Strengthen Company Culture with Team Building
Building a great team means that all team members align with the values of the company culture. Whether you are championing a new department or integrating a cohort of parties on a special project, getting everyone to row the boat in synch requires cooperation, communication, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and other fundamental skills.
Team building more complex than gathering everyone in a room and presenting a challenge for the team to solve. Team-building activities can help people and groups grow, inspire friendship, and develop skills at the foundation of a cooperative and thriving culture.
Getting Teams on the Same Page
Today, company culture is seen as an essential component to recruiting and retaining employees and better performance and productivity. Culture begins with a company defining its mission, vision, and core values, but equally important is how people embrace the culture daily. How teams work together and whether individuals feel like their contribution is valued and meaningful are crucial factors in an authentic and sustainable culture.
6 Principles to Set the Stage for Company Culture and Teamwork
- Emotional Intelligence (EI): This is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our emotions and recognize, understand, and influence the feelings of others. Teams with high EI are more empathetic, can navigate conflicts better, and understand the unspoken nuances that may arise during team interactions.
- Self-awareness: This is about recognizing one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values, and goals and recognizing their impact on others. When individuals are self-aware, they are better positioned to leverage their strengths and address their weaknesses.
- Awareness of Others: Beyond just understanding oneself, it’s crucial to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of fellow team members. Awareness facilitates empathetic delegation, collaboration, and mutual support.
- Active Listening: This skill is about fully concentrating, understanding, and responding to what others are saying rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message. Teams that actively listen are more likely to make informed decisions and reduce misunderstandings.
- Constructive Criticism: The ability to offer feedback that provides actionable advice, rather than just pointing out faults, is invaluable. It fosters an environment where team members are open to feedback and growth.
- Enjoying Work Together: Work doesn’t always have to be serious. Teams that know how to have fun together often have stronger bonds. Celebrating successes, taking breaks, or engaging in friendly competition can significantly enhance team dynamics.
10 Activities to Strengthen Teams
- What’s on Your Bucket List: Each person shares one aspirational goal and why they want to pursue it.
- Two Truths and a Lie: A classic icebreaker that promotes self-awareness and a better understanding of team members.
- Active Listening Challenges: For instance, having team members paraphrase a complex message they just heard to ensure they truly understood it. Amp up the fun by creating an imaginary campaign the marketing team is launching, an emergency HR directive, a wacky new product, or some complicated new IT protocol.
- Role Reversal: Switching roles can help members better appreciate each other’s roles and responsibilities. Make the game enjoyable by providing each person with a problem or complaint (silly or serious) to share with the other.
- Feedback Circle: This exercise helps people give and receive constructive feedback. Develop a set of scenarios for each person giving feedback. For example, a team member missed a deadline on an important task that would set the team back. The group discusses how each person handled their role, giving or receiving guidance and direction.
- Snapshot of My Life: This activity requires asking team members to bring an image to their team-building workshop that reflects something they are proud of or passionate about. Having team members share a personal aspect of their lives, such as a hobby, passion, accomplishment, or challenge they have faced, helps people build empathy and gain a deeper understanding of their colleagues.
- My Superpowers Game: Each member lists their top three strengths on a note card. Team members try to guess, chipping in with their observations.
- Blindfolded Drawing: This activity emphasizes trust, communication, and guidance among members. Create a list of items on notecards. You could establish a theme, such as animals or sports. A volunteer is blindfolded and must draw the item only based on the descriptions from their team.
- Story Building: Each member adds a line to a story, emphasizing the importance of active listening and collaboration. A variation on this is to change the rule so that each person can only add two or three words. The facilitator could start the story with an engaging first line, such as, “It was an ordinary day in accounting, until” or “It had been a long week, and when the VP of Operations came into the room, she couldn’t believe her eyes!”
- Group Juggle: This is a fun activity if you need a break during a day of sitting in a meeting. Team members stand in a circle and toss balls or bean bags in a star, diagonal, or rectangle pattern, highlighting the importance of concentration, coordination, and teamwork.
Growing Together Leads to Sustainable Growth
Personal and team development is more than just a box to check; it’s the foundation for thriving company cultures. By focusing on core principles like emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and active listening and complementing these with engaging team-building activities, companies can foster a culture where everyone feels valued, understood, and aligned with the company’s core values. Prioritizing personal and team development impacts the broader success and sustainability of the company and can make work fun, too.
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