To appreciate the implications of this statement, we need to understand what is meant by Corporate Culture. Only then can we explore how and why or even IF team building is important.
“Corporate culture” is in fact a microcosm of national culture: the beliefs, behavior, dress, environment, habits, traditions, and personal traits reflected either on a national level or within an enterprise or organization of whatever size.
In a business sense, it determines how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. A company’s culture is reflected in everything from its dress code and office setup to its hiring decisions, employee communications and treatment of clients. Even a company’s brand story and visual symbols such as logos and trademarks constitute the culture it creates to set the tone and expectations for employees who work there.
To paraphrase Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review:
“Culture guides discretionary behavior and it…tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide…”
It will come as no surprise then when we state that a company can only operate successfully if all its members see themselves as part of a team, or many teams making up the whole. And the success of the team contributes to the success of the enterprise, building pride and involvement, in much the same way as a winning team in the Olympics builds national pride.
Team building events therefore, can help co-workers better understand one another, coalesce, learn to more effectively work together, and to trust each other. Team building exercises can help employees address serious issues, such as learning problem-solving techniques and improving communication skills.
Cohesive employee teams are the building blocks for the success of a company and a crucial part of its culture. More importantly, enabling employees to come together socially under less formal circumstances can contribute to a sense of team spirit and encourage better cooperation among them. There are a number of objectives at which management can aim to ensure that any team building exercises can contribute towards company culture:
Building Trust: Trust is a critical factor. Mutual trust nurtured by team building activities allows employees to depend more on one another and be more productive and efficient as a result.
Conflict Resolution: Employees are individuals. They have different personalities and attitudes resulting in disputes and differences of opinions. This is all legitimate and even healthy for the creative development of the enterprise. But such differences should be resolved in a non-violent and cooperative way, and team building activities can play a vital role in helping resolve conflicts.
Increased Collaboration: Establishing a strong bond between the team members to ensure they all buy into the shared objectives of a particular project or solving a problem, and in fact work at it with a high level of “esprit de corps” – team spirit.
Improving Communication Skills: Employees learn how to better communicate with one another as they face the challenges of activities in team building events. Such improved communication can lead to more productive and efficient daily work particularly in a group environment.
Other benefits include:
More cooperation between senior and junior staff
Getting to acknowledge individual strengths and weaknesses
Improved team leaderships skills
Increased commitment to your organization
Enriched problem solving skills
More effective decision making
Enhanced sense of ownership and responsibility
Remember, however, that one of the main objectives of a team building event is to have fun: with that fun being converted in appreciation and loyalty to the enterprise or organization itself.
Team building may turn out to be the most important investment you can make for your people and your organization. Effective team building means more engaged employees, to support a stronger, more cohesive culture and eventually an improved bottom line.
Learn more about creating a team building event that fits your company’s culture with a Strayboots scavenger hunt.
Ido Rabiner is co-founder and CEO of Strayboots, a global provider of corporate team building events, workplace activities, and organized company outings. Strayboots helps customers increase employee engagement through customized mobile scavenger hunts designed to foster connections, improve performance and build trust. Strayboots hunts are used by more than 650 organizations including Fortune 100 companies, cities and businesses worldwide. For additional information visit us at https://www.strayboots.com/ or contact Ido at firstname.lastname@example.org