Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Benefits of Company Team Building

In these gloomy times of recession, it is tempting to think that any edge your company can gain is worthwhile. One of the most fashionable ways to improve a team's cohesion and effectiveness is to organise a corporate team building event. But do they actually work?

What are the benefits of attending such an event? Or is it all just a ruse to spend a day out of the office having a bit of fun to simply boost morale?

Team Building actually has its roots not only in business but psychology also...

A psychologist called Maslow in 1943 published his "theory of motivation" which remains one of the most convenient examples of models of motivation in the modern day.

Maslow argued there were 5 levels of need which ranged from the basic physiological need to survive, the need for air, food and water for example, right through to the final level of self actualisation which is the need for someone to achieve what they believe they are capable of achieving and it is this stage which is of most interests to business owners and managers.

It is satisfying this final level of motivation of the self that will drive an individual on to be happy and productive in the work place.

Achieving that however can be difficult. Studies have shown that the majority of the British workforce is de-motivated most of the time. This is where a team building event can be of particular benefit.

The events themselves have been designed with specific aims in mind, all linked strongly to sound psychological principles that will ensure an improvement within the working environment.

Key benefits of a team building event include, working relationships within a team will be improved and developed.

Newer members of the team will be more integrated and accepted, while longer standing members of the team, who may have been viewed in a negative way, can find that team members see them in a positive light from the experiences they have of their team building activity.

The importance of a share positive experience for your team can also not be underestimated as a motivational factor and will learn to stronger bonds between team members.

Your team will also begin to recognise where their strengths and specific talents are, thus ensuring when an issue needs resolving, they can seek help from the person on the team ideally suited to resolving the issue.

The whole notion of working together as a team and teamwork is a primary focus of a company team building event. Your team will discover by working together, many times in ways they had never even contemplated previously, can have a positive, motivational effect and not only leads to the desired result, but an enormous sense of self satisfaction and contentment, and thus Maslow's fifth and often most difficult level of motivation is attained.

New research is continually showing that creative activities such as corporate events can have a significant positive impact on business productivity. In 2006 Babis Mainemalis, a London Business School professor, and her Doctorial candidate Sarah Ronson published a paper which showed how the best ideas for a business are born from the idea of play, and furthermore suggested that creativity needs to be actively encouraged as part of a successful business. Team building events such as these provide the perfect opportunity for this creativity to be utilised in a practical sense, which can then be utilised productively back in the business environment.

The benefits of company team building are vast. A successful day can drastically improve all aspects of your team's performance and the relationship between them. It will lead to a greater understanding between members of your workforce, produce strong bonds between them and lead to a greater level of understanding, improved confidence and self esteem and higher motivation and aspirations, the net result being a happier, motivated and profitable workforce.

By Brian Middle

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