Team building is a technique used by companies in which the team work has a great relevance for the success. It aims to create a group between the people who work for the same project or tasks, and to develop partnership and communication, cohesion and sharing objectives. It can build a harmonious, efficient and productive work group.
According to Arnold Bateman of the University of Nebraska “Team building is an effort in which a team studies its own process of working together and acts to create a climate that encourages and values the contributions of team members. Their energies are directed toward problem solving, task effectiveness, and maximizing the use of all members’ resources to achieve the team’s purpose. Sound team building recognizes that it is not possible to fully separate one’s performance from those of others.” (1990, Team Building: Developing a Productive Team ).
In a company, the team building is used to reach the best performance as possible.
Team building can be categorized or as developmental if it works on weakness or particular needs well identified, such as workshops and professional team-building exercises with specific goals and issues, or as fun, to enjoy the group and create a group identity with, for example, sport and theatrical activities, camping trips or sailing boat. Some examples of team building can be: survival scenario (your plane has crushed in the ocean near a desert island, and there are 12 items you need to survive: which items you want to take and how you rank each item); ice breaking: each team’s member has to write in a piece of paper two real episodes of his life and one not true, and the others has to guess which is the lie; cooking class; rugby; a day in a farm and urban safari, a kind of treasure hunt in the city.
With these activities and games the team can define the roles, analyse the problems and find the solution through problem solving, manage the group’s communication, active listening, feedback and brainstorming. These elements could be examine patiently afterwards in the office.
Whether or not the type of activity, the purpose is making the group a real team, increasing the trust to the colleagues, releasing the creativity, developing a relaxed climate for communication and knowing each other.
Team building can work best if there is a high level of interdependence between members, if the leader has positive people skills, if the members are clear about goals and their roles in the team, if everyone wants to contribute and is prepared to take risks, and if the team has capacity to create new ideas, to examine the errors and weaknesses and to learn from the experience.
The simplest examples to understand the team building, and what it could reach, are represented by team sport activities: they are a perfect metaphor for the company life. As in the sport, in the business world there is competition, competence, faith in the team, loyalty to rivals, strategy and tactic plan. If you want to play, you have to respect the company and management’s rules: you should know them as well as possible to reach the team’s objectives.
If you play as a team, you will win as a team.