Just the phrase “team building” tends to elicit eye rolls, but today’s team building is crucial and in a completely different league from the days of “Hi, I’m Paige and I like pickles, and this is Amelia and she likes avocados.”
The reality is that organizations need to be able to change – and change fast. As technology and consumers speed up their cycles of decisions, opinions and preferences, businesses are struggling to keep up. This gap between the speed of consumers and the speed of businesses is increasingly widening and leaving room for disruption.
This increase in speed is why Vive believes organizations must be dedicated, now more than ever, on team cohesiveness.
In fact, Vive has a unique view on teams to start with. While most organizations follow an organizational chart system, Vive believes that teams should be viewed as ecosystems.
Today, teams are called on to adapt and innovate so rapidly that the org chart has one major flaw: it puts people into little boxes and draws tiny lines between them which creates silos and communication gaps. The org chart values order and chain of command, but it doesn’t consider the interconnectedness of a modern workplace. That’s exactly where the ecosystem comes into play.
Unlike the org chart, the ecosystem is exceptional at quickly adapting and creating solutions – which turns out, is one of the most critical things a business can do in the modern age. But, an ecosystem is only as good as the conditions around it.
Think of your business or team like a literal coral reef, rain forest or garden. What you put into the ecosystem has a direct impact on every other aspect: add a team member, remove a team member, or set a new goal – all pieces of the ecosystem are interconnected and will be impacted and affect the end results.
Think about it: The energy and conditions you set for your team drives how they will work and interact with your clients.
“We believe that leaders should be like gardeners and should carefully build, nurture and foster their ecosystem whether that’s through team building, creating a healthy team environment or fostering the personal relationships needed to thrive,” said Alex Bowen, Vive co-founder.
In an article on Business News Daily, Frances Geoghegan, managing director of Healing Holidays said, “Effective team building needn’t cost loads of money and take place over a full weekend, although many companies do find this useful, especially if they have hundreds of employees. Such activities can range from challenges such as Escape Rooms to fundraisers like 5K runs — any effort to bring workers together without the stress of work and deadlines.”
Get out of the office
One very easy way to start to build teamwork is to take your team offsite. Offsite retreats give your team members the time to build their relationships and foster teamwork that will last in the workplace. Retreats can connect employees that seldom work together, strengthen bonds between departments and add value by bringing remote staffers face to face with the team.
Plus, encouraging your staff to socialize outside of the workplace can play a significant role in increasing overall efficiency, according to a study conducted by MIT.
Vive Co-founder Alex Bowen says that just leaving the office can have a major impact.
“The environment and atmosphere has a huge impact on teams that goes largely unnoticed. Small, everyday signals like cubicles, fluorescent lighting and the office itself tell our brains to use certain mental models that we’re used to and these models automatically set the tone for the day. Just like doing the same thing every day will produce the same results, staying in the same environment everyday will produce the same thinking (not always – but often),” Bowen said.
“Offsite meetings, team building and workshops are a great way to disrupt the thinking patterns of people and allow them to unlock creativity and think laterally. Changing environments to get out of the office is also just refreshing and helps charges people’s spirit. All offices (no matter how cool) eventually require an escape or retreat from time to time. Getting your team out of the office shows that you’re invested in them and want to create experiences for them outside of the boring, old conference room.”
Planning opportunities for your team to collaborate in non-work-related activities during an offsite retreat – like a wine tasting, a nature hike, an escape room experience or just board games and hanging out – can go a long way to keep your team feeling good. Recognizing team members for outstanding achievements at your offsite retreat is another way to boost morale, by taking time to give praise in front of peers.
Keep the momentum going
Most team-building falls flat because it’s a one-time activity – done and then forgotten. It’s key to find ways to keep the excitement going.
The challenge is creating opportunities for people to connect and interact in meaningful ways, outside of regular meetings or presentations. It would be ideal to have team building activities every day, but you can start by scheduling team times throughout the calendar year so that you are sure to do them.
“This is one of the areas we hope to be different than your average training and development company. We know most teams get really excited about ideas during their workshops and then continue back to the “way we’ve always done it” after the day is over,” said Bowen.
“We want to partner with teams and organizations longer term to ensure that these ideas are planted in their DNA and are being practiced. We can do this over longer-term engagements, offering exclusive online access to follow up learnings or by deploying surveys and assessments over time to truly understand the impact of our trainings. ViveTeams was founded on one core principle: Real impact. Impact to change the way people work and interact with their customers and communities.”
In today’s ever changing world, team building is not only effective, but crucial to survival. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. By applying focus to culture and innovation you create a flywheel effect that not only helps create an amazing place to work, but also one that is adaptable, resilient, and has a real impact on your team, customers and the community.
Vive has numerous activities, activities and experiences to help you develop and foster your high-performing team. Contact us today to talk about our available courses, and be sure to ask about the Ultimate Team Retreat!