Productive employees are a sure sign of good work culture. When staff are happy and healthy, they’re far more likely to reach their potential and put in hours of fruitful work.
However, achieving a great work culture can be tricky. Folks are unlikely to be happy if they’re completing the same tasks every day and it’s hard to read staff who don’t want to rock the boat.
As a leader, you can help staff reach their potential by leaning on team-building exercises that improve motivation, communication, and productivity.
Benefits of Team Building
Team building has been a part of corporate culture for decades — and for good reason. An effective team-building program breaks up the monotony of the workweek and forces staff to push their boundaries. This is particularly effective in fields like sales or finance, where folks are likely to get burnt out due to repetitive tasks.
Team building can help lower stress at work, too. Exercises that encourage teamwork help employees bond in a low-stakes environment. Teams that are close can help one another overcome daily stressors and strains. Even small team-building exercises like scavenger hunts at the end of the month can help provide a much-needed moment of relaxation during a busy work week.
Teams that bond over wacky exercises like spaghetti engineering or paintballing usually have greater respect for different team members’ unique strengths. A challenging team-building exercise like speed-sudoku games or virtual escape rooms will give everyone a chance to show off their skills. This builds respect among teams, as everyone has a chance to contribute to a collaborative cause.
Most team-building events are informal mini-breaks meant to break up the monotony of the week. However, once in a while, you should splurge on a company-wide team-building event that builds excitement.
Larger events, like paintballing or a company adventure holiday, show that you care about your staff and are willing to spend big on them. This will build loyalty in your employees and build your reputation as a great employer to work for.
Before you book a holiday to Mallorca, survey your staff and find out what they’re interested in. This can save you a hefty bill and will ensure that employees are actually excited about your company-wide event.
Company-wide events give staff a chance to blow off some steam and get to know one another. Oftentimes, these events conclude with a few cold alcoholic beverages. However, as a leader, you should make everyone feel welcome by bringing a healthy supply of non-alcoholic drinks, too. Recent market research shows that 79% of consumers say that NA drinks ease the social pressures to drink and help them feel at ease. So, line up a few mocktails and low-alcohol beers to help folks feel like part of the team.
Spending big on your staff will build loyalty and enhance productivity. You can even use the company holidays as a reward for surpassing company-wide goals related to profitability or growth.
Breaks During the Day
You don’t have to spend a fortune on team-building exercises. Sometimes, a five-minute break during the day is exactly what your staff needs.
Try to choose team-building exercises that spur creativity. These don’t have to be expensive or particularly convoluted. Simple exercises are often best as folks can get stuck in straight away. Consider games like:
- Team-based puzzle races
- Untangle the human knot
- Office trivia
These games are cost-effective and usually last under an hour. They can be a great way to spur creativity and get folks up from their desk. Remember to include remote employees, too, as staff who work from home benefit from breaks for team building as well. If most of your staff work remotely, consider remote-specific team-building exercises like:
- Virtual escape rooms
- Guess the emoji board
- Pancakes vs. waffles
- Virtual book club
These exercises can be completed with hybrid staff in mind, too. Anyone with a web connection can join in the fun and benefit from the stress-busting, creativity-boosting effect of team-building exercises.
Team-building exercises promote long-term productivity and staff loyalty. However, you need to adjust your short-term key performance indicators (KPI) whenever you plan a team-building event.
Adjusting KPIs is particularly important for employees whose income is related to their performance at work. For example, if you offer commission to sales associates based on their KPIs, they will resent any team-building exercises that take them away from their phones.
Make time-based accommodations for folks whose pay and performance are linked. This will ensure that they reap the rewards of team-building and can fully embrace the productivity-boosting benefits.
Team-building is a great way to enhance your productivity and help you get more from your staff. Start small with events like Jenga and virtual book club to break up the monotony of the week. Plan a few larger events, too, like company holidays and day trips. This will show staff you care, reduce staff turnover, and help you build a more productive workforce.