Despite individual differences, members of a team need to be able to trust and respect each other. Companies face a tough task trying to assimilate employees into cohesive units, and are increasingly taking the help of specialist consultants to get the job done
Team building implies a greater flow of ideas and a deeper interpersonal understanding between the members of a team. The size, average age and objectives of the team may differ, but there are certain essential components required to make the team work.
Team building method
The idea behind a team building exercise is to take the individuals outside the environment of the workplace and enable them to adapt in the changed circumstances. This not only increases adaptability, but heightens the level of communication between employees, who need to work more closely to survive in the new context. Team participants learn more about each other, something that would never have been possible in the workplace. Getting a view of the other side
Components of a team building exercise
First, the facilitator screens the individuals to gauge the level of confidence, communicativeness, and issues between individual members.
The second phase is data analysis and documentation. The profile of each participant forms the building block of the profile of the team. Any other relevant data like team records or member transfers is also noted. They are also given instructions for the coming activities.
The third phase is intervention. Here, the goals which the company has preset play a vital role in shaping the team building exercise. The team members are given time to reflect on the data and define their role in the team. Activities are conducted to work on the weaker points.
A debriefing is conducted after the exercise to review the purpose and how it was achieved. There are also a series of open ended questions, where participants say how they apprehended responded to a particular situation in the exercise. The final phase is conducted a few weeks after the exercise to assess how effective it has been.
Team interaction involves interpersonal and team building exercises are directed towards optimizing these soft skills. While companies can recruit people for their hard skills and technical knowhow, there is no assurance that such a person can fit well into a team. Attributes like communication, negotiation, leadership and conflict resolution cannot be easily taught. Team building exercises are thus a way for companies to bring “everyone onto the same page”.