The most successful companies are made up of great teams. In fact, tech-giant Google’s two-year study found that the most successful teams were not necessarily made up of exceptional individuals, but rather, of average performers who worked exceptionally well together. But how do you get your teams to work well together? Start with interactive team-building activities.
Interactive team-building activities that are tailored specifically to address the unique challenges faced by a team or an organization lead to better outcomes than generic activities like social outings or the dreaded trust-fall exercise. Here are some of the benefits of hosting interactive team-building activities:
One of Google’s main findings was that psychological safety is the most significant factor in how well teams work together. Experiential team-building activities create this safety by taking teams out of their typical work roles and asking them to complete a task under pressure. The task is challenging, so everyone has to contribute in order for the team to succeed, and since regular roles and job titles don’t apply, people come together in unexpected ways.
Working together in this environment helps improve communication, collaboration, and the flow of ideas, which leads to more connection and trust between team members. When debriefed by a skilled facilitator, these new dynamics will carry over, ultimately strengthening the team’s trust and communication back on the job.
The same mechanism that builds trust between team members can also boost confidence in individual team members. The use of gamification and hands-on activities requires everyone to think and problem-solve in ways they don’t typically experience on the job. By creating a challenge that seems dramatically different from day-to-day work, you create a risk-free, non-judgemental setting in which people can propose diverse viewpoints and innovative ways of thinking about the challenge.
By the end of the interactive activity, attendees will have gained valuable insights about how their contributions to the challenge directly influenced overall outcomes for the team. These new insights and boost in their ability to influence the outcomes for the better will lead to better decision-making and more confident execution back on the job.
Interactive team-building activities require participants to make quick decisions and apply their knowledge in real-time. Groups must consider different perspectives on the problem, generate multiple ideas, and collaborate to develop the strongest approach.
When attendees work together in these ways, it opens them up to multiple ways of thinking and working together — their success depends on it. And when they experience that success, it reinforces not only the power of being more open to new ideas, but also the power of working together creatively.
Since these interactive team-building experiences have an immersive theme and incorporate game-like activities, they are fun and highly engaging to participants. People feel like they are playing a game, so they become invested in the outcomes, and get out of their seats to interact with each other.
Simply put, these types of activities are designed to be fun. They encourage participation, problem-solving, and friendly competition. Since people become emotionally invested, this improves the impact of the activity, maximizing the effects of the benefits discussed above.
Interactive team-building activities have so many benefits. Using themed experiential activities that incorporate a team-specific debrief by a skilled facilitator will help your team to develop the skills and qualities that make for outstanding teams. When colleagues have high levels of trust and psychological safety, they are able to communicate effectively, work creatively, build each other up, and ultimately, produce outstanding work that individuals working in isolation simply can’t match.
If you’re ready to give interactive team-building activities a try, download the Team-Building Events Kick-Starter Kit for some tips, tricks, and best practices to consider.