Team building is a collective term for various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks. It is distinct from team training, which is designed by a combine of business managers, learning and development/OD (Internal or external) and an HR Business Partner (if the role exists) to improve the efficiency, rather than interpersonal relations.
Many team-building exercises aim to expose and address interpersonal problems within the group.
Over time, these activities are intended[by whom?] to improve performance in a team-based environment. Team building is one of the foundations of organizational development that can be applied to groups such as sports teams, school classes, military units or flight crews. The formal definition[which?] of team-building includes:
aligning around goals
building effective working relationships
reducing team members' role ambiguity
finding solutions to team problems
Team building is one of the most widely used group-development activities in organizations. A common strategy is to have a "team-building retreat" or "corporate love-in," where team members try to address underlying concerns and build trust by engaging in activities that are not part of what they ordinarily do as a team.
Of all organizational activities, one study found team-development to have the strongest effect (versus financial measures) for improving organizational performance. A 2008 meta-analysis found that team-development activities, including team building and team training, improve both a team's objective performance and that team's subjective supervisory ratings. Team building can also be achieved by targeted personal self-disclosure activities.
This emphasizes the importance of clear objectives and individual and team goals. Team members become involved in action planning to identify ways to define success and failure and achieve goals. This is intended to strengthen motivation and foster a sense of ownership. By identifying specific outcomes and tests of incremental success, teams can measure their progress. Many organizations negotiate a team charter with the team and (union leaders)
This emphasizes improving team members' understanding of their own and others' respective roles and duties. This is intended to reduce ambiguity and foster understanding of the importance of structure by activities aimed at defining and adjusting roles. It emphasizes the members' interdependence and the value of having each member focus on their own role in the team's success.
This emphasizes identifying major problems
This emphasizes increasing teamwork skills such as giving and receiving support, communication and sharing. Teams with fewer interpersonal conflicts generally function more effectively than others. A facilitator guides the conversations to develop mutual trust and open communication between team members.
Fun is an important component to team building, but the intent is to become productive, focused, and aligned. Purely recreational activities can be helpful, but must be timed and consider the capabilities of team members (e.g., sports are not for everyone). Other activities geared toward creating a learning environment, exceeding results and engaging employees must be present.
Employee engagement exercises allow teams to create solutions that are meaningful to them, with direct impact on the individuals, the team and the organization. Experiential learning and ramification methods are effective ways to engage millennials in the workplace. Employee engagement is effective because:
Outdoor activities can be an effective way to engage the team, but there are many different types of team building activities possible.