Leaders need dedicated teams to succeed. A breakdown in communication can quickly spiral out of control unless someone puts the team back on track. That could be you.
Here’s how to spot the warning signs of a dysfunctional team and seven ways businesses benefit from team building activities.
Bad teamwork can spell disaster for business. It leads to lowered productivity, heightened workplace stress and ultimately, a mass exodus of talent. If you don’t spot the warning signs and nip staff issues in the bud, your once cohesive and productive team could quickly disintegrate and leave your company floundering.
Spotting the warning signs of a dysfunctional team
If your teams have started missing deadlines, if people who used to show up early for a chat are now coming in just on time, and if you’re seeing more (or less) gossip in the common areas, you could be witnessing the beginnings of a dysfunctional team breakdown.
Nobody seems to want to take responsibility. You’re hearing “I” much more often than the preferred “We”, and people are holding back their ideas. The trust has gone and motivation levels are at an all-time low. So, what can you do?
Revitalise your team
Those warning signs are not a death knell. You can rebuild and revitalise your team by holding regular team building events. You don’t have to overdo it with weekly or monthly gatherings. Arranging just one or two team building events a year can completely transform the way staff work together on a daily basis. They become more communicative and productive as they are aligned with a collective consciousness to take on the company’s challenges together. We’ve found there are seven key reasons that business leaders understand why team building is important.
Improve performance and productivity
When you remove a team from their comfort zone in the office and put them in a new arena, such as the kitchen for a cookery challenge or the open air for a crystal collecting frenzy, the team has to reassess the strengths and weaknesses of individual members. These kinds of team building exercises challenge us to think in new ways and use varied skills. Everyone has a chance to contribute, creating a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation. Only when everyone is reaching their full potential can the team as a whole see theirs.
More employee engagement
Having every member of the team contribute in a new and exciting way to a problem-solving task translates to a more engaged workforce. Employees that are allowed to develop different skills and participate in varied projects are more likely to be engaged from the moment they arrive at work and have a positive impact on their colleagues.
Encourage balance, build trust
Whether working remotely, hybrid or in-office, quiet team members often go unheard. They might have the best ideas for the business but stay silent in favour of those with the loudest voice, and when they do try to speak up, they are often ignored. We design our team building activities to require equal collaboration between all members of the group, which can improve self-esteem for shy individuals, and help the louder employees understand the need for everyone to share an opinion.
As a whole, this encourages the team to rely on each other and have trust despite their differences. With that trust reestablished, employees are more proactive in sharing ideas, taking risks and exposing their vulnerabilities – which is great, either when building a new team or rekindling the team spirit of old hands.
Develop a deeper understanding of company values
Taking part in social and team building exercises outside the office also encourages employees to find out more about the company. As they mingle with staff from other teams and levels, or even members of their own teams with whom they wouldn’t usually socialise with, they can begin to understand more about the values and direction of the company as a whole.
Having your employees understand the company’s mission and values is crucial to inspiring productivity and commitment. Conversely, if an employee doesn’t really understand the company’s journey or goals, it can be hard for them to understand their place in it, and they may feel undervalued for their contributions.
Working on diverse projects or challenges can be particularly rewarding when people are asked to collaborate with those they do not normally work with. This can force employees to see and understand new perspectives from people who have lived different lives. The knock-on effect is increased acceptance, understanding, and creativity. Drawing inspiration from a melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences means more diverse and comprehensive ideas.
A simple dispute that started over something as silly as a parking space or pen cap can quickly become a real conflict if a team does not effectively communicate and listen. Encouraging socialisation in new environments is a good way to improve the team’s understanding of each other, and therefore, makes it less likely for a real conflict to evolve.
Furthermore, these little disagreements can also lend positive value, as they are more likely to arise between two people who don’t think the same way, possibly due to different life experiences. If the two people in conflict are encouraged to hear and accept the other’s opinion, it can result in them achieving more than they would have alone.
Keep good employees
All these factors work together to encourage a higher rate of employee retention. A high employee turnover rate is expensive, can severely limit the company’s development, and can discourage new partners or employees from working with the company.
When a good employee leaves, it costs the average company six to nine months of their salary to replace them, and it’s rare for just one employee to leave at a time.
Whether you’re developing a new team or if employees are leaving in droves, you should consider the atmosphere you are fostering. If employees don’t feel respected, valued, and heard, they might be looking for the exit. Promoting an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual appreciation can be the difference between your business thriving or barely surviving.
If you’d like help planning your next team building event, get in touch and tell us about your organisation’s needs. We be happy to send you our recommendations.
If your staff work remotely, we provide fun, cost-effective virtual team building events too.