Team Building: 3 Ways to Get More Bang for Your Buck
Team building enhances team cohesiveness to improve business results. A facilitator guides participants through predictable phases of team development, exercises, and discussions. These are debriefed and mined for insights, tools, and strategies to improve team interaction and performance.
If team members lack some of the skills to make the teams work, engage an external or internal facilitator to jumpstart the process and provide the teams with tools to stay on track.
Role of Team Building Facilitators
The role of facilitators is to:
- help teams gel
- improve the effectiveness of meetings
- provide energizers
- facilitate brainstorming sessions, problem-solving and decision-making sessions
If there are a number of initiatives that require team facilitators, consider investing in facilitation training for team leaders.
Team Building vs Team Recreation
Sometimes companies confuse team recreation with team building. It has come to the point that all experiences shared by teams, from going out for drinks after work to bungee jumping, are being marketed as “team building”.There is a place for team socials and recreational corporate events but they should never be confused with or used as a substitute for team building.
Team building is not just an experience shared by a team. It is a facilitated process with clearly defined outcomes. Effective team building requires planning, organization, execution, debriefing, and follow-up.
Benefits of Team Building
Team building enhances team effectiveness to:
- Foster innovation
- Break down silos
- Improve cross-functional teamwork
- Re-shape corporate culture
- Manage Change and Uncertainty
- Produce results in tight timeframes
- Thrive in a fast-paced environment
- Inspire teams that are tired or discouraged
- Spot and respond to emerging marketplace trends
- Ensure smooth hand-offs during times of transition
- Identify and design strategies to tap into growing market niches
- Equip teams with tools and strategies to thrive in a fast-paced environment
Team Building: 3 Strategies for Generating Business Results
1. Launch Revenue-Generating Projects with Team Building
Instead of using recreational activities as a substitute for team building or putting team building on the back-burner, unleash its full potential. Corporate teams can benefit from working together to design and execute revenue-generating projects that contribute directly to the bottom line. Engage your team in designing initiatives to generate revenue, reinforce your branding, or build client loyalty. This approach is fun and it delivers immediate R.O.I.
Guerrilla marketing events, pop-up events, product launches, marketing campaigns, commercials, viral videos, print ads, and flash sales are fun to design and participants can pick up new skills while generating revenue and attracting new clients.
2. Foster Innovation Through Cross-functional SWAT Teams
When organizations face intense pressure in the marketplace, it is not the time for business as usual. Invariably the challenges your company is facing cannot be resolved by any single department operating in isolation. It is critical to move beyond your traditional silos and assemble a number of SWAT teams to address critical business issues.
- Each team should focus on one core issue and report to a specific member of the senior management team.
There should be representation from the various departments that have an impact on resolving each specific issue. Representation should not be restricted to members of the leadership team. Instead, frontline employees with director customer, supplier and business partner contacts can add tremendous value to the team.
- Assign each team the responsibility for analyzing a specific business issue, brainstorming, exploring alternatives and generating a number of action plans for executive consideration.
- Teams meet weekly bi-weekly with tasks and action items assigned in between meetings.
3. Enhance Project Team Effectiveness
Project teams can get bogged down if team members possess a vast storehouse of technical knowledge but little expertise in conducting effective meetings, problem-solving, brainstorming solutions, and conflict management. An opportunity to add value through team building is to engage internal or external facilitators to work with the various project teams that have been deployed throughout your organization.
About my new E-book
These are excerpts from my new e-book:
- Team Building, Innovation, and R.O.I.: An Executive’s Guide to Boosting the Bottom Line
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Anne Thornley-Brown, MBA is the President of Executive Oasis International, Toronto-based consulting firm specializing in the design and facilitation of executive retreats, team building, and meetings.