Here is our list of benefits of team building activities at work.
Team building benefits are the organizational gains of investing in team building activities, workshops and exercises for employees. For example, these benefits may include helping your team stay happy and work better together, and improving company culture. These benefits are also known as “team building advantages.”
These benefits can help with managing a remote team and are similar to the importance of team building, objectives of team building, and employee engagement benefits, and the opposite of team building disadvantages.
Specifically, this list includes:
- benefits of team building activities for employees
- advantages of team building in the workplace
- team bonding benefits
- the importance of team building techniques
- benefits of team building workshops
So, here is the list!
List of team building benefits
Here is a list of reasons to do team building at work. This list includes ideas related to company culture, employee productivity and workplace relationships.
1. Create friendships
When working in a company, team members are not regularly in contact with all members of your organization, especially if the company is large. Because of this challenge, team building activities are an opportunity for your team to get to know members from other departments. Team building activities are also a great way for your employees to meet new colleagues. A report by Gallop states that having friendships at the office can lead to being twice as likely to be engaged at work.
2. Boost company culture
A major benefit of team building is that it can boost company culture. When you devote resources to team bonding, you show what kind of company environment you want to create for your team. By doing fun activities together, you show your team that you value who they are and that you want to cultivate positive relationships within your workplace. Establishing a company culture that values these connections draws in great talent and increases employee retention.
3. Uncover hidden talents
Ten years ago, a woman named Susan Boyle made a big stir on the show Britain’s Got Talent when she dazzled the audience and judges with her lovely singing voice. Boyle’s exterior made everyone underestimate her, but when started singing, spectators were speechless.
As humans, we tend to make quick judgments about other people that can make it hard to see an individual’s true potential. When we only see someone in one way, for instance by job title, we overlook other abilities.
A unique benefit of doing team building activities is that coworkers occasionally reveal surprising talents. For instance, perhaps Lucinda in accounting is a talented artist who can lighten the graphic designers’ workload during crunch-time. Maybe Arthur in human resources is a classic car buff who can give you tips on woo-ing a muscle-car-loving prospective client.
On the flip side, team building can also uncover potential weaknesses. Maybe Abed gets frazzled under pressure of a deadline. Perhaps public speaking is not Troy’s strong suit.
Team building activities give a more holistic view of team members’ abilities which can translate to utilizing your employees more effectively in the workplace.
4. Increase team cooperation
The best team building exercises require employees to work together to accomplish a goal. While cooperation is crucial for teams to work well together, it may require some practice. Team building offers the perfect opportunity to practice collaboration and learn what workflow works best for your team, helping your employees become more efficient in the process.
5. Create shared memories
When team members who do not frequently interact do so, a lot of the awkwardness stems from not having shared memories or talking points. Doing even simple team building activities like icebreaker questions helps find commonalities that participants can talk about when they next meet. A clear benefit of team building exercises is helping your employees build shared memories so they can more easily make friends with each other.
6. Boost team spirit
Participating in team building exercises boosts team spirit and morale. Completing team challenges will give your people a sense of solidarity, and also help boost participants’ self-efficacy. This sense of solidarity makes your team feel more invested in each other and in their work.
Learn more about boosting morale.
7. Inspire productivity and motivation
A study by Gallup found that employee isolation reduces productivity up to 21%. Working your team non-stop leads to burn-out, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Setting aside time for team building relieves stress and re-energizes your team, which increases productivity and motivation at work.
A study at Stanford University found a direct link between socializing and motivation at work. The researcher states, “Membership in a social group appears to greatly influence persistence in pursuing tasks and goals that are seen as important to the group.” Team building activities are one of the best ways to create that membership.
Here are some inspirational daily work quotes that will help too.
8. Strengthen communication
Not everyone communicates the same way, so teams need to practice. Since team building exercises require coordinating with coworkers, they naturally strengthen communication. Some studies suggests this improvement is as much as 50%. That gain is a big advantage when it comes time to work on projects together.
9. Improve conflict resolution and problem solving skills
Team building games are a great opportunity to hone conflict resolution skills. By regularly scheduling team events, your employees will have opportunities to develop problem solving skills. Conflict resolution and problem solving skills are valuable in the workplace because your team members need to successfully navigate disagreements to work well together.
We also have a list of the best books on conflict resolution.
10. Break up the monotony
Team building should not be a one-time thing or even an annual thing. Instead, attended team building exercises more regularly keeps your team happy and working well together. Team building activities break up the monotony of the work week by periodically inserting fun and joy. Keeping boredom at bay raises your team’s engagement and lets them recharge so they can return to work refreshed.
Here are more ways to increase employee engagement.
11. Encourage new skill formation
Since team building activities plunge your team into new situations, they also encourage new skill formation. During an activity, a team member who never explored art may further develop their sketching and design skills, and so on.
Learn more about developing team building skills.
12. Stimulate creativity
Team building often requires participants to use creativity to achieve a goal. Not only do these new experiences give team members fresh material and life experience to work from, but they also reinvigorate your imagination so you can flex your creative muscles. This innovative spirit is valuable in the workplace.
A study in the Academy of Management Journal found a direct link between social interactions and individual creativity.
13. Build trust for teamwork
Teamwork requires a lot of trust, and team building activities build trust fast. No team member can win a team game alone, so your coworkers come to rely on teammates’ help and expertise. More informal activities such as team meals or show-and-tells inspire teammates to view each other on a deeper and more intimate level.
One of the biggest advantages of team building is that participants who develop solid relationships spend less time second-guessing and double-checking each other and more time working. A trusting team runs like a well oiled machine. Team members do not waste time bickering, tattling, or snooping. Your teammates know that every member of the team is looking out for all other members, freeing up individual employees to focus.
A Harvard study found that heart surgeons performed better when working with a familiar team, which supports the idea that even the highest performers can benefit from teamwork.
A multi-institutional study including Oxford University found that “Frequent, positive and reciprocated interaction engender trust between individuals, and we argue that strong social relationships are associated with a high degree of trust.”
14. Teach cooperation
No employee is an island. As sports team owner George Shinn once said, “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” Companies succeed when employees work together towards a common goal.
One of the biggest benefits of team building is that it teaches cooperation. Employees learn to depend on coworkers and how to achieve more together than apart. Some employees may be so used to solo work that teamwork becomes a struggle. Team building spurs your teammates to work together in low-stakes, high-fun situations, making it easier to coordinate on actual projects in the future.
One academic study from the National Pedagogical University in Columbia found that “Through interaction and group work students discover ways of being on task, supporting each other, and learning in a meaningful way.”
15. Humanize workforce
It can be hard to picture our coworkers outside of work. Sometimes we forget that our teammates are more than engineers, marketers, salespeople, executives, or administrators.
Team building helps us see our coworkers as human beings. Suddenly, our boss recites Shakespeare while stuffing marshmallows in his mouth, or a quiet colleague shares the story of how she once backpacked through Africa. The fact that team building humanizes the workforce is a huge advantage that deepens relationships and fosters greater understanding between teammates.
Work is an important part of our identities, but it is not our only identity. Many other factors define us, such as our families and friends, interests, hobbies, and beliefs. Learning more about our teammates’ lives helps us to respect our teammates on different levels, which leads to trust and respect.
Team building has many benefits that make it a good investment. And there are no strings; you just need to put in time and effort to make it happen. We recommend at least 30 minutes per week as a starting point. You can also follow the 8% rule.