Why are most team building activities a waste of time?

Team building activities are something that many business invest time and money in. However, they don’t always have the impact managers and team leaders were hoping for – a happier and more cohesive team. Here, we take a look at why many team building activities don’t work and how you can replace them with something that might be more effective for developing team culture.

Ill-defined goals

Sometimes team building activities are designed more for fun than function, such as indoor rock climbing or go-karting. While these activities are enjoyable and may give teams the opportunity to spend time together and enjoy a motivation boost, this morale won’t last for long. Because these activities don’t reflect how or where the team normally works, they often don’t translate back into the office environment and improve company culture.

Unrelatable activities

Following on from the point above, if your team building activities are not related to your everyday work, then it’ll be hard for staff to see the benefit of them. This is especially true if you’re asking them to give up their own personal time or step away from the office during a busy period. Think carefully about the activities you choose and the long-term benefits they will have in the workplace.

It feels forced

Nobody likes “forced fun”, and this is often what team building can feel like. Instead of establishing company culture, mandatory team building activities can feel like a chore and something that interrupts workflows. If team members are working on large projects with tight deadlines, they may feel under too much pressure to enjoy these activities.

Doesn’t address individuals

If there is a problem within your team, such as a lack of productivity or conflict, team building activities might actually make this worse, especially if the problem is being brushed off rather than being addressed. If the issue is with a particular individual, make sure this is addressed directly with them first, rather than forcing everyone into an environment that is hostile and uncomfortable.

Team building activities don’t often have the desired impact, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to boost your team in other ways. If you want to invest in creating the right kind of dynamic for strong and cohesive teams, get in touch with Shooksvensen for effective and expert coaching and company culture training.

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