Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - The Five Ways Team Building Increases Productivity

The Five Ways Team Building Increases Productivity

When thinking about the impact of teams on productivity, think about this example. You can build a house by yourself. You can even do it correctly. However, having a team to help would not only help you do it faster, but it would also help you do it more efficiently. Naturally, having a team around you would allow you to become more productive.

Well, the productive nature of teams makes the practice of team building essential. Nevertheless, it is worth it to discuss what team building is and what it isn't. Many times, people may confuse this activity with team training or actual team collaboration. So, let's get into what team building actually is:

According to the Cambridge-English dictionary, team building "is the process of encouraging members of a group to work well together, for example, by having them take part in activities or games."

They are events that help encourage your team to work together. The hope is that staff take these experiences and apply them to in-office collaboration.

It may seem like something that doesn't have to be a big priority. Still, the benefits of effective teamwork, especially in regard to productivity, cannot be denied: Ninety-seven percent of employees and executives believe lack of alignment with a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. Collaboration and communication failures can likely be traced back to a lack of teamwork and specifically team building.

So, how can investing in that team retreat or escape room event improve productivity? Keep reading below.

It Allows Your Team Members to Get to Know One Another

Think about the last time you went to a company function. Now, how many times did you realize you didn't know someone in the room. Likely, a lot. Even if you work for a small company, it is hard for everyone to keep up with who their new team members are. Team building activities allow your team to meet everyone and bring new hires into the fold.

They can also be a great way to teach these new hires about the culture and personality of your company. Unless you have a mentorship program, or regularly schedule catered lunches, it is going to be impossible for everyone to meet.

Also, you give your staff the best chance of becoming engaged at work when you facilitate the creation of actual bonds between your employees. Studies show that individuals are more engaged in their work when they have a friend in the office, and what better way to facilitate friendships than to ensure your team members are meeting one another?

Improve Communication

According to a Fierce Inc. study, 86 percent of employees and executives cite a lack of communication and collaboration for workplace failures. You have to give your team the chance to practice their communication skills, and learn how their colleagues accomplish tasks. This situation is an excellent way to use team building to increase productivity, as your team is much more productive when they know how to have a dialogue with one another.

Understanding how each person communicates allows your team to understand each other's personality and how they approach problems. Some colleagues may want to meet before moving onto another task, while others thrive on meeting less frequently if they feel confident about what they are doing. The goal is to help your employees feel more comfortable speaking and collaborating. Having them accomplish a task together or solve a problem with one another will give them the confidence they need to replicate this behavior in the office.

It Humanizes Your Team

You know that feeling when you saw your teacher outside of the classroom? Well, the last thing you want is for your team members to feel the same way if they see you or anyone else on staff outside of work. Team building can improve productivity, collaboration, and communication by encouraging your team members to realize that they are all human. They have unique quirks, hobbies and interests, and approaches to problems.

Once your employees know they are working with people who are not so different from them, then it makes the act of relating to one another much more comfortable. Your staff is more likely to support a colleague they have gotten to know and understand. Everything changes once your team realized that they are not just cogs in a wheel, but human beings who are trying to reach the same goal.

Helps Them Practice Goal-Setting

Team building activities are a great way to allow your team to practice goal-setting. There are a variety of activities you can use for this task, but a trendy one is an Escape Room. These are excellent for goal-setting as they require your team to work together to move through each part of the puzzle. They have to set goals that address finding the items they need, how to move through each phase, and who will be in charge of keeping everyone on track. Regardless of the activity, the purpose is to use team building to increase productivity. Your team will greatly benefit from engaging in tasks that require them to set goals and objectives. They can then take these practices and use them once they get back into the office.

Allow Them to Get to Know Each Other's Personality

These days, there is much literature on the concept of introversion and extroversion. While there is a broad spectrum of where colleagues can fall between these two personality types, your team must understand how each of their colleagues chooses to interact. For example, if you have a team that includes someone who is classified as an introvert partnered with an extrovert, misunderstandings can arise regarding communication.

The extrovert may want to spontaneously meet at their colleague's desks to discuss a task, whereas an introvert may want to schedule something ahead of time as they may not work well with unplanned meetings or distractions. Failing to ensure that your team realizes and allows for personality differences can cause your productivity to decrease. As a result, team activities can significantly increase productivity by helping your employees understand how their colleagues prefer to communicate and work together.

Are you Making Team Building a Priority?

As with anything in business, the people you hire are arguably your greatest assets. The degree at which they work well together is going to have an impact on your business. You cannot meet all your business goals if your team does not feel comfortable with one another.

The neat thing about team building activities is that they don't have to be an expensive company retreat, an all-day company picnic, or the usual catered lunch. You can use your creativity to create consistent moments of connection between your employees. For example, a daily standup meeting where colleagues share what they are working on, or informal lunch events where employees can discuss their out-of-work hobbies can both be examples of team building. Look at the personality of your team and capitalize on some of their hobbies.

Another way you can facilitate team building is by creating a community board where employees can post events or ideas. They may have ideas you may have never thought of.

Also, survey your employees to see what they would like to try with others. You can use the relevant ideas and even let the employees who suggested them take on a leadership role of heading up the event.

Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate the bonding of your team so that they can work well together. Durable bonds between team members can increase engagement. This situation, in turn, can help to improve productivity. All of these concepts are connected, and when you address one, the others will be impacted in some way.

If you put effort into developing the human capital on your team, you will improve your productivity. So, work to make the act of using team building activities to increase productivity a priority in 2020.


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