Avoiding the Pitfalls of Team Building

Boosting morale is something that just about every company inexorably comes face-to-face with at one point or another.  And though it tends to get a bad rap at times, team building is actually a fantastic tool to use when battling the office doldrums; all one simply needs, is to be aware of the potential pitfalls.

Team building activities are those precarious undertakings that walk a fine line between turning your employees on and off.  Any organization that operates within a team environment understands that cohesiveness amongst team members is crucial to productive outcomes and fostering an overall effective working environment.

Team building workshops are often the key to achieving this; it just depends on how you choose to go about it.

If you’re thinking about taking your team on a foray into the realm of team building to cultivate a little team spirit and shake things up, this is a great idea!  So long as you’re able to avoid the common pitfalls that leave employees rolling their eyes at the mention of, “corporate outings”, you’ll be in good shape.

So, what should one avoid when venturing into the vast realm of team building?

Avoid allowing your employees to form their own teams.

People stick to what (and who) they know.  This doesn’t do much to promote a healthy flow of unity among staff.  As an organizational leader, you should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each of your employees – take time to organize the teams beforehand if possible.

The point of team building is to promote collaborative thinking and action among all of your employees – not just particular groups.  Introduce team building activities which present relevant challenges and encourage energy and creativity, and focus on team members working together to achieve a common goal.

Trust is built.  Confidence is built.  And more often than not, you’ll be surprised with the inspiring results that surface from these exercises.

Avoid team building activities that single out individuals.

Team building workshops can be nerve racking enough for some folks – not everyone thrives in a social setting.  Though as times, the point of team building is to draw people out of their comfort zones, just be sure this is done in a healthy way.

No one wants to be left embarrassed, particularly in front of people you respect and with whom you have a professional relationship to maintain.  Avoid having employees scamper back into their shells (twice as shy to re-emerge) by sticking to group focused activities.  People are more apt to step out of their shells when they know they’re not going it alone.

Avoid forced fun.

No one wants to feel forced into having a good time.  Traditional forms of team building that don’t enthuse have been thrust upon employees for years, and yet employers still hope for a positive outcome each time.

What’s wrong with this picture?  Not listening to employee feedback.

Employees like to believe that when asked for their opinion, it’s because management genuinely cares what they think.  So when employees are repeatedly asked  to participate in activities for which they have already expressed dislike, and perhaps even put forward innovative suggestions for change, it’s no wonder they feel they’re feedback is ignored and that being asked for their opinion is simply a formality.

Certainly be creative and dream up new schemes for team building workshops whenever possible.  Spice things up!  Just remember to always listen to what your employees and colleagues are telling you – everyone’s input is valuable in one way or another.  You might be surprised with what your staff comes up with.

Overall, if you stick to team building activities that work toward a common goal, build trust and confidence amongst colleagues, and encourage new ideas and participation from all involved you’ll be reaping the organizational benefits in no time as a solid foundation of motivation and rapport is built among your employees.

Happy team building!