Team building has become one of the newest buzz words in the corporate lexicon. In fact, for at least the last decade surveys of business leaders in every industry have shown that the prime characteristic they look for in new hires is the ability to work with a team. And why not? Research has shown that when people work in teams, they can accomplish far more than a group of individuals working together. But not all team building activities are created equal. Over the last few years, some industry experts have leveled criticism at the 'quick-fix' attitude that has been adopted by many companies who attempt to create or sponsor their own team building activities.

In order to be effective, say experts in corporate teams, a team building event must:

- Be integrated with real work goals.
o It's not enough to plan a fun day of activities for your team. The team building event that you plan should help focus the members of the team on what's not working and what needs to happen for the team to work together.

- Be part of an overall company goal.
o Plan team building activities and events as part of the company's overall plan for success. That means more than just a one off event to go buggy riding. Team building events should be an ongoing, annual or semi-annual event.

- Be planned by a team.
o After all, the goal is to promote teamwork. The planning team should model the behavior that you expect it to promote.

- Be followed up with real work integration.
o A one off event that has no follow up in the work world will be seen as a holiday at best - and a cynical attempt at manipulation at worst. To be meaningful, team building efforts must continue beyond the event day.

- Be reinforced by rewarding teamwork and team behavior.
o Once you have a team that's working as a team, you need to reinforce that behavior by rewarding it. Recognition of teams that are working exceptionally well, special corporate events to mark team accomplishments and notice in the company newsletter are all ways to reinforce and reward teamwork within your company.

If planning an event that will do all that seems daunting, keep in mind that there are companies who make this their business. A company with expertise in planning team building events and weekends, for instance, can offer your company custom team building activities that are designed to help your employees and coworkers focus on the importance of working together as a team.

Author's Bio: 

Brett Danielson is an employee of, a tour operations company that creates custom team building activities, team building days and corporate events for companies throughout the UK and Europe.

Article Source:

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Team Building. The Official Guide to Team Building is Gina Gardiner.

Gina Gardiner has over thirty years’ experience in developing people, helping them to attain their full potential. She has a proven track record in providing leadership and management skills at all levels, from training newly appointed graduates to supporting middle and senior managers.  Working with individuals is only half the story, as the strength of any organization is built on the way people work as a team.  Creating and building effective teams maximizes interdependence and and underpins ongoing success.  Gina's mission is to help individuals maximize their potential and facilitate effective team building. You can learn more by visiting Graduate Solutions

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