Why you should move away from the same old team building exercises

Why you should move away from the same old team building exercises

Let’s be real: team building activities often get a bad rap. When we hear the words “team building,” we can’t help but picture soul-sucking conference rooms, cringe-worthy trust falls, and forced smiles.

But hey, it’s time to break free from those tired clichés and explore exciting new ways to bring your team together and get them genuinely engaged.

In this blog, we’re going to shake things up and show you why it’s time to ditch those same old team building exercises. We’ll explore how you can put a fresh spin on old concepts or try out brand-new ideas that’ll have your team buzzing with energy and forging stronger connections.

Get ready to leave the conference rooms behind and embrace a new era of team building. It’s time to spark excitement, inspire collaboration, and ignite a renewed sense of purpose within your team.

Challenges of traditional team building exercises

1. The problem with superficial interactions

Traditional or “old-schoolteam building exercises often fall short in providing meaningful connections among team members. The standard questions like “what pet do you have in common?” fail to dig deeper and create authentic engagement. Instead, these activities feel contrived and disconnected from the real-life challenges and goals of your team.

2. Repetitive activities: mundane and predictable

Repetitive team building activities can quickly become mundane and predictable. Participants who have been with the company for a while can anticipate what’s coming next and go through the motions with little enthusiasm. The same old trust falls, scavenger hunts, and team-building games no longer ignite the spark of excitement they once did.

3. Lack of novelty and creativity

As the weeks and months go by, these repetitive activities lose their impact. Let’s be honest, some team building activities can be easily forgotten by the next week, fading into oblivion because they were so dull and uninspiring. The lack of novelty and creativity erode the effectiveness of team building exercises, diminishing their potential to build stronger bonds and enhance team dynamics.

A fresh take on team building with purpose

1. Linking activities to organizational goals

By aligning team building activities with your organization’s goals, you can ensure that they resonate with your team and have a lasting impact. For example, companies that value exceptional customer service can incorporate team building activities that reinforce customer-centric values. This could include role-playing scenarios, customer service simulations, or team challenges focused on enhancing the customer experience.

2. Driven by purpose, engagement, and authenticity

It’s important to invest in activities that go beyond surface-level interactions and provide opportunities for team members to connect on a deeper level. Look for team building activities that allow individuals to bond on a deeper level, building empathy, understanding, and trust among team members. Encourage team members to share personal stories related to their professional journeys, challenges they’ve overcome, or moments of success.

3. Incorporating the latest research and behavioral science methods

When it comes to choosing purposeful team building activities, consider researching the latest insights from behavior science. By leveraging the wisdom from these fields, you can create experiences that go beyond mere entertainment and become truly insightful and meaningful.

One study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, led by Sandy Pentland, provides compelling evidence for the need to shift our approach to team building. The researchers equipped teams from various industries with wearable electronic sensors to capture data on their social behavior over an extended period. What they discovered was astonishing: communication patterns emerged as the most critical predictor of a team’s success.

In fact, these patterns were found to be more influential than factors like intelligence, personality, and talent combined. This research revealed that traditional team building exercises may not be the most effective way to enhance team performance. Instead, focusing on fostering effective communication dynamics can unlock a team’s true potential and lead to remarkable results.

4. Leadership development: empowering effective leaders

Modern leadership development activities play a crucial role in equipping individuals with the skills they need to become effective leaders. Look for immersive challenges and thought-provoking exercises, such activities focus on promoting essential qualities like communication, decision-making, and problem-solving. By investing in modern leadership development, companies can cultivate a pipeline of capable leaders who can navigate change, drive innovation, and inspire high-performance teams.

5. Fostering mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

The significance of fostering mental health and wellbeing in the workplace cannot be overstated. Team building activities that prioritise these aspects are crucial. They promote self-care, stress management, and positive communication. By addressing these crucial topics, organizations can foster a supportive and inclusive work environment. These activities create a space for open discussions, mindfulness exercises, and strategies for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

6. Sustainability: building a greener future

In a world where sustainability is paramount, its important organizations integrate eco-conscious values into team building activities. From interactive challenges that promote environmental awareness to collaborative projects with a focus on sustainability, organizations can contribute to a greener future.

7. Inclusion and diversity: celebrating differences

Celebrate the power of diversity and inclusion. Invest in team building activities that create opportunities for open dialogue, empathy, and understanding. By fostering an inclusive environment, you can inspire your team members to embrace their differences and collaborate effectively. Team building activities that cover cultural awareness, promoting empathy, and challenging biases are a great start.

Transforming team building into an impactful experience

1. Creating meaningful connections

When selecting a team building activity, it’s important to move beyond surface-level interactions and choose experiences that foster genuine connections among team members. Look for activities that encourage teams to connect on a deeper level, fostering meaningful interactions and relationship building within the team. These types of activities create a more impactful team building experience.

2. Strengthening bonds

To enhance team cohesion and communication, look for team building experiences that involve collaborative challenges and exercises. Such activities will provide valuable opportunities for team members to work together, improving communication skills and strengthening the bonds within the team. By prioritising such activities, you can cultivate a more cohesive and communicative team.

3. Going beyond fun and games

Remember, team building is not just about fun and games; it should also focus on developing essential skills for success. Consider those that incorporate elements for improving problem-solving, decision-making, and other crucial skills necessary for individual and team growth. By selecting activities that go beyond mere entertainment, you can ensure that your team building efforts have a lasting impact, equipping your team with valuable skills that contribute to their personal and professional development (and they won’t forget about by next week!).

Embracing the power of purpose

Traditional team building exercises are no longer sufficient in meeting the needs and expectations of today’s organisations. By embracing the power of purpose and incorporating fresh approaches to team building, you can enhance team cohesion, improve communication and collaboration, and develop essential skills among your team.

With a focus on leadership development, mental health and wellbeing, sustainability, and inclusion and diversity, BreakNice provides purposeful team building experiences that align with your organization’s values and priorities. It’s time to move away from the same old team building exercises and embrace the power of purpose with BreakNice. Together, let’s create a cohesive and high-performing team that is aligned with your organization’s goals and values.

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