“Okay, Manisha, try twisting your hands.”
“No, go under.”
These are the words of Sushant and his team who were playing a team-building exercise called Twister. The doctor tries to disentangle the players who are joined together as one entity in confusing ways, formed through tangled hands.
Corporates are trying to tackle the Monday Blues in a whole different manner. To be more productive on Mondays, and boost the morale of the employees, organizations have come up with #MondayMiles, where team-building exercises are done to make Monday more lively and fun.
Monday blues are a real thing, where you are coming off your weekend high and like an addict you are facing withdrawal symptoms. There are so many stereotypes about how harmful and poisonous Mondays are that people have come up with memes, gifs, and even inspirational blogs to combat Mondays Blues.
Team building exercises are vital to establishing a corporate culture where people enjoy coming to office, collaborate easily and work in a healthy environment. Team building exercises are rather great in helping employees understand each other, no matter how diverse or culturally different the colleagues are, team-building exercises help bridge the gap.
The purpose of team building
Imagine a cricket team where the team players are uncoordinated, everybody is working towards their own self-interest rather than a common goal, how disastrous the results would be? That’s why working as a team is so important. The purpose of team-building exercises or activities is to build a stronger working unit where the team members work well together.
This isn’t the time to talk about company policies or new products. The team-building exercises are the reason your employees will interact with each other in a non-work related manner. These team-building exercise can happen anywhere, at the office, outside the premises or at a retreat. The main objective here is to conduct small-team building activities more rather than the annual twice in a year event which doesn’t achieve the necessary purpose.
Take teams out for treasure hunt or an escape-room challenge where people are forced to work together to solve a problem and come up with a solution. When people work as a cohesive unit they build trust and respect for each other. They understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Embracing the diversity
Thimithi festival, Karama festival, Bohag Bihu or Chhath Pooja, if you don’t know what these festivals are or their origin or significance than your organization needs to diversify and introduce new cultures in the office.
With globalization, most companies in the world have diverse workforce coming from all walks of life. People come to work from all over the country and the world. They have different foods, customs, holidays and traditions. It would make for an interesting and unique team-building exercise where people are learning about different cultures. When you hold team building activities such as a cultural potluck, working on an art project together, or learning something about the culture together people feel inclusive and celebrate differences. When people are from different cultures it is natural for them to stick to their own groups, they may feel excluded- because people don’t know how to interact with one another and what it is general norm. These activities will help break that barrier.
Inspiring Innovative Ideas
When you were showering, have you suddenly come up with a solution to a problem that you were trying to solve since ages or when you were cooking or eating or doing something mundane you struck gold? This happens because relaxing makes your brain actually work, makes you see things from a new perspective. In the same manner, when people are playing together and they get along, team players can come up with great ideas to solve a certain problem. Companies, where employees have an open floor to discuss and solve problems, have more innovative ideas than the companies where hierarchy is followed stringently. Team building activities not only create healthy interactive environments but they also help in building rapport and inclusive feeling.
When a team gets along and gels well, employees involved in the team are much more relaxed and stress-free than compared to the office where team building is not nurtured. When employees are not stressed about office politics more energy is freed up to work and which in turns directly affects productivity. When people work as a cohesive unit the workload is evenly shared, making for a stress-free environment or close to it. Better results are achieved in lesser time when people work together and help each other.
Many medium-sized or small business owners think it is a waste of resources and time to do team-building exercises. It may not be clear how effective a team-building exercise is until you have a dysfunctional team. And it shouldn’t need a dysfunctional team to realize how important company retreats are.