Communication is the core of productive and effective teamwork. Teams that do not communicate well are prone to be a liability for organizations. Therefore, organizations are constantly striving to enable fruitful interactions among team members. Team building is one such activity that contributes to building relationships among team members thereby allowing them to spark purposeful interactions.
Team bonding games facilitate employees to understand, empathize, and build bridges between themselves. This is more relevant today than ever owing to the paradigm shift to remote work during the pandemic. In remote teams, team bonding games are quintessential to forge team relationships. Across the world, team bonding games have been adapted to the needs of remote teams. For example, team bonding games in Singapore that were more outdoor and adventurous like escape rooms are now being organized virtually. Regardless of the type of work environment, team bonding games are pivotal to team interactions and bonding.
Here are a few ways in which team bonding games emphasize communication in teams:
Builds a Rapport Between Team Members
It is not surprising that team members communicate effectively when there is a rapport between them. Team building activities help team members get to know each other and build a relationship. Unlike personal relationships, work relationships have boundaries and limitations. This causes team members to sometimes feel uncomfortable or hesitant to share feedback and opinions. These barriers can be addressed by organizing fun team bonding games and bringing the team together. These activities do not have to be typical icebreakers or role-playing communication games. Rather, fun games like playing cards, watching Netflix together, after work indoor games can build great rapport between team members.
Builds Trust and Empathy
Trust and empathy are the foundation of any relationship. In workplace relationships, they become even more important. When team members do not empathize with each other, it leads to conflicts, poor organizational culture, and a competitive environment. Team building games can help in building trust and empathizing with other team members. These activities allow team members to get to know of each other’s strengths and weaknesses thereby allowing each other to be respectful and supportive of each other. It is important to note that trust-building activities are of critical importance in remote work. As team members do not see each other in person, trust is an important factor that leads to a productive and motivating environment in remote work. Some examples of trust-building activities are blindfold games, truth or dare games, team sports etc.
Improves Listening Skills of Team Members
It is often misunderstood that communication pertains to the act of speaking or expressing one’s opinions. However, there is more depth to effective team communication. Effective communication also involves active listeners and non-verbal cues like body language. When the other party is an active listener, the speaker is motivated to express his or herself without hesitation. Listening skills are also crucial for negotiations and persuasion. Team building activities can hone the listening skills of participants. Activities like role play communication, listening games, mindfulness exercises, story telling etc strengthen listening skills of team members.
Relieves Stress and Reduces Burnout
Highly stressed employees often experience burnout which leads to unproductive teams and a high employee turnover. Team building activities can help in relieving stress and preventing burnout. They improve the mental and social health of team members. These activities allow employees to make time for themselves and connect with their team while having fun. It is essential for team members to interact with each other in a relaxed environment occasionally to be motivated and rejuvenated. Fun games or weekend movie nights or virtual team games can be great for rejuvenating stressed-out employees. These games can be more fun when organized as surprises or to celebrate milestones.
Aids in Conflict Resolution and Improving Collaboration
Conflict is unavoidable in teams as not everyone has diverse opinions and thoughts. But conflict needs to be identified and resolved as quickly as possible to avoid unproductive and demotivated teams. Conflict-ridden teams cannot communicate and collaborate well. Team building activities are a highly impactful conflict management strategy. While team building may not be the core of conflict resolution, it aids in avoiding conflict and improving team collaboration post-conflict resolution. Some examples of team building activities that are useful in conflict management are icebreakers, escape rooms, mystery rooms, outdoor sports, breaking barrier games etc.
To conclude, teams are formed by individuals with diverse backgrounds who come together to achieve a collective goal for the organizations. Teams constantly need to be motivated and engaged to continue working towards the organization’s vision. Team building activities act as the catalyst for team bonding and employee motivation. They reflect and emphasize the organization’s commitment to building a strong and inclusive culture. They are crucial for team communication and bonding. Therefore, team-building activities need to be organized regularly.