Why Team Building is Important and How We Do It

August 16, 2019

Why Team Building is Important and How We Do It

As a business, your team is your most valuable asset, and it’s often your most expensive one. Disengaged employees who are unhappy or unmotivated in the job get less done and can drag the whole office down with them. 

Gallup says 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job. In the United States, employees are more likely to be engaged (31%) than in any other region, but that still leaves ample room for improvement. Learn more in Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report.

Prioritizing team building in your workplace can help businesses boost morale, increase collaboration, and improve engagement. And if you can improve engagement, you can improve your bottom line. Disengaged employees cost US businesses billions of dollars each year.

Team building isn’t an expense—it’s an investment.

Let’s dig into how you can implement simple team building strategies in your workplace, including what we’ve done at Blue Summit Supplies to reach peakengagement. 🏔

 

How to Team Build

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Food Brings People Together

Who doesn’t like free food? Providing a healthy meal that’s also free and made from whole foods not only eases employee stress and improves focus, but it also gives your employees a chance to spend time together for a reason other than work.

Keeping your employees content and well-fed is a simple and cost-effective way to team build. It gives your employees a chance to enjoy each other’s company in a less formal setting. Try a weekly catered lunch or take your staff out for a meal every now and again. Good food will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Family dinner is important because it strengthens a family’s bond. Strengthen your co-worker bond with a work-familylunch or occasional dinner.

 

How We Do It

Every month, our CEO Owen caters lunch for his employees in the office. This gives us the opportunity to take a break from work, hang out, eat well, and get to know each other better. And so far, he’s never catered from the same place twice, so we get to try all kinds of local dishes (though we know if we left it up to him, it’d be barbecue every time).

 

BSS employees eating together

  

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Learn Together

Provide professional development opportunities and other educational opportunities for your team. The chance to learn something new will bring your team together around a common non-work-related goal.

Don’t assume you know what your team needs. Ask your employees what they would like to learn and how they would like to continue their professional development. Make sure your activities are as inclusive as possible. If you do something more high-energy and active one month, compliment that with a different low-energy activity next month to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Have some fun, too. Learning something new doesn’t need to be about career-related development. What non-work-related skills could inspire or delight your team? What might allow them to de-stress?

Consider:

  • Art classes
  • A yoga lesson
  • Craft days
  • Ax throwing
  • A photography course
  • Cooking classes
  • An escape room

     

    How We Do It

    To celebrate the close of 2018, Owen took us down the hall to our office-park neighbors, Civil Axe Throwing. It took everyone a few throws to loosen up, but when we did, the axes were flying. One of our colleagues even managed to chop a wedge off the wooden target and took it home as his trophy.

    Eight months later, we’re still talking about how much fun we had tossing axes. It definitely strengthened our bond, in the office and out of it, and helped solidify a culture of learning new things, open communication, and not being afraid to look a fool around each other!

     

    BSS employees at civil axe

     

     

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    Prioritize Wellness

    Employees want to work for a company that values their wellbeing. And not only that, employers can benefit greatly from a workforce that’s healthy and motivated. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy business. 

    Employers can support their team by rewarding and recognizing healthy lifestyles and efforts made towards healthy behavior. How can your team support each other in living healthier lives? Challenge your team to work together to achieve their own personal health goals. For example, encouraging walking meetings for those interested can foster team building while combating sedentary behavior at work.

     

    How We Do It

    Katie, our Product Manager, thought we as an office needed to take our wellness one step farther. So, she arranged an office-wide kayaking trip.

    “It was really fun,” Shannon, our Director of Marketing, says. “It was cool because I got to hang out with people I don’t usually see, including our colleagues from out of town. Even one of our vendors came!”

    Of course, not all of it was smooth sailing: “I fell into the river right when we pushed out of the bay. That was humbling.”

    Kayaking might not seem like the most team-building activity, but just the act of spending time together, doing an activity outside of our comfort zones, was positive. “Getting to know and like the people I work with makes my days at the office brighter, since I look forward to seeing my colleagues. I know them as more than just professionals, and I look forward to going to work. I know from experience how lucky I am!”

     

    Matt enjoying a float on the kayak

     

     

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    Radiate Positivity

    Always opt for positive reinforcement over negative. Positive reinforcement means rewarding positive behavior in order to strengthen that behavior. When employees are actively recognized for their good work, it makes them more enthusiastic about the job they’re doing, and more likely to continue performing at their optimum level.

    Negativity in the workplace can quickly become contagious. It only takes one bad apple to bring down your entire team. Negativity breeds swiftly in employees if they are constantly swamped with work and never recognized for their efforts.

    Be positive. Be thankful. Be empathetic. Show your team how much you appreciate them, and they will reward you with increased energy, loyalty, and performance.

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    Celebrate Success as a Team

    Founder and CEO of Trepoint Bill Carmody says the act of celebrating changes your physiology and strengthens your psychology.”When accomplishments are recognized and celebrated, our brain’s happy chemicals like dopamine and endorphins are released in our brain.

    When one team member succeeds, acknowledge them and share that success with the whole group. Including everyone will help your business feel like a cohesive team. Celebrate with a staff lunch, dinner out, or a new office perk. Extra points if you can choose an office perk that will continue contributing to team building.

    Consider:

    • Office board games
    • Office exercise equipment
    • A skill building session (chosen by the team)
    • Tickets to a sporting event, concert, or play
    • Ice cream! 🍦
    • An afternoon at the park

    Don’t be the boss who only tells you what you’re doing wrong. Celebrate successes big and small and celebrate them as a team.

     

    How We Do It

    Every year, twice a year, Owen makes sure everyone in our sphere of influences is appreciated – by throwing them a party.

    Our last party was our biggest one yet, hosted at Owen’s house by him, his wife Tiffany, and of course, Larry. Members of our sphere of influence flew in from all of the world – as far as China! – and we all drank, ate, and hung out.

    Jess, our graphic design intern, says, “It was cool to be able to celebrate our company and get to know my coworkers a little better outside of the office. I see them every day, but it was special to hang out in a different environment!”

    These parties give everyone at our office something to look forward to, and are a relaxed, fun place for us to blow of steam and get to know one another better. We’re already looking ahead to the holiday party!

     

    the office Christmas party

     

     

    More from Blue Summit Supplies

    💡 We don’t need to sell you on how great extra time is. Learn more about The Importance of Time Management and How to Optimize Your Time.

    💡 Having an office dog can transform your office experience from a tedious, daily grind to a day with a special twist. Learn how offices can implement a Bring Your Dog to Work policy.

     

    Do you love office talk as much as we do? Follow ouroffice supplies blog for the latest office trends, team building strategies, product comparisons, and more.

    If you have any questions or want to talk to someone about office supplies, shoot us an emailor connect with us onTwitter,Facebook, orInstagram.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jordan works remotely, from home or abroad, on projects that increase brand awareness, online engagement, and website traffic. She specializes in clear and concise writing that helps businesses conquer their online messaging. Through human-centered content, she aims to delight both human readers and Google bots. Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Mad Men or Game of Thrones.


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