What Is Team Building and Why Is It Important to Businesses?

By Indeed Editorial Team

20 December 2021

Fostering strong collaborative relationships is the foundation of team building. Team building helps to improve working environments while benefiting a business with increased productivity levels and higher job satisfaction. Understanding how to promote team building can help foster great teams in your business. In this article, we discuss the answer to 'what is team building?', explain why it's important and explore ways to promote collaborative relationships at work.

What is team building?

Learning the answer to 'what is team building' can help you become an active team player at work. Team building involves calculated steps to improve communication, task delegation and project management. It can involve using activities, games and days out to form friendships and improve a team's interpersonal skills. Team building gives staff the opportunity to discuss outside interests, family life or hobbies, all of which can encourage bonding and help to establish good relationships.

Bonding is at the core of team building, as it helps team members to communicate effectively. With good communication, team members may perform to a higher standard.

Why is team building so important to a business?

Team building has many benefits for a forward-thinking, people-first business. There are many reasons businesses may choose to invest time and resources in team building. Here's some of the key organisational benefits of team building:

Staff feel valued

When companies take extra steps to promote teamwork, their staff can feel valued and may be more productive. Being part of a team can help you feel as if you're part of something larger than just your job. Feeling motivated to succeed for your entire team, instead of just yourself, could make you push harder to achieve key goals and meet deadlines.

You may also appreciate that senior leadership takes active steps towards improving company morale and may feel inclined to be more productive as a way of giving back. A greater sense of job satisfaction may encourage you to remain at a specific company.

Promote great relationships

When teams get to know one another outside of work, they may be in a better position to form friendships that translate to good working partnerships. If managers provide you with a chance to form friendships, this can help you understand how your teammates learn, think and approach work. This may help boost productivity and streamline production processes. Good working relationships also decrease conflict, leading to a healthier working environment.

Increases productivity

Nurturing teamwork increases productivity and decreases bottlenecks. When management takes the steps to promote solid teamwork, teams can run effectively with better communication, leading to higher quality output and faster completion of tasks. There's more opportunity to delegate tasks among teams who work well together, so businesses can meet tight deadlines and client requirements. If working environments include positive teams, staff are more motivated to complete work to a high standard.

Improves company image

Companies that market themselves as valuing collaboration and team building may look more appealing in the job market. A strong team environment and a company that values its staff and has impressive job retention and satisfaction rates may entice candidates. This also improves the company's image from a client and public image perspective, potentially increasing revenue and interested investors or customers.

Related: 11 Advantages of Working as a Team (An Overview of Teamwork)

How to promote teamwork

Senior leadership can promote teamwork in their business in multiple ways. Designating time for team building is a great way to ensure that team members have time to form relationships. Creating exercises, rewards and reaching out to your team are great ways to promote teamwork. Here are some ways you can support teamwork:

1. Create team-building exercises

Creating collaborative team-building exercises helps promote critical thinking skills. This is an essential element of team building, as it promotes problem-solving and creative thinking and can streamline production. Team-building exercises also help members understand how to share the workload evenly, which is vital for minimising conflict and motivating the team to succeed.

2. Have dedicated events for team building

You may book time for an annual work event with your team that centres around team building and forming bonds. Giving your team the opportunity to discuss extracurricular activities and interests in a relaxed environment may help members feel more comfortable with each other. This is also an interesting change from working in the office and may help your colleagues feel appreciated and motivated while at work.

3. Regularly check in with your team

Asking your team how they're finding working in a team environment can be extremely beneficial. Not only does this provide vital feedback on team structure, it lets members know their opinions matter within the business. Consider talking to your team about whether they feel the current structure is effective and if they have any suggestions for change.

4. Make team decisions based on compatible personalities

Ensuring that you establish teams based on compatible personalities may help members work well with each other in a way that conflicting personalities would not. Combining collaborative personalities means members may be more productive and happier in their working environment.

5. Reward teamwork

An effective way to promote effective teamwork is to reward accomplishments. Hitting a major milestone or closing a deal as a team provides an excellent opportunity to reward your team for hard work. This motivates members to continue working at the current and perhaps exceed standards to reap a bigger reward. This also builds on fundamental leadership skills, as members may appreciate and respect a manager who acknowledges hard work.

Related: 5 Roles and Responsibilities of a Team Leader

Teamwork activity ideas

Here are some teamwork activity ideas that may help promote team building in your business:

  • Puzzles or game days: Consider getting your team involved in a group puzzle or game that makes them work as a unit to promote effective problem solving and collaborative effort.

  • Project brainstorming: Project brainstorming is an excellent opportunity to nurture creativity and potentially form new product or service ideas that could benefit the business. This promotes promising qualities and builds on individual career progression.

  • Take part in a recreational activity: Taking your team out for a meal or related activity may sound simple, but can have a significant impact on friendship formation and breaking down communication barriers. This also helps to relax members and make them feel more comfortable in their colleagues' presence.

Related: The Benefits of Corporate Team-Building Games

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions in relation to team building in the workplace:

Are there different kinds of teams?

There can be different teams within a business, such as:

  • Cross-functional teams: These teams comprise multiple people from different parts of the business working together.

  • Permanent teams: These teams are together to collaborate on regular projects and do not work individually.

  • Project teams: These teams work together on a specific project.

Teams can differ between departments, and not all members may be physically present. With technology, some teams may now be fully remote, and live in different time zones or continents. Regular one-to-one meetings, virtual meet-ups and frequent conference calls can help teams stay up to date and form relationships with each other.

How does team building help with projects?

Projects can require lots of creative input, preferably from multiple sources, to ensure a high-quality outcome. Teamwork helps to spread out the workload so there's a reduced chance of burnout. When working on a project, teams may face challenges or dilemmas, which require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With a large team, the chances of identifying and solving a problem are much higher than for a single person working on the project.

Teamwork helps to ensure that each member handles a task that they're good at, as this increases job satisfaction and motivation.

Are there skills required for team building?

You may require skills to build teamwork and foster healthy working relationships. These skills help you become a better leader and also help to promote a more positive working environment. Below is a list of skills that managers may find useful when team building:

  • Interpersonal skills. Team building requires great interpersonal skills to help promote good channels of communication and boost confidence.

  • Positivity. During challenges, you may promote teamwork by remaining positive and setting a good example. This minimises conflict and helps to motivate everyone.

  • Good judgement of character. When constructing teams, you can identify which personalities are most compatible to build teams that work effectively.

  • Organisation. Teamwork may require you and senior figures to keep track of everyone's workload and what progress they have made. Organisation is also necessary for task delegation and placing people into teams.

  • Empathy. Members of a team may feel comfortable enough to approach you with any concerns or questions if they know you meet them with empathy and respect. This encourages healthy communication, which is vital to a positive working environment.