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In today’s business world, teamwork is everything. Many businesses regard being a team player as one of the main requirements for any new hire, and also make use of team-building exercises. The idea behind team building seems simple: holding events that can bond employees together so that they work together effectively and produce better results than the efforts of individuals. However, too often team building events produce little long-term team behavior. Below, are some great practices for effective team building.

Make the Team Building Exercises Real

The event has to be connected to real objectives that will improve the workplace. Although team building exercises need a strong element of fun to be effective, they can’t only be fun. Every event has to address the problems that keep your employees from working together as a team. Every event should also be connected to work objectives. The objectives need to be realistic and achievable as long as everyone works together.

Start as You Mean To Continue

Start the ball rolling by having the entire team plan the team building exercise. Instead of having team building events planned only by one or two people, it is better to have everyone make the plans so that your team members feel involved from an early stage instead of turning up to an event they had no influence over.

Hire Professionals

If the idea of creating an effective team building exercise seems too daunting, you can also hire professionals to plan and even carry out team building exercises for you. These professionals can have years of experience that will ensure that your exercises will be more productive and produce the team culture for which you’re striving!

No Stand Alone Events

Team building must be an ongoing effort. A single team building event will not get the job done, no matter how well it goes. You need to hold team building events once or even twice each year. Time at work can be stressful and busy enough to cause even strong teams to drift apart. Team building events need to be periodically reinforced to make sure the benefits continue to last.

Schedule Follow-Ups

A team building exercise needs to be just the start of further cooperation. Team building events need to be followed up with team projects and small team exercises at work. Without such follow up, team building events are just time out of the office or store, no more than expensive staff morale boosting exercises. Follow up action is essential to avoid losing the impetus you built up in the team building exercise.

Reward Team Behavior

Reinforce team building events with rewards and recognition for effective team behavior. People like to be appreciated, and your employees are no different. When team performance has improved markedly after a team building event, your company should recognize and reward such an achievement. Praise at meetings, small prizes, and so forth will cost you very little but have a powerful effect on team behavior.

Final Thoughts

To be effective, team building events need to be more than just trust falls and solving puzzles. Team building events have to be part of a larger tapestry of team building efforts. If you take the time to make your events purposeful and integrated into a larger team building effort, you will see the results you desire.

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