint. Stay in the plane until you’re rescued!). However, it’s what’s at the core of these exercises that are important – and too often missed – here’s what lies beneath both the fun and the mundane, in team building.

Crucial communication

While we’re certainly far more connected to the world than ever before, one symptom of this uber-connection, that often goes unnoticed, is that we can lose our connection with the people closest to us in the meantime.

This is summed up by a famous quote from George Bernard Shaw, which states that “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” During team-building exercises, this essential face-to-face communication is inescapable.

A big boost to the value

Another unfortunate factor of everyone being so interconnected all the time is the instant gratification that is part and parcel of modern technology. Outside of work, it’s easy to get tiny rewards, constantly, in the form of easy-to-access information and social media attention – but work remains work.

It’s a challenge, and the rewards are often tough to recognize even when everything’s going swimmingly. So, a team-building get together becomes an opportune moment to show everyone how much they’re truly valued by an employer.

Time to try new things

Naturally, a workforce of any size is going to come equipped with a wide range of skills and experience. Team building exercises generally come in the form of something that’s completely different (archery and orienteering, for instance), or tasks more closely related to work.

This becomes an opportunity for members of staff to display how valuable their key skills can be – in front of others who might not recognize them on a day to day basis.

A foundation of trust

The result of these efforts, or at least the intended result, is that employees learn to trust each other, and their employer. Staff get to put a personality to the face of managers and peers they rarely meet and get to learn just a little bit more about what they do.

With this, comes the intangible, but the welcome quality of reassurance. Ultimately, people, being people, are designed to spend time with other people – in evolutionary terms, it’s how we became… people!

Welcoming wellbeing

At the end of the day, whether it’s been a brain-scrambling problem-solving session or a thirst-quenching outdoor adventure, people like feeling wanted. Being more than just a number, or a nametag, or a role, can make all the difference to morale. And thankfully, many more employers are starting to recognize the underlying qualities of team-building exercises.

Modern employee assistance programs, like those by Lifeworks, are becoming more prevalent in the workplace, and mental health is no longer a taboo. That’s not to say that weekend get-togethers are no longer necessary – but there’s no doubt that team building means far more than a Friday night drink.

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