I am frequently asked the question from leaders across organizations: “How do I know that my team needs building?” A good question, no doubt. I always respond that if you have this question, then you, my friend, need team building activities the most! Every group of people that come together need to bond and build trust among themselves to achieve success. Here are 5 top indications that you need to invest in team building:
Distrust among team members
You are approached by a few of the team mates, separately, with the common complaint, “I cannot work with X”, or “I cannot work with Y”, or “Z is impossible to work with”. These are symptoms of the distrust running through the team. Team building activities are proven to build trust and bonding between colleagues and foster in an environment of collaboration.
You notice that an error made by one team member is repeated by another, in another form, within a few days. This could be a simple procedural error or something bigger that impacts delivery of the project. Lack of communication and learning from others’ mistakes is a likely cause of these kinds of problems. A simple experiential activity tuned towards building effective communication can help make teammates realize the importance of talking and listening to one another.
Occasional flare-up of emotions
One of the guys in the team starts shouting at a team mate, suddenly. He is not happy about a change that the other person has made, which has impacted his own work. A few days later, another team member breaks down during a 1:1 session. These are sure signs of stress at the work place. Employees can carry stress from the home to the office place and team activities that serve as stress busters are excellent for fostering a stress-free environment. Try Drum Jam, or a Symphony experience – these will free up a lot of pent-up tension within the group.
Late delivery of projects
If the team has been consistently delivering late with projects and results, then you have a situation that calls for delivering the message succinctly and with impact. Team building activities that focus on completion of tasks within a given time frame, competing with other teams, deliver a strong message to participants. If they complete their tasks on time, they get to compete and win. If not, they get to watch others have fun.
When seen with one person, it is a disease. Once it starts spreading, it becomes an epidemic. The cure for frequent absenteeism from one person, is localized treatment, feedback and coaching. When it starts spreading, then it becomes a question of culture within the team. A fun and creative environment at the work place will motivate and inspire employees to show up at work. They know that it will be exciting and work will happen along the way. This state is achievable. It needs planning and activities that cater to developing such an environment.
Are there any other signs of discontent and negative emotions that you see with your team? Join in on the discussion and let me know.