Team building is a concept that has been around for a long time. No matter how team structures in organizations have been put together, there has always been a focus on how to improve the relationships between, and the productivity of, those who are ‘forced’ to work together. Most of us have choices about who/whom we want to spend our time with, and how much time we want to spend with them, outside of the work environment. Within a work setting, however, we may not have people and time options as we have to spend a set amount of time together with workplace colleagues who have been chosen for us. Given how much time is spent together each and every day with others in the workplace, it is no wonder that organizations continue to focus on how to nurture effective teams through on-going training programs that develop group learning processes.
An interesting article from 2001 outlines the positive impact of group learning on the long-term effects of team building.
While dated, the article reinforces concepts of team training and group development that are still relevant in today’s organizational learning culture. Many companies continue to offer team retreats where colleagues can challenge each other (and themselves) through various physical activities – such as Tree-top Trekking and Rock-wall Climbing. These adventure-based sessions are used to build trust and team accountability, which should translate back into the work environment in a productive way.
In addition to these physical or traditional team building efforts, the opportunities to apply learning that develops team problem solving and brainstorming skills are on the rise. For example, creative team building options come with access to events such as ‘Escape Rooms’ where participants must work together using ‘mental capacities’ such as ‘brainpower’ and ‘logic’.
No matter what or how the opportunities are provided into the future, what has not changed is the understanding that good teams come from forming good relationships, sharing good learning, and experiencing good times together.
- Thinking of the team you work with most recently, which type of team learning session would be more challenging for the group – ‘Tree-top Trekking’ or ‘Escape Room’? Explain your rationale.
- What are the cost-benefits, based on the investment of both time and money for adventure based learning, in the development of team-based organization culture and productivity?
- How does informal team-building impact work-place productivity? Do you agree that it is beneficial? Explain your rationale.