The Purpose of Team Building and Why It’s Important
“Team building” is a term that gets used a lot in corporate settings, but what is its purpose? And why is it important? Ask any business owner, CEO, or manager…a business is only as strong and healthy as its people are, bottom to top. This means that the everyday worker’s wellbeing has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the whole enterprise. The head honcho of any organization cannot take their eye off the welfare of the person at the bottom of their corporate ladder, because it will affect the health of their whole operation. Ok, so that’s great in theory. But how is an organization, business, or team supposed to make that a reality?
What is team building?
Team building is exactly what it sounds like: building a team. This can take many different forms, but it usually looks like participating in thoughtfully curated, fun activities designed to get team members out of their comfort zone, learning new things about each other, problem-solving together, communicating with one another, and exercising interpersonal skills.
What is Team Building at YWAM Asheville?
Here at YWAM Asheville team building is crucial. We are a discipleship community, dedicated to building one another up, leading one another to truth, creating together, and living life together. Our ability to work well as a team is central to our overall success. Team building is a frequent practice for us, especially as we have new faces join us with every new Discipleship Training School and secondary school. YWAM staff training includes interpersonal and cross cultural communication because the Lord has called us to function as a unified team, in the midst of diversity. In our YWAM DTS programs, students are led through team building activities that are meant to prepare them for international outreach. As a staff, we experience team building by spending quality time with each other, doing ministry together, and making space to value each other as individuals. We celebrate birthdays, attend kid’s performances, pitch in when someone moves, and have dinner together weekly. All of this is for the purpose of functioning as a team in a healthy and life-giving way. When we are taking care of each other well, we go so much further and accomplish so much more.
Top 6 Benefits of Team Building
I’m going to address these 6 benefits from the perspective of a YWAM missionary, but rest assured, they will apply to any corporate setting.
1. Enhanced Performance
Personally, I am happy to work hard when I feel valued by my leaders and co-workers. When I know that my skills and creativity are needed and honored, I will work to the bone to get something done right and on time. However, when I feel overlooked and undervalued, I am tempted to clock out at the end of the day and sprint home, regardless if I got my work done or not. Because YWAM Asheville has created a culture of honoring and valuing each individual by consistently pursuing team building, I almost always view my job as joy and opportunity. If you are leading a company or organization, and your employees are doing the bare minimum task of them, you may want to look into investing money and time in team-building!
2. Helpful Communication
In a typical office setting, each employee has unique responsibilities and roles to meet that are vital to the success of the company. If one of your employees has an issue that requires the speciality of a different department, they are much more likely to comfortably and swiftly talk with someone from a different department if they have been introduced and interacted with each other previously. If your company has had intentional times of team building, there is already a basic level of relationship and respect to positively guide those conversations. Communication is key to the success of ANY multi-person operation. Conversations are inevitable. So, when those relationships have already been established, even if only through a silly ice-breaker game, there is a standing point of reference that has made corporate conversations easier to have.
3. Improved Office Culture
If you have read up to this point, this one is probably pretty obvious to grasp. All the previous benefits mentioned contribute to an improved culture to work within. As employee performance, engagement, and communication improve, the overall atmosphere of the workplace will improve. Culture is created by setting standards and values that serve everyone, and then sticking to them. When team building is a standard that is maintained, office culture will steadily grow and evolve into workplace friendships and mutual trust between departments.
4. Talent Attraction
When your company or organization is hosting a place for healthy employee relationships, you are creating a place people want to work! Word will travel and growth will happen. Talented professionals who are able to contribute to and enhance your corporate goals will want to join your team! All because they have either heard or witnessed that it’s an enriching work environment. Pretty simple! At a very heart level, all people (regardless of pedigree) want to be valued, honoured, seen, and respected. Team building is the first step in creating an environment that meets these universal human needs.
5. Reputation and Reviews
Similar to talent attraction, desirable client attraction will follow an improved office culture. It’s remarkable that you can literally trace your “dream” client, customer, student, or consumer back to intentionality with team building. When your services/product are met in quality by both employee and consumer experience, your reputation and reviews will help you grow in size, income, and/or impact. There’s no stopping you now!
6. Vision Casting
Finally, now that your company/organization is past “survival mentality”, your leadership is freed up to dream! When a team leader or manager is spending their time putting out fires or dealing with workplace conflict, there is no space to think about the future. If you are a leader, do yourself a favor: invest in team building. This will ensure your company’s ability to surpass day-to-day survival and move on to bigger and better exploits and ventures!
As you can see….team building is the unsung hero of corporate success. Whether you’re an employee, manager, CEO, or somewhere in between, your position can be improved by implementing thoughtfully set aside times of cultivating relationships, making space for communication, and letting humans do what they do best: connect.