Many leaders and organizations think that team building is something that just happens after one activity. It takes more than that to really make it work. I talk with a lot of leaders who have a vague idea that they’re interested in team building and that it might benefit their workplace in some way but when it comes to actually getting an effective program going they drop the ball.
This is perfectly normal. The standard view of team building is to get everyone together, have some fun and then move on. We may even go as far as attending a workshop where we learn how to label everyone with a color or personality type and then walk around pointing at each other and assuming we know why other people think and behave the way they do.
Effective team building includes some of those elements but also so much more. It’s a way to get to know people, build trust, increase productivity, lead confidently, empathize with others and many other behaviors that greatly benefit our workplaces. Genuine team building goes below the surface and requires sustained effort in order to really work. Here are some ideas to help you build a great team building program.
1. Commit to doing it for a year.
2. Get leadership involved.
3. Focus on team building activities that help people go deeper.
4. Don’t expect immediate results, team building is a long-term activity.
5. Set the example and practice the new behaviors you learn.
Team building thrives or falters depending on what you decide to do. If you really want it to work then it’s beneficial to commit to a long-term program that helps people practice how to really connect with one another. The end result will be a happier workplace where people enjoy working together. How will you get team building going in your organization?