What Team building activities are a way to provide high-impact learning, increase team skills and communications, and improve morale and productivity. Employees benefit through experiencing a sense of accomplishment in working as a group to complete a challenging task and learning ways to improve communication skills. Team building allows employees to return to the office reinvigorated and with a new set of problem-solving skills.

Improved Communication
Team building is useful for breaking down barriers between individuals through group participation in activities. People who are not used to working together get a chance to participate and work as a team. By working through a task, the multiplicity of skills within the team is highlighted and the group learns new ways of working together. Team building activities that highlight communication allow participants to experience for themselves the importance of good communication and develop new ways of accomplishing this.

Develop Team Roles
Members of a team have roles that they are naturally suited to, according to team specialist Dr. Meredith Belbin. For example, some people are best at focusing on the team objectives and delegating work, while others are most effective at checking finished work for errors. Team building allows each member of the team to develop and focus on what they are best at, and allow the team members to find their niche within the team so that everyone can best contribute as an individual while still performing together.

Time to Develop Skills
In a busy office environment, it can be difficult for employees to find time to develop new skills. Managers often do not have time to discover what additional skills employees possess. Team building activities can allow each member of the team a chance to take charge and develop leadership skills, as well as skills in other areas of the business.

Long-Term Benefits
Team expert Talan Miller has found that a strong team can lead to major gains for every small business. These include the ability to maximize profitability by allowing individuals to better combine their skills to achieve more; meeting cross functional challenges and being able to respond quicker to rapid change; retaining the best people by giving everyone a greater sense of involvement and belonging; and empowering teams to become more mission focused and to achieve more with less direction and saving time and money.

Better Relationships
Team building activities provides a chance for the team to participate together in an experience where everyone starts with an equal level of knowledge about the given task. The novelty requires people to draw on and create team process skills to complete the task successfully. The challenge of a new experience also requires employees to collaborate and work together in close proximity, which helps to develop relationships quickly.

by Lisa Magloff, studioD