Advantages and Disadvantages of Team Building Exercises
When in a working environment it is always a good idea to ensure that you and your coworkers get along as this will lead to much more production and efficiency when working together. This is where team building exercises could prove to be a good investment for a workforce who may not know each other too well or are having problems getting along. Team building activities help employees to break the ice and communicate collaboratively/competitively to complete tasks and objectives set forth for them. Because of this many businesses make use of these exercises to keep their workforce happy and working as efficiently as possible and to maintain a positive bond between employees. While all this is great in writing, and in most cases team building exercises have the desired effects, there are a few problems that can be associated with them and a few activities that are better off leaving out. Some activities, depending on what they are, can cause arguments, distrust and can even cause disdain towards the superiors that organise them, so essentially the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve in the first place. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider before creating an activity for your team:
- Team building exercises when done right can increase the self-esteem of your employees, especially useful for people who may find it difficult to others, which in turn can increase the efficiency of their work together and also their understanding as communication becomes better. This has obvious advantages as workers will be able to communicate better and will most likely work better together and help each other if they get along.
- Employees may be more willing and less afraid to share their ideas with others in the group. This means helpful ideas that would otherwise go without being said can actually be shared and may encourage others to do the same.
- Team building can also help to reduce employee stress levels in the workplace which will keep staff members happier and when people are happy they are generally more productive.
- The group as a whole could function much better if the team building exercises are engaging and work as expected. This would mean that the entire group would be friendly with one another meaning that work is more fluent within a group and major disruptions are less likely.
- The team may even unite better to tackle common goals and problems that need solving meaning obstacles are overcome much faster and targets are met or maybe even exceeded.
- One of the most obvious disadvantages is time away or out of work. Employees may get behind on work and have to work harder to catch up which can cause stress and irritation that could possibly even undo what the exercises sought out to achieve. Also, time out of work could cause some employees to lose their workflow and they may find it difficult to get back into it and produce their most effective work.
- Cost is a big factor to business’ who take their employees for team building exercises. The cost is not necessarily the cost of these activities themselves but rather the cost of time that could be spent working and making money back at the office or other workplace. Companies may see more benefit in having their employees working for an extra hour rather than spending time doing activities they might not even want to do in the first place.
- Team building may not work all the time. Everybody is different, not everybody shares the same interests and opinions as others even if they work in the same industry. This just means that not everyone will get along and some won’t appreciate having to perform activities and exercises with others they might not want to spend extra time with. In some cases, team building exercises can cause even more team cohesion than before they were started. Sometimes people just want to get on with their work and can still work efficiently and productively without having to be on the best of terms with everyone they work with. Spending time trying to force these activities instead of just getting on with work may just be a lost cause depending on the individuals and the environment they are in.
To conclude, team building exercises can be the make and break of a team. The most essential thing to remember is that some activities might help the team to be more efficient whereas some won’t. Also, some people won’t get along with each other and spending time and resources on activities when this is the case might just be wasting money and time. However, team building exercises when done right can work wonders for teams with shy members or people who don’t really get along. The most important thing is to at least try a few different activities to see what the general reaction is and check whether productivity goes up or down. If productivity goes up the chances are that the exercises have been well received and if this is the case then keep up the good work. If this is not the case, then there isn’t much point in forcing these activities and using up valuable time that could be spent working.