Team Building. Making staff’s skin crawl since forever.
Team building. Some people love it, but most people hate it. From simple, internal team-building activities to expensive weekends away, companies have been spending time and money on team building for years. And we’re here today on the Blue Glove Jobs Blog to tell you why it’s a waste of money and that it’s an outdated concept.
In case you didn’t already know, your employees HATE team-building.
And no, they’re not just being difficult. We live in a nation full of good sports. It’s just that team building? Well, it’s a bit of an outdated concept. It’s uncomfortable, often awkward and unrewarding. A recent survey showed that almost 70% of people found team-building activities embarrassing. Staff members that are younger – 25 and under- are the least likely to want to take part in these exercises, with around 1/3 of them saying they would rather phone in sick than participate (dramatic but understandable).
Team building should start in the recruitment process – not at a high ropes course or on a campsite.
It’s in the name. Your HR team should be building a team from the very beginning of the recruitment process. Candidates should be selected so carefully that your team gels from the get go. That is how you create a powerful team. Build a team that is adaptable, motivated and able to face challenges head on. Powerful teams are not created by zip-lining through forests on a Tuesday afternoon or on camping weekenders. They’re created by HR teams that can see potential in people and cohesiveness in teams. Sorry, but it’s true.
Effective alternatives – tried and tested.
Just because traditional ‘team-building’ is slated by workers, doesn’t mean your team can’t grow together. Some effective alternatives to trust exercises, bungee jumping and raft building (that employees ACTUALLY ENJOY) are as follows:
- Having the opportunity to collaborate with different workers on projects.
- Creating a space for staff to mingle with other staff.
- Doing volunteer work together as a team to benefit other people/charities
- A lunch time edition of Come Dine With Me – Staff Edition (find out who you really can trust!!).
- Flexible working spaces – not having a fixed desk/workspace all of the time.
The future of team building – is there one?
Often companies can feel pressure to offer team building activities. It’s been part of corporate culture for so long now, that it seems unusual to break the cycle. It’s an outdated concept. It’s expensive if your employees don’t feel the benefit. You could be spending that money elsewhere to improve. It is totally dependent on the organisation and staff – it might work for some, it doesn’t work for others. Ultimately, to achieve better teamwork, businesses need to get the basics right first. Employers need to focus on how their employees work day-to-day, and give staff the tools they need to be able to do their job best. Then, naturally, good team work should follow.