July 14, 2024

Many business owners will recognise that the stronger the team, the more successful the business becomes. Ensuring that the current team you have is as agile, united and organised as possible is not only down to finding the most suitable talent at the interview stage, but also continuing to nurture this through team building. Research shows that 50% of employees have stayed at a company because they feel part of a team and have turned down tempting opportunities from elsewhere due to having made meaningful connections with colleagues.

CEO of award-winning digital marketing agency Digital Ethos, Luke Tobin, provides some tips on how business leaders can ensure that team bonding is worthwhile.

Luke says: “Not only is team bonding a fun way for your employees to let off some steam and recharge away from a typical day’s tasks, but it also fosters a sense of trust and collaboration between team members. Shared experiences create meaningful relationships and improve empathy.

“Here are a few ways you can get the most out of your team bonding exercises as a business leader.”

Understand team dynamics beforehand

Some teams may naturally work closer together if they attend the office in person consistently and therefore see each other face-to-face more than others, for example, or their departments might be working towards the same goal and collaborate more often. Whatever the reason, business leaders need to observe existing dynamics before a team bonding session to maximise its effectiveness.

For example, if you need to divide the workforce into teams for an activity, it is counterproductive to place employees together who already work closely together if we consider the objectives of team building. Instead, group together employees who usually don’t interact or have given feedback that their team’s dynamic could be improved. This way, they can make the most out of the activity and the shared experience will bring them closer together.

Lead by example

As a senior team member, you have the opportunity to set the tone for the desired outcomes of the team building. By actively participating in bonding activities, you can demonstrate different attitudes you would like to foster within the workplace. By modelling desired behaviours, business leaders can cultivate a positive and supportive team culture that encourages openness, communication, and mutual respect.

Provide meaningful experiences

The most effective team-building activities are ones that your employees will remember long after. Ensure that your team-building exercises each have a purpose by incorporating interactive exercises, problem-solving challenges, and experiential learning opportunities that encourage teamwork and critical thinking. Enjoyable activities will naturally be memorable to the team and will remind them of the successes and learnings taken from the team-building activities.

Include debriefing and reflection opportunities

Team building activities should be followed with reflection, learning, and insights by including a debriefing session afterwards. Team members can then give business leaders honest feedback and key learnings. By hosting guided reflection, business leaders can promote self-awareness, foster team cohesion, and reinforce learning outcomes from the activities.

Additionally, allowing team members to display constructive communication creates a safe and supportive environment where team members feel they can freely express their feelings and opinions without fear of judgement.