In today’s constantly evolving world of work, employee wellness is more important than ever. As organisations strive to improve productivity it is essential for them to recognise the role that employee wellness plays in achieving their goals. One proven way to enhance employee wellness is through team building activities. Team cohesion is the desired outcome of team building. Team cohesion requires ongoing maintenance to support and build on the positive outcomes of team-building efforts.
“Team cohesion is the desired outcome of team building”
Team building activities
Team fun can seem unproductive. But having fun as a team can help employees to work more efficiently and effectively. Team building creates the foundation for relationships and connections. Team building activities are designed to bring employees together, foster camaraderie and improve colleagues’ communication, collaboration and trust.
“Team building creates the foundation for relationships and connections.”
Here are 10 benefits of team fun and team building activities at work. They can:
- Create community
- Boost mental and social wellbeing
- Strengthen employee-manager relationships
- Help build morale and engagement
- Provide opportunities employee recognition and reward
- Enhance communication and teamwork skills
- Develop leadership skills
- Break down company silos
- Establish a positive company culture
- Boost productivity
Building a cohesive team
Team cohesion is the measure of how well team members work with one another. When a team is cohesive everyone understands their role, embraces their strengths and is committed to team goals. It influences the positive nature of interactions, serves to reduce conflicts and cultivates a sense of belonging within a team, department, or organisation. However, team cohesion does not flourish when unmanaged – it requires maintenance. Here are 6 steps for managers in maintaining team cohesion:
“Team cohesion is the measure of how well team members work with one another.”
- Start with alignment
A team needs to be united around a common goal or each member will head in a different direction. More than aligning team members, a shared goal can motivate, inspire and help them overcome challenges or conflicts. The first step is to identify the goal that you want your team to achieve. Then, it is important to involve your team in the goal-setting process. This can help you gain their input, buy-in and commitment. The next step is to communicate the goal clearly and consistently to your team and then support your team in achieving the goal.
“More than aligning team members, a shared goal can motivate, inspire and help them overcome challenges or conflicts.”
2. Get the right players on the team
Once you know what your goal is, you need to make sure you have the right team in place to achieve the desired results. This starts with gaining an understanding of:
- who is currently on your team,
- what are their strengths and weaknesses
- what comes naturally to them, and
- what requires them to stretch beyond their comfort zone?
It is essential to map each individual member’s strengths against what your team needs to achieve its goals. If there are gaps in your employees’ strengths in terms of what is needed, members will need to be added to the team – or these can be filled by outside resources. While employees can stretch themselves to meet what is needed in the short-term, this can be extremely counter-productive to individuals and the team’s wellbeing over time.
“While employees can stretch themselves to meet what is needed in the short-term, this can be extremely counter-productive to individuals and the team’s wellbeing over time.”
3. Understand the different personalities within the team
Every manager must step in to help resolve conflict between two team members at some point. The cause of a dispute often comes down to temperament and personality differences. It requires understanding the differences in how employees think, work, and communicate to achieve a team’s social cohesion. By understanding your team members’ different personality traits a team leader can learn how to work effectively with each individual as well as motivating and bringing everyone together.
“The cause of a dispute often comes down to temperament and personality differences.”
4. Give managers tools to tailor their leadership style
Managers set the tone for the team. They need to be able to tailor their leadership style to fit the needs of every one of their employees. To do this effectively, a team leader needs to understand the differences in how their employees think, work and act. However, before a manager can adjust their style to others, they need to know their own strengths, weaknesses and preferences. And different situations may require different leadership approaches. For example, a crisis may call for a more decisive style, while overseeing a routine task may benefit from a more empowering style.
“Managers set the tone for the team. They need to be able to tailor their leadership style to fit the needs of every one of their employees.”
5. Understand what’s driving the team to perform
In their arsenal to improve team cohesiveness, it’s important for managers to understand what can drive employee engagement. One such driver is setting clear goals and objectives. For teams to perform, they need to know what they are supposed to do. Setting clear goals and objectives gives employees a better understanding of their position in the organisation, what skills they need to develop to fulfill tasks and how their contribution matters. Another driver is including team members in the decision-making process. This paves the way for transparency and keeps the team in the loop as to decisions and developments being made in the organisation. As a result, employees will feel motivated to work and may develop innovative ideas to contribute.
“In their arsenal to improve team cohesiveness, it’s important for managers to understand what can drive employee engagement.”
6. Keep communicating
A team that is given the opportunity to communicate frequently and honestly will always be more efficient and successful than one where there is too little communication. Team members that communicate know each other. They come to know each other’s strengths, abilities and areas where they might need help from colleagues. In this way they are more in sync with each other, which translates into the quality of their work and productivity.
“A team that is given the opportunity to communicate frequently and honestly will always be more efficient and successful than one where there is too little communication.”
On the road to team cohesion, team building activities can help build a positive work culture that is conducive to employee satisfaction, engagement and belonging. In this way team building and the support of cohesive teams can significantly enhance employee wellness. Effective teamwork gives the entire team an excellent support network. Learning to work as a team encourages strong work relationships, boosts engagement, gives team members confidence and promotes mental, emotional and social wellbeing.
“Effective teamwork gives the entire team an excellent support network. Learning to work as a team encourages strong work relationships, boosts engagement, gives team members confidence and promotes mental, emotional and social wellbeing.”