Sarah Hill of Seven Events takes a look at some common misconceptions about team-building exercises.
Over a seven-year study, companies with engaged employees were able to achieve 2.5 times more revenue than those with low engagement levels.
That’s a clear indication that employees need to be engaged by activities that reshape company culture and teach co-workers to work together.
And yet, there are still many misconceptions about team building events that prevent businesses fromutilizing them to their full potential.
To help change that, here’s a list of five of the most common misconceptions about team building from experienced event organiserstogether with why they’re simply not true.
Team Building is Expensive
The initial hurdle that many companies run into when considering a team building event is budget.
Convincing the decision-makers that this type of event would be beneficial for the staff and the entire company is a tall task, especially when there’s usually limited understanding of what team building events are or how they achieve their goals.
A lot of people still consider team building to be little more than paid vacations that allow employees to enjoy time off on the company’s dime.
But the truth is, team building events,if handled by professionals corporate event planning, can become one of the most powerful tools for improving productivity and reaching company goals.
If the event sets clear goals and lays out a plan for achieving them through activities, the budget required can be lookedat as an investment that will pay off many times.
There’s No Way to Measure Success
Sometimes, the budgetisn’t even a concern – some companies don’t mind giving their employees a few perks or evensending them on a trip.
But they’re still scepticalabout team building events because they don’t see any way to measure real, tangible results and thus view it as an unnecessary time waster for both the company and the employees.
But while it’s true that it’s hard to tie measurable results or outcomes with the team building event, the results that show up are hard not to notice as well.
There’s a reason why many of the most innovative companies such as Google invest heavily in their work culture and team building – when a group of people of diverse backgrounds and varying skillsets has to work towards a common goal, having a work process for making it happen is absolutely essential.
Team building events help different people find effective ways to communicate, collaborate and share information, while at the same time increasing trust and comradery. All of these things are essential for any workplace that wants to achieve consistent results.
And, once they do get implemented into the day-to-day workflow, the changes will be so significant that they’ll be impossible to miss – although the effects of team building events may not be easily quantifiable, the best indicator will be the increase in productivity and, in the end, the company’s bottom line.
It’s Impossible to Achieve Results in Just One Day
Another common misconception about team building is that while it can be useful, there’s just no point in one-dayevents because that’s justnot enough time for co-workers to learn better ways to work together.
But that’ssimplynot true.
Sure, different levels of immersion in a team building event will deliver different results, but even a one-day activity, if planned by team building and conference organisersthat have experience and know how to get the most out of the available time, can have a noticeable impact and serve as a stepping stone towards reshaping the office culture.
What’s more, even if you don’t have the budget for a multi-day team building retreat, even an evening of productive team building activities can have a hugeimpact because it shows your employees that you care about them and want them to improve and succeed.
You can also start building a foundation of company values using corporate social responsibility events that allow employees to come together for a worthy cause, which can even increaseemployee loyalty because it gives working for your company a higher purpose.
Team Building is “Cheesy”
Many jokes and sketches have been madeabout the awkward activities of team building events. It has gotten a reputation of a dreaded experience that includes karaoke singing or trust falls, which makes both employers and employees hesitant about even considering it.
But while these activities are part of many team building events, they are not mandatory, and even if they are used, it’s because they serve a clear purpose and help achieve the bigger goals that the event sets out.
The reason why those activities are awkward because they force people to step out of their comfort zone. And that’s essential for achieving any sort ofmeaningful results.
The very first step in team building is for co-workers to learn to relax amongst each other – only then can real, meaningful results be achieved through goal-oriented activities that teach people to work together and solve problems.
If you don’t want to do karaoke singing or any other activity, it’s by no means mandatory – there are plenty of ways to break the ice and have a successful team building event without resorting to clichés, even effective ones.
It Doesn’t Serve Any Real Purpose
Finally, one of the more common knocks on corporate team building eventsis that it’s just a waste of time. You get together with your employees and colleagues and play some games and do some activities, but once you come back to the office, does it make any difference in performance or collaboration?
Well, the truth is, it can have a huge impact.
Team building events are meant to help your employees practice working together. And just like with any other skill, it needs to be worked on in order tosee consistent improvements.
Sometimes, just one well-executed event may be enough to see significant and long-lasting results. But other times, people may revert to their old habits, which is why for team building to have a truly meaningfulimpact, it shouldn’t be viewedas a one-off event.
In fact,it’s a good idea to practice the main principles from the team building event continuously so that they become ingrained in the office culture.
So, it isn’t that team building events don’t serve a purpose or are meaningless, it’s just that many companies fail to see its full potential and take the necessary steps to achieve it.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – one of the leading event production companies in the UK, providing conference and incentive travel, conference venue finding services, and corporate team building services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago; as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.