3 Purposes of Team Building

We ought to know the purposes of team building to ensure team success. Competition may help us engage. But competitions alone won’t build teamwork.

I have joined many team-building activities where everyone is shouting to feign excitement. But we felt like headless chickens who keep running though we do not know what we are doing.

Filipino professionals in many companies today see the value of working in teams. The work of organizations has become increasingly complex and fast-paced. Teamwork is an innovation no company can ignore.

Enable Teams to Succeed

Filipino organizations have to reinvent the way they enable and engage teams to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global environment.

Productivity, quality, and customer experiences have improved in those organizations that have begun to use team engagement practices. And building teams have been crucial to many of these successful change efforts.

Unfortunately, too few people in the workplace really understand how to build a team. Many managers don’t know how to put into action the knowledge, experience, and talents of their people.

They conduct team-building exercises without understanding.

Some think that team building is about “getting along” and building camaraderie. Kumbaya-style camaraderie may help team members get along. But it doesn’t really improve team relationships. It does not build a cohesive team either.

Others go to the extreme. They do BS (bull sessions) to force everyone to get real. They end up having team members who believe that “team-building” is one day of pretending that you’re okay.

For most Filipinos, the phrase ‘team building” conjures up the images of trust falls, toilet paper tear-offs, high-ropes-course, obstacle courses, amazing races, treasure hunts, and other challenges that are supposed to build teams.

Team building exercises, when done right, may help you build teams. But purchasing team-building packages just to play games is wasting money. In the hands of amateur team-building speakers or facilitators, your team-building event is most likely to go ugly.

Main Purposes of Team Building

The purposes of team building go beyond feeling good, getting along, and playing games.

As a team-building speaker, my aim is to give you solid advice that will help your teams to actually work together and reap the benefits that come with it.

Team building is a combination of interventions you make to inspire, equip, and enable a team to succeed.

It is not an event, a collection of games, or an intellectual concept. Team building initiatives fail when organizers focus on rituals but ignore reasons, are obsessed with activities, and ignore applications, when they think of games and forget goals.

You do not build the team the same way. You can do that with machines, but not with people. Those who use a cookie-cutter approach to team building do not understand the purposes of team building.

Purpose #1: Individual Development

 When professionals apply for jobs, they look forward to the opportunities to shine, be on top, and be above others.

They have their dreams and aspirations long before they join teams. They hold values that are likely different from each other.

Team building initiatives must speed up individual and professional growth. Many team-building programs emphasize that there is no “I” in teamwork.

That is very wrong.

Team building does not erase individual ambitions from the equation. Individuals should not disappear in a team. You can only have a high-performing team when you have a high-performing member.

Give attention to individual career growth. Provide capable coaches and mentors. Help them achieve their dreams.

Allow uber-achievers to find their teams rather than keeping them to a team where there is no space for them to grow.

Purpose #2: Build Harmonious Relationships

The second purpose is relationship building. Experiences have shown that grouping together high-performing individuals does not make high-performing teams. Often, the product is less than the sum of its parts.

High-performing individuals do not perform well when they work with people they do not trust and respect. They do not share knowledge and information with others who are threats to their success. They do not give their best shot when they know that others, not they, would be rewarded for their achievements.

Team building must build relationships. It must convince members that each one plays an important role and they must complement each other. Demonstrate that by helping each other, one who works with the team can do more than work alone.

Give attention to team competencies that build relationships. These are interpersonal communication, diversity, and participative leadership.

Consider team attitudes like accountability, responsibility, respect, and trust.

Purpose #3: Help the Organization Succeed. 

Organizations build teams as a strategy to achieve their goals. Team building increases the team’s chances of success.

Team building programs run for the sake of fun are not funny. Team building exercises that emphasize the value of teamwork but do not contribute to team goals are a waste of time, money, energy, and opportunities.

Make your team building simple and powerful.

Key Takeaways:

A team helps organizations succeed.
Team building serves to inspire, equip, and enable the team.
Team building must help achieve individual ambitions, build relationships, and contribute to organizational success.

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Build Bolder, Better Teams.

Facilitators of Team Bayanihan have been helping companies in the Philippines build the competencies of team leaders and engage members of the team through tailor-fit team learning experiences.

So, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We will help you. We can help each other.

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