Managers across the world will argue this point back and forth to no end. Ultimately I believe the answer is quiet simple, but first we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions; What do we mean by Team building and what do we mean by Success?
Let's start with the easy one. Team building is defined as a philosophy of job design in which employees are viewed as members of interdependent teams instead of as individual workers. Team building refers to a wide range of activities, presented to businesses, schools, sports teams, religious or nonprofit organisations designed for improving team performance. Team building is pursued via a variety of practices, and can range from simple bonding exercises to complex simulations and multi-day team building retreats designed to develop a team (including group assessment and group-dynamic games), usually falling somewhere in between.
Success on the other hand is defined as the achievement of something desired, planned or attempted.
Based on these definitions we should now re phrase our question to; Do activities designed for improving team performance help to achieve something desired, planned or attempted?
As a business owner I believe the desired outcome has always been the same, create a sound business with good processes and ultimately turn a profit. However the attitudes of and opportunities for the people behind that result (staff) has changed enormously.
In the days of yesteryear you were grateful to have a job, you turned up did as you we're told and got paid. Opportunities were rare so you appreciated and did what you could do to keep them.
Today in the world of technology a new opportunity is only a Google or SEEK search away. If you're not happy; in a matter of moments you have a whole world of new jobs at your fingertips.
As such to achieve the desired outcome the process needs to change, or put another way, staff need to be managed and treated differently. Staff today need to feel appreciated, respected, valued and adequately rewarded and if they don't get it where they are they will look elsewhere.
A team that can work together will be successful and the best way to learn to work together is to understand and respect each others differences both strengths and weaknesses. That's where team building comes in. A well structured team building event can act to reward and acknowledge performance while creating an opportunity to understand and appreciate each other. Let’s also not discount the benefit gained from having some fun with your work colleagues.
Remember, you will not solve the problems of the world with one event but it’s a start. In my next blog I will discuss some key strategies to making the benefits of a team event last.
Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.
Do I believe team building equals success? Absolutely!
Thanks again for reading and as always I welcome your feedback and ideas.
Managing Director, Corporate Challenge