Team building is usually accomplished with a series of team forming exercises. These exercises can be spread throughout the course of a working period or done during a team building retreat of one or many days.
· Icebreakers – Activities designed for the members of a team to get to know each other through fun and informative mini activities.
· Trust Exercises – Team members must rely on each other for support and direction. Common examples are blindfolded trust walks and trust falls.
· Creative Problem Solving – Team members are given a problem to solve in a specific amount of time. These problems generally do not relate to situations that would typically find in the work place. Building a raft, starting a fire, or completing an obstacle course are common examples of problem solving exercises.
· Adaptability – The team sets out to complete their task with one set of parameters and then in the middle of the task the organizer adds other factors to which the team must adapt themselves.
Goals of Team building
· Improved communication between team members
· Increased level of comfort within the team
· Increased level of trust within the team
· Increased level of productivity within the team
· Overall increase in motivation
· Identifying and utilizing the strengths of each team member
· Improvement in collaboration skills
If a company elects to spend an entire day in this activity, the time will not be wasted. Many employees report feeling rejuvenated after a day spent doing it. Depending on the type of exercise, the day might be organized within the office or adjacent grounds, or it may take place at a specially designed retreat that caters to the needs of business-based activities that involve working in a team.
At a retreat, a typical day might go as follows:
1) The members of the team report to the site and sign in.
2) They are briefed on safety and other considerations specific to the site.
3) They are guided through a series of ice breaking and trust exercises.
4) They are given the details of the task they have to accomplish as a team.
5) They complete their task.
6) They participate in a debriefing session following the completion of the activity to recognize their overall strengths and weaknesses as team. As one can imagine, it is this debriefing session that puts all the activities of the day in a useful context.
Overall, Team Building can be a very effective exercise for improving relations and productivity in the workplace.