I don’t support “fun and games” team-building, the kind involving rope courses, outdoor activities and cooking together. Instead, I encourage leaders to provide a more supportive atmosphere at work, enable better team communication and offer flexible ways of working…every day, not just on designated team-building “fun days”.
I only deal with results-driven team development / team coaching programs, which, in my experience, do work. And I suggest that for fun groups go out for a meal, go bowling, hike or sing karaoke.
A recent survey carried out by Vodafone UK and YouGov polling more than 1,000 British employees found that over half didn’t think that having more ‘teambuilding sessions’ would help them work better with their colleagues. Instead, people placed more value on working in open, collaborative and flexible ways, each and every day. More and better communication between team members and with the team as a whole makes a difference. It’s a matter of getting the basics right.
Social events that were most effective were going out for a drink or a meal. That way people get to know one another well, building trust by relaxing together and seeing each other in a well-rounded way.
The survey also found that employees want to be able to work smarter. That means easier access to customers, colleagues and information, as well as development of skills that help them work better. The survey was reported in UK newspaper The Telegraph’s 7 April 2012 edition.