Tips for Team Building
When you think of team building, do you immediately picture your group off at a resort playing games or hanging from ropes? Traditionally, many organizations approach team building in this way but, then, they wonder why that wonderful sense of teamwork that had been displayed at the retreat or the seminar fails to impact long term beliefs and actions back at work.
I'm not averse to retreats, planning sessions, seminars and team building activities — in fact I lead them — but they have to form part of a much larger teamwork effort. You will not build teamwork by “retreating” as a group for a couple of days each year, instead you need to think of team building as something you do every single day.
• Form teams to solve real work issues and to improve real work processes. Provide training in systematic methods so the team expends its energy on the project, not on trying to work out how to work together as a team to approach the problem.
• Hold department meetings to review projects and progress, to obtain broad input, and to coordinate shared work processes. If there is friction between team members, examine the work processes they mutually own — the problem is not usually their personalities; instead, it is often the fact that the team members haven't agreed on how they will deliver a product or service, or the steps required to get something done.
• Build fun and shared occasions into the organization's agenda — hold pot luck lunches, take the team to a sporting event, sponsor dinners at a local restaurant, go hiking or go to an amusement park. Hold a monthly company meeting, sponsor sports teams and encourage cheering team fans.
• Use ice breakers and teamwork exercises at meetings — these help team members get to know each other, share details about each others lives, and have a laugh together.
• Celebrate team successes publicly. There are many ways you could do this, for instance by buying everyone the same T-shirt or hat, putting team member names in a draw for company merchandise and gift certificates. The only thing limiting you is your imagination.
If you do the types of teamwork building listed above, you'll be amazed at the progress you will make in creating a teamwork culture, a culture that enables individuals to contribute more than they ever thought possible — together.
Team building event is traditionally related to playing games at resort. 1
2. The author claims that playing games together is as important as form teams to solve real work issues and to improve real work processes for team building. 2
3. “Retreat” in the first paragraph means withdrawal of troops after a defeat. 3
4. Ice breaking motivates team members compete with each other. 4
5. A good teamwork culture enables individuals make more efforts together. 5
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