Team building strategies are crucial to building an effective, resilient, and cohesive team. A plan with specific team building goals will greatly improve team performance and boost employee morale. A team building strategy is also the best use of resources because you get a greater return on investment.
Unfortunately, just leaving a team building strategy to chance will never work. Just as a team must work toward a common goal, team leaders must have clear objectives when planning team building activities. And one of the reasons why some employees hate team building exercises is because they happen haphazardly.
How can you ensure that your team building strategy aligns with your company goals? Why can having clear team building objectives help you develop a strong company culture? This article answers these questions and more. But first, we must answer a vital question: what are team building strategies?
What Are Team Building Strategies?
A team building strategy means having a plan of action to achieve a long-term goal. The strategy to build effective teams involves planning various team events to strengthen various teamwork aspects. Therefore, the plan shouldn’t just be an eclectic mix of events without a clearly defined, long-term purpose in mind.
For example, a team building strategy could be to enhance communication skills within a team. Therefore, the long-term team building strategy would involve planning events focused on communication. Here is a short list of team building examples that are varied yet all communication-focused:
- The Wheelchair Build Challenge — A charitable team building activity to create unity and connections within teams.
- The Mandala Leadership Project — A team building exercise using proven methods and practices to improve communication skills.
- The Pit Stop Challenge — A fun activity helping teams develop problem-solving skills through communication and creative thinking.
- The Human Dog Sled Challenge — Are you looking for an outdoor team building event to organize in winter? Then this activity to build a sled from cardboard can help bolster team communication.
- Raising the Tiki Bar — One of the most fun-filled team building exercises gets teams to build their personal tiki bar to have the most creative and extravagant display.
When talking with a team building facilitator, you can discuss your long-term strategy and what you hope to achieve.
Why Have a Strategy for Team Building?
A strategy for team building is the only way to determine a clear direction for your team. The strategy is like a roadmap, showing you what you want to achieve and giving your stopping points along the way. Therefore, a clearly defined strategy is the foundation of any business process, including team building planning.
Unfortunately, many business leaders fail to have team-building strategies and business strategies in general. For example, Harvard Business Review reported that 85 percent of business leaders spend less than 60 minutes per month discussing strategy. Other studies found that even more employees don’t understand their organization’s strategy.
The Seven Vital Elements of Team Building Strategies
The seven elements vital for any team building strategy involve factors like commitment, clarity, accountability, skill development, communication, creativity, and continuous improvement. These elements are key every time you plan a team building event. Without keeping each aspect in mind could mean you miss your long-term team goals.
Every team has certain characteristics and dynamics. While team effectiveness and cohesion typically rely on excellent leadership skills, great teamwork only comes from teaching and training certain skills. And the only way to achieve consistently unified teamwork is to have a team building strategy.
Let’s look at these seven strategies in more detail.
1. Clarity of Purpose
Clarity of roles in a team helps high-performing teams to be effective and move forward together. And it’s the team leader’s responsibility to ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly established. Team members shouldn’t have to navigate their daily tasks with uncertainty because responsibilities aren’t clearly defined.
Therefore, when planning team building events, always make certain there is clarity of roles and responsibilities. This way, team members can focus on these and find it easier to work together in the decision-making process.
Here are some ways to establish clarity in a team:
- Define team member roles: Everyone should know what is expected of them and their responsibilities. They should have a feeling of ownership and know their boundaries.
- Create alignment: Team members should know how their role aligns with the common goal of the team and the organization. In addition, they should know how their individual actions work toward the main objectives.
- Promote transparency: It is crucial to share information and ideas with others. But, equally important is to foster a good team spirit of transparency. This results in trust among team members.
Therefore, each team building event should help participants have clarity of purpose.
2. Develop core skills
Successful teams already have members who have a good skill set. However, each team building event should focus on developing these skills further. Additionally, you may see team members exhibiting skills or potential that you never knew they had during corporate events.
Therefore, team building events must be focused on improving capability. In the end, stronger and more capable team members result in more resilient teams. There are several skills that effective team building exercises can help strengthen. Here are a few:
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving strategies
- Effective leadership
- Active listening
- Effective use of time
- Blue Ocean thinking or thinking outside the box
Full Tilt Team Development has a range of creative and unique activities that help develop a wide range of skills. Click here to find out more.
3. Accountability and trust
It is vitally important that all team building events focus on accountability and trust. These two qualities ensure that team members have a strong sense of commitment. Without commitment to their role and the common goal of the company, an individual could give up when faced with challenges.
When planning a team building strategy, talk with the facilitator about ensuring that the event will motivate, strengthen, and prepare teams to face challenges. Team events focusing on problem-solving, creative thinking, and honest communication are excellent for this.
Collaboration is one of the seven team building strategies. Unfortunately, some business owners make the mistake of thinking that getting a group of highly skilled individuals results in a talented team. While it is true that individuals with strong skill sets are vital, they must learn teamwork.
Collaboration enables synergy and will help teams achieve goals in a faster time. Activities aimed at improving team collaboration enable employees to get to know each other better. They also help develop skills so they can work together to solve problems.
Ways to use team building to strengthen collaboration include the following:
- Playing sports.
- Organizing team building activities for charity.
- Planning a weekend retreat.
5. Open communication
It’s good to remember that open communication is more than talking and listening. There is much more involved. However, no team can work effectively if there is a communication breakdown. Therefore, strengthening communication skills should be at the heart of all team building strategies.
Fostering open, respectful dialogues enable team members to share ideas freely. As a result, honest conversations help people make good choices and decisions. This results in high-performance teams that are an asset to the organization.
6. Keep improving
A fundamental element of a team building strategy is to work toward continuous improvement.
Let’s face it, all of us can improve in something. Helping teams improve in what they are already doing strengthens team spirit, boosts morale, and instills greater confidence. Additionally, team building events can also focus on areas where teams can improve collectively.
Related reading: Why team building is vital for business growth.
7. Encourage creativity and communication
Keeping creativity to the fore in team building strategies is the best way to keep your organization relevant and successful. Imaginative team events can help employees think outside the box. As a result, they’re not afraid to try new ideas and take calculated risks when working in a team.
To encourage creative thinking, ensure that team building events help participants get out of their comfort zone. This helps them develop problem-solving skills and come up with creative ideas. Teams can then translate their experience to the workplace and develop innovative solutions.
According to a report in the journal PLoS One, “Creativity has been considered one of the significant factors of firms’ innovation and competitive performance when businesses face big challenges in turbulent markets.” This enables an organization to develop new products or processes. It can also help them secure a more lucrative share of the market.
Full Tilt Uses Team Building Strategies
Team building strategies can help your organization achieve its long-term goals. However, it is crucial to remember the seven elements of a successful strategy. These are clarity, communication, collaboration, skill development, continual improvement, and encouraging creativity. These strategies are key to innovative team building activities organized by Full Tilt.
Are you interested in developing a team building strategy to improve the effectiveness of your teams? If so, don’t hesitate to contact Full Tilt today. A member of our team is ready to help plan team building events to meet your corporate needs. We guarantee to respond to your inquiry within 15 minutes.