Employing a focus on team building for better, happier employees

Ensuring a focus is placed on team building can prove beneficial for both employee morale and retention as well as for the company that hires them.

Social Media Today states that 67% of people believe that it is their colleagues that encourage and help them to do their jobs better, making teamwork and relationship building an important aspect of company or office life that is well worth fostering. Team building events and activities should not be thought of as merely an optional treat but as an investment in your employees.

Creating a positive, friendly environment in which employees feel valued and listened to can boost morale and eliminate a battlefront atmosphere at work. This can also help to identify important negative issues such as bullying, allowing them to be nipped in the bud before serious long-term health issues develop. In fact, Gallup suggests that teams that work well together actually incur lower healthcare costs.

The benefit of outside consultancy

When a team works well together, they can accomplish more work and to a better a standard than if they worked individually. If there is a lack of teamwork or that a team breaks down for some reason, this can create friction between individuals within an organization. In turn, this can have a knock-on effect, resulting in a variety of subsequent problems including a drop in productivity, an increase in employee stress levels, and a rise in absenteeism.

A study by HerdWisdom showed that 33% of employees feel that a lack of open and honest communication can have the most negative impact on employee morale.

Poor communication can be among co-workers or come from management with regard to feedback, instruction, and direction. A lack of communication can be the result of management seeking to shift responsibility, which might be a conscious action or may, overtime, have become a less considered habit.

Therefore, a company can benefit from bringing in an outside facilitator to make an honest and objective assessment of teamwork and interpersonal issues. Whether battlefronts have already occurred between the management and employees or it is a case of avoiding the possibility of those battlefronts happening, an unbiased consultancy, looking at an organization’s situation with fresh eyes could be an ideal option.

Programs developed by these consultancies are designed to strengthen the foundations that are essential for a well-functioning team. The fresh perspective that an outside consultancy, specializing in staff retention and motivation, will bring, helps teams work together faster and more effectively.

The conflict between teams

Although all teams within an organization play an important role in the production of a service or creation of a product, there can often be a conflict of interests between departments, causing friction between teams from meeting regularly in battlefront situations. With 25% of employees apparently frequently going outside of their department looking for knowledge, it is important to foster internal communication channels between the different teams.

One suggested issue that can have a negative impact on employee morale and productivity is hypocrisy from leaders. For example, a leader who beams that team spirit is the driving success of the organization, despite the fact that they have lots of teams warring with each other throughout the company.

According to a Gallup study of over 7,000 US adults, 1 in 2 – 50%! – left their job to get away from their manager. In addition to that, Accenture details that 35% of employees leave due to internal politics. All of this culminates to show that leaders should be role models to motivate their team, facilitate communication between their own team members as well as with other teams to eliminate the battlefront scenario and, ultimately, retain their staff.

Team building activities to unify teams in the battlefront of business

Team building exercises and activities can be an ideal way to increase morale, improve cohesion, or reward good results. Cohesion within a team means they are more inclined to naturally come together to share burdens, alleviate stress, and support each other in the face of business battlefronts. These battlefronts could present themselves as difficulties in dealing with shareholders, crisis management regarding their public image following a scandal, or simply coping with competitors.

Ideas for activities can range greatly in terms of length and intensity as well as preparation time. Smaller, regular activities such as after work drinks on a Friday are important to give employees an opportunity to come together and de-stress. However, more elaborate activities such as high-adrenaline treasure hunts, or fear-facing activities such as singing in front of your colleagues in a team building choir tuition activity, can also provide a more planned, fun bonding experience.

Better, happier employees who work comfortably and confidently within their teams and alongside other teams are more inclined to stay with a company and perform better. Employers can safeguard themselves from hypocrisy by proving that they take action to practice what they preach, remembering to be honest with themselves as well as to their team. Employees value good management, and by behaving like good leaders and investing in their employees through team building activities, morale is likely to increase.