Teams are made up of individuals or groups of individuals who come together to achieve a common goal or objective. There are teams that are highly effective and successful while other teams leave a lot to be desired. Ineffective teams are characterized by confusion, low morale, disorganization and strife. Team bonding is one way your organization can achieve highly functional and effectively teams. A cohesive team is focused and exhibits synergies that radiate from organizational objectives. Psychometric testing can provide the basis for information that fosters team bonding.
Why should team bonding occur?
Teams are typically made up of diverse people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. All these people come together to achieve a common goal. Initially, this can be a challenging situation. Measurements that reveal team member abilities, preferences, traits and knowledge can help form cohesive teams. Cohesive teams have a high probability of generating optimal results.
To successfully reach the finished line, the team must be able to communicate effectively and communicate in the same language. This implies speaking with an understanding about the purpose of the team, what the team’s tasks are and what needs to be done to arrive at successful outcomes. Team bonding is required to achieve the following:
- Pull down any pre-existing walls and silos that exist within the team
- Get to know each team member
- Increase team awareness and productivity
- Motivate team members to achieve success
- Magnify collaboration potentials within the team
- Foster an atmosphere of respect and trust
When team bonding activities are properly implemented, the benefits include the following:
- A highly motivated team
- Improved communication amongst team members
- Better results within the team
Team Bonding Ideas
There are various team bonding activities that can be used to generate highly effective teams. Team bonding ideas can range from simple ideas to more complex activities. By dividing a team into two or more groups, a friendly problem-solving competition can occur in which each group tries to solve the problem correctly in the fastest time. This team bonding exercise may be repeated as needed with newly constituted groups of players to ensure that each team member gets a chance to play with other members of the team. Results from psychometric assessments may assist in determining how to formulate the exercises in order to achieve the most impact.
More advanced team bonding ideas can involve outdoor activities or external activities including hiking, treasure hunting, sporting activities, attending presentations and seminars, participating in workshop activities and learning expeditions. Team members can also participate in trust-focused activities which are geared towards improving the amount of trust each team member possesses for his or her teammates. An example of such team bonding efforts include dividing the team into pairs or groups and then placing blindfolds on all team members in a certain group except one team member who serves as the person the rest of the group needs to trust. Personality assessments could reveal that the entire team needs to build more trust.
For trust related team bonding activities that involve large groups, the team soon discovers that each team member has to trust that every other team member is making the right decision or taking steps that will lead to the desired outcome.
Embarking on Team Bonding
If you have determined that team bonding is required for your teams and organization, proper steps need to be used to ensure that your team bonding activities generate adequate results. Poorly conducted team bonding activities can generate conflict and create strife amongst team members. This is a negative step that distracts from achieving organizational goals. Hence, proper team bonding interventions are required to generate successful outcomes.
Your organization can benefit from the services of a team bonding expert or consultant who can help determine what team bonding activities would work best for the team and help the team achieve its purpose, objectives and tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Sometimes, a period of assessment and evaluation is required to determine the baseline of dynamics and interactions that currently occur within the team.
Detailed plans and recommendations can be created and proposed as a guideline the team can follow as it embarks on team bonding activities. Using assessments and other psychometric tests can help your organization develop highly-effective teams.