Keeping employees feeling engaged, valued, and happy in their jobs is key to employee retention and promoting positive mental health in the workplace. With the current lockdowns and tendency to increased remote working, these fundamentals are climbing priority lists. Although trust falls and last minute, thrown-together games may have given team building a bad reputation in the past, it remains an important and effective part of company culture. Many of the key principles of employee engagement – trust, integrity, and communication – are benefits of team building events. Here, we look at some of the reasons team building is, and continues to be, such an important part of employee engagement.
Builds Valuable Relationships
When we spend approximately one third of our lives at work, it makes sense that valuable connections with our co-workers are a key part of a happy working life. Team building exercises work on nurturing and growing these relationships, helping to build trust and friendships. As teams work towards a shared goal, employees find themselves communicating with colleagues that they may not normally socialise with and find common ground on which to build their working relationship. Problem solving and competitive activities can help build trust between those on a team together, learning each other’s strengths and creating strong bonds which are carried through to the workplace.
These connections become increasingly important as more companies adopt a remote or hybrid workplace. With team members working away from the office, natural bonds which form when working in the same place together, can be harder to create and maintain. Particularly for new starters, the remote workplace can create a barrier for integrating seamlessly into the team. Hosting a virtual team building event, or bringing everyone together for a live team building event, can help to create those connections by encouraging everyone to work together on a set goal.
Team morale has a big effect on company culture and the engagement of your employees. To make sure morale remains high, you need to keep employees feeling appreciated and valued. Team building activities are a fun and exciting way to get employees out of the office and away from desks, showing that their hard work is noticed and you appreciate the need for them to take breaks. They can also be a great incentive, especially when choosing an activity like escape rooms or gameshow formats, which develop skills in an interesting and immersive fashion that gets everyone enjoying themselves.
Morale and team happiness have become an even higher priority as more people work from home. With the current restrictions and lack of social activities, employees can very quickly find their mood lowering. Even post pandemic, the isolation of a remote workspace can cause morale to drop. With both virtual and live team building events, socialising and connecting are integral elements, helping to boost mood and positively impacting morale.
Working together to achieve a shared goal is the perfect way to engage with your employees and get co-workers communicating with each other. Communication is vital to increased employee engagement, opening up new lines of communication for honest feedback and real conversations. Good communication also leads to smoother processes, resulting in less obstacles and increased job satisfaction. Team building develops key skills for communicating, working on problem solving techniques and drawing on employees to identify their colleague’s strengths. Activities like virtual escape rooms, iPad treasure hunts and codebreakers are perfect for this. For the best results from your team building, create teams with colleagues that don’t normally mix a lot in the workplace, giving everyone a chance to create new connections and bond with new people. This works with both virtual and live events. Virtual event platforms provide breakout rooms for teams to talk amongst themselves, as well as open lobbies for whole teams to connect in.
Decreases Burnout and Promotes Positive Mental Health
Employee burnout is a big challenge currently facing employers. With technology meaning we can be switched on and working from anywhere, employees find it difficult to switch off and often work long over their hours. Particularly with those who have converted to working from home, switching off and relaxing is increasingly difficult when the office and home are combined. Team building is a great way to encourage workers to step away from their daily workload and engage in something different, leaving them feeling refreshed and re-energised. Whether physically getting out into a new environment or virtually stepping into an engaging online experience, the change in routine helps to refocus and energise employees. Team building also helps employees to reconnect and create a support network to lean on when burnout starts to take hold and reassures them that their employer recognises their hard work. Decreasing burnout and stress is crucial in promoting positive mental health and high engagement levels.
Levels The Playing Field
Team building events are designed to get everyone involved and on the same level. Whether you’re a CEO or apprentice, everyone has a role to play in these activities. They’re a great way to mix up the company dynamic and give everyone in the team a chance to shine. Employees are often given a confidence boost as they discover new strengths and enhance existing skills. Having everyone on the same level for a day develops more trust amongst colleagues of all levels and can lead to better communication and more engagement in company procedures. It also helps to promote communication between different hierarchy levels within a company. A remote workplace can sometimes put a strain on these important communication bonds and getting everyone working together outside of their day-to-day roles for a team building activity can really help to rebuild them.
Team building activities are both fun and educational and this new era has brought a plethora of exciting options to the table. As the Covid climate sees remote working on the rise, more and more team building companies are increasing their virtual and hybrid offerings, creating a portfolio of activities that appeals to all forms of workplaces. When reviewing team engagement and looking for new ways to promote a positive working environment, it’s well worth including regular team building activities in your company culture. Monitoring the happiness and mental well-being of employees is vital to ensuring positive engagement and should be a priority for businesses everywhere.
Author bio: Lorna Boyer at Eventurous Ltd.
Photo Credits: Pixabay