Should Team Building Activities be Mandatory?
Team building is a big part of the world of work - But should it ever be compulsory?
Whether it’s a small business or a multinational corporation, companies of all shapes and sizes arrange team building days for their employees every year. Some people love taking part and some would rather avoid it altogether, so we’re going to ask - What is the objective of team building activities and should they be a mandatory event in the workplace?
Why do we do Team Building Activities?
There are a number of different reasons why a company chooses to arrange team building activities for their colleagues, one of which might be to thank a team for all of their hard work over a busy period. Another reason is to allow participants to explore their personal skills, whether that be problem-solving, communication or working with others. If a company has just hired a fresh team that aren’t familiar with each other yet, team building days are also an effective way to familiarise colleagues with each other as a “get-to-know-you” session. Virtual events also work great for remote workers that may never have met or even spoke to each other before!
How Team Building increases Productivity
Team building activities are designed to be fun but they also bring plenty of other benefits along with them, one of which being the effect it can have on productivity. For example, if you arrange some activities that involve lots of problem-solving and decision-making, participants have a chance to explore and develop their skills in these areas which can then be transferred back to the workplace.
How can Team Building Activities develop a team's Motivation
When it comes to bringing about some much-needed motivation, team building activities can prove to be very effective. For example, if your colleagues have just come out of a busy period, then a fun and inventive activity is a great way to thank them for all of their hard work. After all, team building is about a lot more than just trust-fall exercises!
What do Employees think of Team Building Activities?
An employee’s opinion on team building activities can vary greatly depending on who you ask. Those that have never taken part in any team activities before might draw their opinions from stereotypical exercises like trust-falls. There are also those that might have taken part in a team away day before but didn’t have a great time.
However, you can change all of this if you plan your day right! That’s because team building activities are most effective when you have a clear goal in mind. For example, if you’re looking to bring out the best in your team’s problem-solving skills, then a unique and exciting event like a Crime Scene Investigation experience would be ideal. After all, if an activity is fun, participants are more likely to get stuck in and give it their best shot, which gives you a chance to recognise certain skills in those taking part.
On the other hand, some people simply aren't comfortable with taking part in team building activities and that is totally understandable. If you find yourself in this position, the best thing to do is let the organiser know how you are feeling so they can accommodate for you. After all, forcing individuals to take part in team building activities can have the opposite effect of what you should be trying to achieve. Similarly, if you find yourself in a position where one of your colleagues isn't fully sold on the idea of taking part, a little bit of positive encouragement can go a long way.
Final Thoughts: Should Team Building Activities be Compulsory?
The most important thing to remember about team building activities is that if they’re both fun for participants and have the ability to bring out people’s skills for you to identify, everybody wins. On the other hand, if an activity isn’t fun for those taking part, it is unlikely that they will put in the maximum effort and not use their skills to the best of their abilities. In a nutshell, team building activities don’t have to be mandatory if the activities you arrange are fun, effective and inclusive.