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What is Team Building?

Company celebrations can encourage team building.
Rope activities are common at team-building events.
Rafting is opportunity for team building outside the workplace.
Team building exercises are developed to strengthen teams of people and encourage bonding.
Article Details
  • Written By: Cathy Rogers
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Team building is a process that develops cooperation and teamwork within a work unit. To constitute an effective team, its members must share a common goal, have respect for each other, and be motivated to use the strengths of each member to achieve their objectives. Current corporate philosophy stresses that each member of a team plays an integral part in the success of the company.

With understaffing, burnout, outsourcing, and other morale-defeating activities on the rise, many corporations realize they must nurture communication within the organization. In addition, many businesses form teams, or committees, for varying purposes; therefore individuals can be members of several teams. For an effective team, time should be established for getting acquainted and the exchange of ideas. From the employee's point of view, being part of a team usually provides a sense of loyalty and ownership.

Through activities known as team building exercises, individuals can practice brainstorming, collaboration, creativity, trust, and feedback. Most of these activities focus on areas such as problem solving, organizational development, and conflict resolution. Participants can also develop leadership, interpersonal, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Many activities, both inside and outside of the workplace, fall under the broad category of team building exercises. Common activities include ropes courses, culinary school, or a field day of team games and exercises. Other light-hearted activities include radio-controlled car racing and scavenger hunts.

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Team building events also include a company's celebrations around holidays. Whether it's a Halloween costume contest or a St. Patrick's Day feast, companies can start or continue traditions that employees look forward to and become involved in. Other activities can include sporting events, potluck meals, team t-shirts, or company drawings for prizes.

When planning or choosing a team building event, try to plan the event at an off-site location. Be prepared for the session by bringing items you will need. Be flexible and have a back-up plan in case you encounter hurdles. Use appropriate safety measures as needed.

Remember to involve all parties and anticipate opposition and blunders. Because individuals learn differently, incorporate components for those who learn through sight, sound, and touch. Encourage participants to go with the flow, even when the plan deviates. Allow time for thought and reflection, but end the event promptly.

To be effective, team building exercises need to have follow-up activities, or the sense of collaboration and creativity is lost. Companies exist that plan and produce team building activities for businesses and organizations.

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Discuss this Article

Moldova
Post 2

Greenweaver- Great corporate teambuilding ideas should try to establish trust among the employees. A great activity that you can do requires the group to be teamed up in pairs and have one partner blindfolded while the other one stands behind them.

The blindfolded employee is told to fall back and the employee standing behind the blindfolded employee is supposed to catch him. This is a well known trust activity. It is really hard to do which is the point of the activity.

GreenWeaver
Post 1

A great team building icebreaker is to divide the room into several teams and have each person say a number, and as they say a number they form a group of the same number. For example the number one goes together with all the number ones and so on and so forth.

This helps to create diversity team building groups because otherwise people tend to sit with their favorite coworkers. This allows the group to get to meet people that they didn't know or were not too familiar with.

What you do is you tell the group that they have to come up with 10 things that they have in common. These have to be more unique things. It can't be that they have to two eyes, or shoes. This gets the group to loosen up and have a little fun.

Then after a few minutes, someone from the group reads the entire list. The whole icebreaker should only take a maximum of fifteen minutes. This is my favorite workplace team building activity.

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