We’ve waxed lyrical about the benefits of teamwork but we’ve yet to consider why it’s important to invest in team building exercises that nurture these healthy working relationships. In the interests of sharing our secrets to harmonious teamwork, we’ll be taking you behind the scenes of our recent team building day to demonstrate why they’re one of the best investments for your business.
Why should you invest?
It’s easy to shrug it off.
It does, after all, take time, money and energy to organise and it comes with an outdated reputation of being arduous and stuffy.
We happen to believe, however, that when it’s done effectively, it’s well worth the investment.
Here are just a small selection of reasons as to why you should invest in team building:
Look for exercises that challenge your team members and, in turn, make them feel good. Exercises that encourage mutual learning also help to inspire your team and attract future talent.
Team building also has the ability to challenge any limiting beliefs or self-confidence issues that your team members may have, which can have hugely positive consequences on both their personal and work life.
- It nurtures emotional intelligence in the workplace.
Team building isn’t just about trying new things. It’s also about recognising how our skills and actions affect our team, as well as our own individual performance, and it’s also about adopting an attitude that leans on courage, self-love and appreciation.
Well-organised sessions encourage your team members to ask themselves a whole host of questions about how their performance affects others: How can I best complement the skills of my team members? Where could I position myself in order to be available to anyone that may need my expertise?
- It can uncover untapped potential.
You may think the team is working to the best of its ability until you do some exercises and realise new ways of facilitating each individual’s strengths.
Remember: Day-to-day tasks may not be highlighting just how multi-faceted your team members are.
- It’s great for strategic thinking.
It’s impossible to come away from a successful day of team building without a brain full of ideas for ways you could better your company culture.
If you’ve been feeling a little uncertain when it comes to business planning, or knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie, team activities may be an excellent way of revealing which strategic steps you need to take next!
Team building is no longer about playing 2 truths 1 lie before committing to trust falls in uninspiring spaces. From outdoor retreats to in-house exercises, there’s no set way to team build.
It’s totally up to you how you go about it!
- It restores morale, productivity and motivation.
If you’ve been working hard on a release, it can be easy to lose momentum once the project comes to an end. Team activities bring everyone together again in an attempt to maintain those high levels of commitment.
A committed team is more likely to present innovative solutions to long-standing problems and this, in turn, helps to build stronger personal relationships.
We Are Mobile First: Team Building 2019
We decided to head out of the city last week for our most recent team building day. We drove along the coast to a town on the Costa Brava for a full day of activities. We were supported logistically by the team at Aticco, our co-working HQ, which only served to make the experience all the more fruitful and rewarding.
Our first activity was tackling a via ferrata with the guidance of expert instructors from Experiencies Costa Brava. A via ferrata, for those not in the know, is a mountainous climbing route equipped with fixed ladders and cables in order to make routes accessible to climbers…and techies like ourselves!
Our particular route took us three hours and it was full of things that challenged the way we work together. Why did we attempt a via ferrata as our opening activity? Good question!
We wanted to…
- give everyone the opportunity to try something new.
- encourage our team members to collaborate and motivate one another whilst working on the same project – especially as we were forced to walk alongside one another at the same pace.
- remind our team members of the importance of building knowledge and to also remind them that they shouldn’t feel embarrassed about sharing their vulnerability.
- overcome any personal and team challenges we faced along the way.
Scaling the rocks took both physical and mental endurance which, thus, forced us all to lean on one another for guidance and support. Due to our differing job titles and assigned projects, this isn’t something we necessarily get to experience with one another so it was truly eye-opening.
Following the via ferrata, we took a moment to contemplate and share our experiences with the rest of the team. We made sure to actively listen to one another in order to see the shared experience from a multitude of perspectives and appreciate the achievements we had all made.
Following a much-needed lunch, we took on two more activities before the end of the day. These activities, ‘productivity chain’ and ‘transportation in the dark’, were more traditional but still effective.
What did we want to achieve with our team building day?
Before embarking on our activities, we set a series of objectives that we wanted to achieve across the day.
These are some of the objectives that we most wanted to meet:
To work on leadership and delegation skills.
Climbing is an adrenaline-filled activity that requires informed communication between everyone involved. We thus wanted our team to use it as an opportunity to brush up on their leadership and delegation skills.
We identified individuals who seemed to fit the profile of a great leader; This was determined by the way they interacted with their fellow team members and the initiative that they showed along the way.
We were also looking out for those who delegated effectively and were mindful of everyone’s strengths.
To strengthen the team.
A team is not defined by the proximity in which they sit together. A true team shares a common goal and works together to achieve it.
The techniques used in the activities we chose sought to emphasise the importance of aiding one another so that everyone has the time and space to reach their potential.
To further develop a sense of identity.
We want every single one of our team members to recognise their own value within the wider team because they all play a valuable part and contribute heavily to our success.
There’s only so much you can do within the working environment to nurture this identity. It’s important to get out of the office every once in a while to strengthen it from the outside in.
To work on active listening and effective communication.
Poor communication only serves to weaken the team. Learning to communicate effectively, especially outside of issues directly relating to our existing work projects, is thus hugely important!
Choosing an activity that posed our team members with dilemmas they’d never come across before was hugely important during the planning stages of this trip.
To nurture creative thinking, problem-solving and innovative thinking.
Combining different points of view helps to create more effective solutions to problems as everyone brings their own experience and skillset to the table.
These techniques can then be transferred to the office.
Was the day a success?
The via ferrata was both an individual and group challenge that encouraged us all to work on overcoming our fears and it forced us to go beyond our supposed limitations. The rest of the team building activities helped us to identify, strengthen and develop all of the previously marked objectives.
We’ve now been left with a wealth of ideas and opportunities going forward to help us best channel the qualities each of our team members displayed, in an effort to achieve a more efficient, committed and happy team.
Less than a week has gone by since our team building activities but its positive effects can already be felt around the office.
How do you feel about team building exercises? Have you experienced any that you really enjoyed? Tweet us and we’ll be sure to retweet the responses!
We Are Mobile First is a digital product agency based in Barcelona helping to transform businesses in a mobile-first world. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium to be notified of our future posts and stay up-to-date with our company news.
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