The Importance of Daily Team-Building

Team building is often a term that we use to justify an early departure from the workplace to get a drink with colleagues, or to cover for an extended lunch. In a certain manner, it can be a way to discharge our guilt over not being at work. Well, what if celebrating a birthday with co-workers was just as important as sealing a deal with a client? What if team building wasn’t just the weekend activity that your boss organizes once a year (role-play anyone?), but something that must be encouraged in the everyday life of a company?
Hiring the best people is one thing. Getting the best out of them as a team is another. It is often the joint efforts of the team, more than the skills of the team members, that determine the success or the failure of a project. As a Swahili proverb says, “A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way”. Hence why it is so important for managers to make sure they are leading a team, and not a group of individuals. Employees who feel they are part of a team will be more motivated and productive. Team building also significantly contributes to improve employee retention and to lower the average absenteeism rate.
Most people see team building activities as events that need to be organised weeks in advance when it is actually something every manager can implement daily in his/her team. Conducting feedback activities for instance, is a good way to build trust and good communication between workers, as well as to show employees their opinions are valued. Indeed, a research from the American Psychological Association (APA) finds that 93% of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work.
After-works are another means to break the ice and allow employees to bond with their bosses and colleagues. As a study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory explains, informal communication is critical to a team’s success,: “With remarkable consistency, the data confirmed that communication plays a critical role in building successful teams. In fact, we’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success.” Promoting informal addressing, for example, is a first step to making sure there are no barriers to conversation, because feeling at ease with a manager is essential for employees. And vice-versa: if the manager isn’t sure about a decision he needs to make, why not have a group discussion with his team about it? This will boost employee confidence and make them feel needed.
Implementing these daily team building solutions will contribute to making your team stronger, and your employees more productive and involved. So, why not start by getting their feedback?