It’s time to get back to team building
Over the last two years, team building within organisations has taken a back seat. It’s easy to see why – as businesses put all their efforts into surviving and much of the work day has taken place over video calls and other online platforms.
Just this month, many leadership teams of national and international organisations are meeting together, in person, for the first time in two years thanks to the opening of domestic and international borders. Remote and hybrid work is still very much a reality for many teams.
Of course, there are many benefits of a hybrid workplace, especially in the way that it provides choice for employees as they decide how often they’ll be working from the office or whether they want to return at all. However, the reality is that teams need face-to-face interactions to stay strong, connected and productive.
The value of in-person interactions
Most people know that face-to-face interactions are good and healthy for all of us as humans, but when it comes to team building, these interactions hold enormous value. Working remotely can impede team members as they try to operate as an effective employee and collaborate with others – remote work can feel isolating and it’s harder to see the bigger picture.
- Confidence building – these interactions can help team members to build confidence as they present their ideas, supply constructive feedback in meetings and generally find their place in the team.
- Effective communication – video calls and instant messaging are invaluable to today’s workforce, but they are not perfect replicas of what the office environment provides. Being together allows team members to read body language, express themselves verbally, ask questions when needed and listen effectively. Communication is at the heart of a healthy, productive team and face-to-face interactions enhance this communication ten-fold.
- Problem solving – every team faces challenges but they can feel overwhelming if you’re trying to problem solve on your own. Being together as a team allows you to bounce off one another, solving problems quickly, with innovation, rather than struggling alone, separately.
- Resilience – things don’t always go to plan and there are any number of things during the average work day that could leave you feeling frustrated. When you work remotely, it’s harder to get over those things as you dwell on them with no outlet. These frustrations can stay with you and build up over time, becoming insurmountable. When you come together as a team, you can debrief, talk about your frustrations and move past them in a more natural way than you can online.
The benefits of being together in the office are clear but there is still a lot of anxiety surrounding meeting face-to-face as the pandemic continues. Leaders in organisations need to consider these anxieties seriously, weighing them up against the benefits of meeting together – they can co-exist when compassion and care is taken.
Consider having meetings and team building sessions in rooms that are big enough for social distancing, using hand sanitiser where appropriate, and providing masks to be worn for those who would feel more comfortable wearing them. These things have likely already been considered, but it’s important to continue accommodating those who may be more vulnerable or who are anxious about meeting together. Team building won’t be effective if some members of the team are unable to be a part of meetings and other activities.
Are you ready to strengthen your team? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.