Teamwork separates the winners from the losers and is a necessary aspect of any business big or small. Team members must to learn to work together and to trust each other in order to complete projects in an efficient and effective way. The benefits of team building speak for themselves. When each team member feels important to the team and trusts their work team mates they will bring their best skills forward to benefit the group.
Engaging in team building exercises can help team members learn to trust each other, respect each other and most of all, develop cohesion. Win the game or win the contract it boils down to the same thing. To have a championship team you need championship players that can work as a unit. The value of team building is not just players or employees who work together but it is players or employees that win together.
6 Simple team building exercises that can increase productivity include:
1. Conduct Employee Feedback Activities
Employee surveys like and feedback activities are a great way of breaking the ice and encouraging employees to express freely and give their feedback and share ideas that ultimately increases the productivity.
2. Back-to-Back Drawing
Divide your group into pairs, and have each pair sit on the floor back to back. Give one person in each pair a picture of a shape, and give the other person a pencil and pad of paper.
- Ask the people holding the pictures to give verbal instructions to their partners on how to draw the shape – without actually telling the partners what the shape is. After they’ve finished, ask each pair to compare their original shape with the actual drawing, and consider the following questions:
- How well did the first person describe the shape?
- How well did the second person interpret the instructions?
This exercise focuses on the role communication in enhancing productivity were there problems with both the sending and receiving parts of the communication process?
3. Stereotype Party
This is a fun exercise for a medium-sized or large group that helps achieve better cohesion and increase productivity. Write on nametags many different ‘personality types (see the list below), and pin or tape one tag to each person’s back. Don’t show people which tag is on their back – they’ll be able to see everyone else’s tag, but not their own.
Now, ask each person to figure out which personality type is on his or her back by asking stereotype-based questions of other people – “Am I a man?” “Am I an athlete?” “Am I an entertainer?” and so on.
Allow group members to answer only yes or no, and encourage participants to ask questions to as many different people as possible.
Here are some personality types you could consider:
- Auto mechanic.
- Olympic medalist.
- Fast-food restaurant worker.
- Postal worker.
- Movie star.
4. Celebrate Each Other’s Success
Learn to appreciate and acknowledge each other’s efforts. Also, celebrate the success of a job well done or a project delivered well ahead of the deadline. There is no better way than appreciating each others’ success to instill a sense of team spirit. This helps in wiping out any kind of negativity and keeps the team united. Also, the team begins their work with a renewed vigor and greater focus.
5. Initiate Group Discussion Sessions
If you have a major project-related decision to make, which you are not very sure about, try asking your employees for their views on the subject. Have a group discussion on the matter and seek their suggestions and opinions. In any case, it will be you yourself who has the last word, but this particular gesture will promote teamwork, boost employee confidence and, once again, make them feel valued and wanted.
6. Outdoor Activity or Themed Event
Organize a specially planned themed event or outdoor activity that addresses any specific team issue and is also fun to do like a corporate scavenger hunt where the workplace team is required to work together to achieve specific goals. During such activities the importance of shared vision, communicating and teamwork can be emphasized in a recreational way.
For team building to be effective, leaders must first identify the issues their group is facing. Then they can plan activities to address these challenges directly – and make sure that the team will actually gain some benefits from the event. Keep competition out of the exercises, and aim to make team building part of the daily corporate culture, instead of a once-a-year event.