When we think of the concept of team building there are many different visions that may pop into our heads. We might envision quick and fun activities designed to help members bond, or interactive day-long retreats where members participate in some type of complex interactions with each other or something in the middle of these two. In determining which type of activities that should be presented to help build our team, we must first look at why team building is important and what our team might be lacking.
We must understand that a team is just that, a team. A team does not function with the input of just one or two individuals or a single leader. It is a conglomeration of all the different skills and input from all the team members. The saying “United we stand, Divided we fall” comes to mind. If all of the team members understand and genuinely feel that their contribution to the team is essential for the whole organization’s bottom line, as well as their own well being and job security, then they are more likely to give the team all they have. This type of behavior by employees is often the core of what makes successful companies flourish.
There are various trains of thought as to how to achieve a great team. Some corporations believe that teamwork can be force-fed to employees by management and that they can retain control by dictating what each employee can or will contribute. Most often this alienates employees and keeps them from expressing their true capabilities. This can also undermine what accomplishments the team can achieve as a whole while limiting the success of the company. Successful corporations understand that by recognizing employee ideas and giving team members some freedom and control over what they contribute as well as empowering them with responsibility, the result can be continuous achievement of the company’s goals. This is also beneficial for development of happier employees who want to contribute all of their potential, as well as a happier and friendlier workplace which in turn helps create a team that can and will work together effectively. This most often leads to a better bottom line for the company.