Everyone today is looking for results, and especially in sales organisations and within sales teams, tangible revenue figures and margins can be the most important factor in a team’s success or failure. Having organised, motivated, energetic and even innovative teams can make all the difference to a company’s bottom line, and therefore building such groups should be on everyone’s priority list. Practical team bonding experiences, events and training can be equally invaluable for new teams of people or for anyone looking to “shake up” or motivate an experienced team. It can also have permanent benefits when a new manager or team leader is appointed to the division.
To get maximum long terms benefits from team bonding activities, there are a number of factors that should be considered:
- Well prepared and professionally managed team bonding and team building events are always preferable over activities that are put together at the last minute and not really thought through. Having an independent facilitator can often help to avoid any feelings of pressure or discomfort from among workers, especially if the experience is designed to get people communicating with each other.
- The team bonding experience should match the abilities and personalities of the participants. We’ve all been signed up for activities that we would rather not attend, simply because we are either not comfortable with the process, find it boring or feel the time spent away from work was wasted. Choosing an activity that fits with the overall culture of the group will help to reassure people and let them enjoy the experience. For example, choosing an event with lots of physical exercise or serious competition will not necessarily work with people who prefer to shun competition or are who are not physical capable of participating.
- Again, choosing team bonding experiences that emphasize group work and group results may be better for certain teams than those that recognise and reward individual results.
- Sometimes within a team there are difficult personality clashes and problems that require more than simple team bonding exercises. If this is the case, then trying to solve all your team’s issues in one day or even with one event will definitely not work and can sometimes even lead to more issues and hostility among team members. You should try to identify and resolve such issues before embarking on team bonding activities.
Long term benefits of team bonding can include better communication within the group, identification of working styles and key talents and skills, the development of a more flexible team that can think “outside the box” and a generally improved dynamic among team members. Team bonding or building activities can be conducted as part of a strategic retreat, as a reward for a successful year or celebration of the end of a project, or even as the kick off to the beginning of a new challenge. However you decide to incorporate it into your schedule, you should always ensure that it is conducted on a regular basis by trained and experienced professionals such as Sales Blueprint®.