Team building is a collective term for various types of activities used to enhance
social relations and define roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks.
It is distinct from team training, which is designed by a combine of business managers,
learning and development/OD (Internal or external) and an HR Business Partner (if the
role exists) to improve the efficiency, rather than interpersonal relations.
Many team-building exercises aim to expose and address interpersonal problems within
the group.Over time, these activities are intended[by whom?] to improve performance in
a team-based environment.Team building is one of the foundations of organizational
development that can be applied to groups such as sports teams, school classes, military
units or flight crews. The formal definition[which?] of team-building includes:
• aligning around goals
• building effective working relationships
• reducing team members' role ambiguity
• finding solutions to team problems
Team building is one of the most widely used group-development activities in organizations.
Of all organizational activities, one study found team-development to have the strongest
effect (versus financial measures) for improving organizational performance. A 2008
meta-analysis found that team-development activities, including team building and team
training, improve both a team's objective performance and that team's subjective
Team building in organizations is a common approach to improving performance.Fun is an
important component to team building, but the intent is become productive, focused, and
aligned. Purely recreational activities can be helpful, but must be timed and consider
the capabilities of team members (e.g., sports are not for everyone). Other activities
geared toward creating a learning environment, exceeding results and engaging
employees must be presenty.
Employee engagement exercises allow teams to create solutions that are meaningful to them,
with direct impact on the individuals, the team and the organization. Experiential learning
and ramification methods are effective ways to engage millennials in the workplace. Employee
engagement is effective because:
• Employees enjoy problem-solving activities.
• Problem-solving creates ownership.
• It can increase capacity.
• Competitive activities encourage a results-based outlook.
Outdoor activities can be an effective way to engage the team.
Competitive activities allow teams to own their actions by producing meaningful results.
Collaborative team building activities push teams to work together to produce results.The
best team building experiences are the ones that allow passionate, dedicated and talented
people to give their best towards a common goal, towards a shared vision of success.
Effect on performance
Team building has been scientifically shown to positively affect team effectiveness. Goal
setting and role clarification were shown to have impact on cognitive, affective, process and
performance outcomes. They had the most powerful impact on affective and process outcomes, which
implies that team building can help benefit teams experiencing issues with negative affect, such
as lack of cohesion or trust. It could also improve teams suffering from process issues, such as
lack of clarification in roles.
Goal setting and role clarification have the greatest impact because they enhance motivation,
reduce conflict and help to set individual purposes, goals and motivation.
Teams with 10 or more members appear to benefit the most from team building. This is attributed
to larger teams having – generally speaking – a greater reservoir of cognitive resources and
capabilities than smaller teams.