About Team Building
Team building is a business practice which focuses on strengthening the relationships and work habits of workers within the same departments, work groups or teams with the goal of increasing productivity. There is a wide range of activities which can qualify as team building--anything from participating in a high ropes course to working to write a paper or letter as a group could be used as team building exercises. The thing all team building exercises have in common is that they involve getting coworkers to engage one another in ways such that each team member is an essential part of the whole. Team building is supposed to make the team aware of the strengths and weaknesses of its members, as well as be critical of the ways in which the team attempts to carries out its goals.
Increasing Team Efficiency
The main reason a company pursues team building exercises is that they are thought to produce higher worker productivity. Workers that know the people in their work group well, and like them, will be more likely to work efficiently within their team. The tasks involved in a team building exercise might relate directly to the work that the group normally performs, which can help the team hone their skills and explore new, better ways to achieve their goals. From the perspective of the company, it is worth sparing a few hours on "unproductive" team building exercises if the result is an increase in productivity during time actually spent working.
Morale, Trust and Other Benefits
Team building exercises tend to build trust between coworkers, which helps raise employee morale. Apart from practical lessons learned during exercises, this fact alone may be the primary reason team building increases efficiency. Happy workers who like one another are usually more productive and willing to work harder. Team building can also help facilitate more communication between workers, as well as establishing better delegation of responsibility. When each worker clearly understands his role, as well as the roles of everyone else and how they fit together, they can more easily do their jobs. Team building can also help establish which workers have authority over which operations. Having multiple people with overlapping authority can create problems, and lower morale for workers that feel pressured from different bosses.
Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.