Why team building doesn’t work

I know I am not the first person to say human beings need to connect with one another.

I conduct many team building events myself as I believe connection is a huge part of a successful organisation. I see many beautiful moments, epiphanies, connections, compassion, employees showing more of their true selves with each other and group cohesion.


If getting your team or workplace to connect and collaborate together is not part of your culture and development process then, a one-off team event will probably not achieve much. Things will just go back to the way they were. Old behaviours and habits will continue. 

As I said before, team building events can be very beneficial. However, long-term benefits need a bit more than a half day workshop that has nothing preceding it to support the event, and nothing following it, to embed any of the changes and learnings. 

Sooo….what to do?

These days being able to work within a team is essential. What’s more, we also need to connect and create better relationships at work which have far reaching benefits for the organisation, customer service, the employee and into the community.  

Employees are simply not happy to do their work and go home, as human beings we are wired to connect.  

So, before you jump on phone and book in your next team event, ask yourself these questions:


As a manager or leader, do you work predominantly alone and expect your team members to know how to work together?

Working in teams takes emotional awareness and skill for most people and some leaders and managers are actually used to working on their own to achieve outcomes and not sure how to support their teams in working together.  


Do your people know why they have team building events? The true purpose of them?

Have you had open communication with your people to give more meaning behind the importance of team building and why you do it?


Why is it important for the business that your people collaborate and connect?

As a leader/manager do you know the ROI with team building and connection activities?

Do you know the outcomes as a result of these events?


What actions are you doing after the event  to continue what you all have learnt?

Do you have an plan in place to continue to work through any actions and objectives from the event?


As a leader, what is your reason for having a team building event?

Why is it important to you personally? Does it matter to you? Do your employees know that you care about them or is it quite the opposite?


Does the culture support these activities?

Do you have a culture of community, connection, learning and growth that aligns with the events? Is it known throughout the organisation that this is part of who we are and what we do?


How often do you do the events?

Connecting and learning is an ongoing process and needs to be part of your business development. That is, the development of your people. 


Have you gained feedback about the event itself and what other events are of interest to your people?

Extremely important is having buy in from employees and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose behind why they attend the events. Do you know what your people want? 


How do you measure the impact of the events?

It could be as simple as doing a survey to gain feedback from your employees or it could be tied in with KPI’s, customer service levels, etc. 


Just one more thing..

Involve your people. Let them help you work out what best suits your culture, your employees and your business. 

Team building is great when it is intentional and purposeful.


So, before you think about your next team building event…begin with these questions or book in for our ‘Get Connected’ half day workshop and we can help bring more connection into your culture.

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