# Blog Team Building: What is it and Why is it important?
Team building is the process of creating stronger bonds between the members of a group, through different kinds of activities and events, with the final objective of making a cohesive team out of a group of people.
We believe employees are a company’s greatest asset, and focusing on team building aims to have people working better together. It’s not just games, but activities that add value and answer to a purpose, always linked with motivating staff and investing in your teams. After all, happy people will always make a better working environment, right?
Below, we’ll go over the basics and main benefits of team building, how it impacts the company and the workplace, the different types and latest trends for team building, and the pros and cons of virtual team building.
Why is team building so important?
There are many reasons why companies do team-building activities, and we are sure some of them pop into everyone's mind when thinking about it. We usually group them into 3 main objectives:
1/ To increase employee engagement, by recreating and strengthening the link between employees, and engaging them with the company. In the end, it’s mostly about connecting people.
2/ To improve group dynamics, by building upon employees’ skills through games and activities. Shaking the daily routine up and setting up a playful environment helps to change the usual hierarchy, and people can connect with colleagues with whom they don’t usually interact. By working as a team, trust is built, together with leadership and communications skills.
3/ To thank your team. Team building activities foster empathy and are a great way of doing something fun to celebrate and show appreciation to the employees. What’s nicer than laughing together with your colleagues?
Team building can also help to reach specific objectives, usually related to HR. There are different games and activities to tackle different situations. For example in People First’s Lumber Jack game, the team challenge is to build a bridge, aiming to create truly lasting bonds among the team members.
Team building activities: What are the main types?
Team building activities can be roughly grouped in two types: Gaming activities, which follow the purpose of thanking and engaging the employees; and Coaching/Training activities, which aim to build team skills and strengthen group dynamics. Both types can also be combined in a mixed activity, with gaming and coaching elements and objectives.
Focusing on the nature of the activities, they can be classified as follows:
- Game Packages
- Team Events
- Online activities
Regardless of the activity type, all of them are suitable for different kinds of companies. We strongly believe that the human link is the key behind all, and no team will be successful if the human side is not taken care of. And this applies no matter the team size.
At People First, we organized team-building activities and events for groups ranging from 6 to 800 employees, for small, medium, and large-sized companies. The average group size is around 30 people, but the activities can be selected and adapted depending on the group size, budget, and location.
The frequency of outsourced team-building events for most companies is one per year, but some do it twice: once during the summer and another towards the end of the year.
Facing COVID: Pros and Cons of Online Team Building
The biggest change in team building activities in the past year has been the digitalization of team building. The words community and connection have taken a whole new meaning. We’ve seen this in our company, and taken it into account when redefining our offer of team building activities.
The Covid crisis intensified remote working, a trend that was already growing and might stay for the future. We can probably all agree that this new way of working modifies the daily dynamics since we don’t see our colleagues as frequently as before. Under these circumstances, team building plays a key role. Virtual team building already existed before the pandemic, but it boomed with most people working from their homes.
The main advantage of online team building is that it helps to recreate basic links between team members and different teams. Many employees feel disengaged and lose motivation after several months of working from home, so virtual activities can respond quickly to an immediate need. Online games and activities enable them to share good times, be playful and encourage exchanges that benefit team cohesion. Once again, we believe nothing is more healing than sharing a laugh together and bringing back that sense of community!
Compared to traditional team events, a big disadvantage of online activities is that there is less space for informal chit-chat, such as breaks, coffee time, and any kind of serendipity, or other non-planned moments of spontaneous connection between people.
As some face-to-face activities are slowly picking up again, the latest trend is a mix of digital and physical activities. The final objective is to produce a lasting experience, with benefits that go beyond the activity in itself.
A great example of this is the People First + Atlas Go initiative, which engages staff by inviting them to participate in a joint active challenge, centralized on a shared application. Nothing will build the feeling of community as a shared long-term goal!
AtlasGO is an online platform that encourages employees to achieve a common goal around physical activities while reconnecting with human contact.
If you are looking for an outdoor team building, you can check our selection of top 5 outdoor team building activities.
Motivation and team cohesion
In the end, team building is about creating conditions so people can build bonds. This is what encourages the feeling of belonging to a common project, and the foundation of teams that last.
That’s why we consider that the right team-building activity is the one that improves and increases the communication among team members, encourages a positive and collaborative attitude, and strengthens employee engagement.
If the participants enjoy a true, positive, and lasting experience together, they’ll build a stronger and motivated team of people who know each other well and will always work better together. So it’s an investment in the human, the very core of every company.
Team Tracker is a collaborative game in which participants have to complete challenges helped by their colleagues who track them from a base camp via a GPS.
Especially now, with most people working remotely, a big objective is to recreate links and team dynamics that were broken by the pandemic. So it’s more necessary than ever to plan activities to have a good time, connect with others, show appreciation, and re-engage the company’s employees.
Online or not, we are convinced that team buildings are above all human experiences to be shared!
At People First, we have the expertise granted by 20 years of experience, and the flexibility to adapt activities to each team. Check our wide variety of team-building activities, our offer for online team building, and our sports signature events, and let’s get ready to start planning the ideal team-building activity to strengthen the bonds between colleagues and boost employee motivation!