Breaking down barriers: Why team building is the best investment you can make
Team building can often fill employees with dread; they do their allotted time in the office (the average London accountant often spends 50+ hours a week in work) so why should they have to give up their precious free time for small talk with Mike from IT. With this reaction in mind, many employers are hesitant to spend money on corporate team events and days out, especially with the current uncertain economic environment in the UK, caused predominately by Brexit. However, if done correctly team bonding can greatly benefit employee communication, productivity, retention and who knows, they might even have fun.
Team bonding breaks down the barriers. It’s common knowledge that in and out of the office communication is key to success and by spending time in a more informal environment, communication will improve between colleagues, allowing new relationships to be formed, existing ones to be built upon and Senior Management to understand their employees better; especially in regards to what they need and value.
Additionally, team building is an excellent way of encouraging productivity. A study carried out by Sirota Survey Intelligence of around 1.2 million employees from 52 Fortune 1000 companies showed that during the first six months of employment at a new company, an employee’s motivation rapidly diminishes. They claim that there are three goals that these employees prioritise in their jobs; equity, achievement and camaraderie. To ensure these objectives are met, it is important that employers continually try to build a cohesive team. Research shows that whilst competition is a key motivator to reach targets within a corporate environment, working together for a shared competitive goal proved far more effective for productivity levels. In addition, a study by APA found that 93% of employees in a study stated that they are motivated to work harder if they feel valued. Team bonding enables your employees to feel appreciated and it can be used as a beneficial method of improving productivity throughout a company.
A positive corporate culture within the office can have a significant impact on employee retention, with a PwC report on wellness noted that employees now are looking for more than just a good work/life balance and are prioritising other attributes when considering whether to remain or move jobs. Increasing employee retention not only allows for savings on hiring costs but also boosts key profit growth indicators such as productivity, growth rates and quality of work produced. A vital part of a successful office environment is a team that coexists and works together well. Unfortunately, one team building exercise (no matter how memorable) is not going to be enough to make a lasting impact. It is important to make these events a regular occurrence to build momentum and if done correctly they will become something that your employees will genuinely start to look forward to. By making your events unique and a bit out of the ordinary you are more likely to excite and engage your employees. If held frequently, your team will start to bond organically, your company culture will develop and in turn your employee retention will improve.
A key ramification of Brexit and other recent political events is that employers are hesitant to spend money on anything from hiring to office perks; all departments are feeling the tightening of the purse strings as the fate of UK and the strength of the sterling remains uncertain. However, we urge our clients to look at the long-term and understand that the benefits of building and bonding your team far outweigh the costs. By bringing your employees together you will make them feel appreciated and united. In return, you are likely to see an increase in productivity, quality of work and employee retention.