The benefits of teamwork to organizations are well documented. A few of them include improved productivity, increased morale, greater commitment, lower employee turnover, and a more vibrant office culture. All these directly affect growth, profitability, and competitiveness. This is why organizations are often advised to actively build their work teams.
The fundamental question organizations are often faced with is this: what is the best strategy for team building? There are plenty of strategies to normally floated around. Examples include workshops, seminars, in-house training, barbecues, volunteering, office parties, and numerous team building activities .
With so many options, choosing the right strategy for your organization can be complex. To further complicate matters, organizations often don’t have the time and resources to experiment with different options. So, what should you do?
Well, the best option is to choose a strategy which fulfills certain criteria. Most organizations want their team building strategy to be (1) engaging, (2) effective, and (3) cost-effective. A strategy which fulfills these three criteria is using team building games.
What are Team Building Games?
In a nutshell, these are games which are designed to inculcate specific skills within a team. Examples include communication, brainstorming, collaboration, collective problem solving, leadership, and conflict resolution.
These skills are imparted through participatory activities which are embedded within the games. There are lots of team building games organizations can. Examples include drop egg, talking in circles, blind drawing, team drone racing, and many others.
Most of the games focus on improving specific aspects of the team. For instance, there are games for improving team cohesion, bonding, communication, leadership, and all the other aspects of team building. There are also games for fostering inter-team collaboration or competition. Basically, whatever your specific team building needs, you can find the perfect game for it.
What Makes Games Effective?
There are lots of factors which make games as the perfect team building strategy. Here are just the top 5.
The most challenging aspect of team building is getting team members engaged in an activity. This is because teams are often composed of people with different personalities, interests, skill levels and experiences. Getting all of them to focus on an activity can be difficult. For instance, if you’re to organize a seminar or workshop, some will be paying attention while others are drifting off or checking their phones. This means that not everybody will master what you want them to learn.
With games, it is easy to get everybody engaged. This is because the games are usually designed to be exciting and fun. Every team member gets sucked in and begins enjoying themselves. With everybody actively participating, it is almost a guarantee that everybody will master the content.
2.Revealing Team Dynamics
The most important step towards team building is understanding team dynamics. This is critical for designing what interventions to make. Let’s say you want to improve interpersonal communication within a team, it is important to first understand the current status of the communication.
Unfortunately, understanding group dynamics isn’t always straightforward. This is because people aren’t always honest. For instance, few employees will openly admit that they dislike their bosses or colleagues. This is because professional etiquette discourages people from saying such things. And yet, knowing exactly what is going on is essential for making the right interventions.
Games are excellent for revealing group dynamics. There are three reasons for this (1) games suck employees in and make them let their guard down, (2) the games are usually staged in places where employees feel free to express themselves, (3) there are games which are specifically designed to reveal specific aspects of the group dynamics. The bottom line is that you end up getting accurate information on which to base your interventions.
3. Effective Learning
Perhaps the most important aspect of games is that they foster learning. When people learn through games, they remember the content much better than through any other means. A number of studies have proven this. There are three reasons why games are so effective.
First of all, they get employees engaged. This means that people focus, pay attention and participate. Attention is essential for learning. Participation makes it easier for people to recall. And in case they enjoy the game, this makes the memories stick even better.
Secondly, people learn unconsciously. Unconscious learning is effective because it takes the drudgery from the process. People don’t feel that they’re exerting an effort to learn. Also, learning unconsciously eliminates the risk of resistance. Some people are naturally resistant to new information. When they realize that you’re trying to teach them something, they shut off. With games, they don’t even realize that they’re learning. They remain receptive and learn everything.
Games can be adapted to suit the specific circumstances, needs, and even culture of an organization. Basically, you can customize a game and make it your own. This means that you can ensure that it achieves your exact team building objectives. For example, Get Out! Events – our company specializes in team building games – adapts iconic games like team drone racing to each specific organization’s needs.
5. Extra Benefits
The benefits of games can go beyond team building. Because games are fun, they can help employees to wind down and relax from work-related stress. This makes them refreshed, motivated and ready to work even harder.
Games also improve the image of the organization in the eyes of the employees. This because they typically take the games as fun activities paid for by the organization. This increases their loyalty and commitment towards the organization. It can also increase their job satisfaction. All this reduces their likelihood of quitting and thus lowers overall turnover.
Henry Ford famously said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” The challenge for organizations is building their teams such that everyone moves together towards accomplishing their goals. One of the best strategies for building teams is through team building games.
These games can help you to identify the deficiencies in your teams and impart the skills needed to bridge them. This can ultimately make your teams stronger, more cohesive and better placed to accomplish your organization’s goals.
The good news is that finding the right games is easy. All you need is a company whose specialty is in designing team building games. One such a company is Get Out! Events. This company has dozens of exciting teams which can build different aspect of your teams.