Team building is vital for any business and it benefits businesses in numerous ways. Team building improves employee morale, ensuring your workforce is happy and productive, and it also helps bring your team closer together, allowing them to work together effectively and improve the overall output of your organisation.

team building activitiesBut what real impact do team building activities — and, by extension, employee morale — have on the day-to-day running of your businesses? We look at the biggest benefits of team building and provide you with some unique ideas you can adopt within your company.

Team building improves retention and decreases absenteeism

Employee morale is the overall outlook and attitude towards work, and it ties directly to how satisfied — or happy — your employees are. It’s common sense: employees who are happy at work and enjoy their jobs are less likely to jump ship and seek work elsewhere. As a result, companies with high levels of morale are better able to retain employees.

By the same coin, high levels of morale also result in decreased absenteeism — or time off. We’re all prone to “pulling a sickie” from time to time, and in an increasing amount of cases, it’s because we need a mental health day or just can’t stand the idea of going into work. The figures say it all: an article by Gallup states that unhappy employees take, on average, 15 more days off a year than satisfied employees. This is a pressing concern for many companies, making it vital that employers do all they can ensure their staff are happy and healthy. Since team building is central to morale, your choice of team building activities can play a vital role in how happy your employees are to come to work.

Consider introducing activities like a book club, run once a week or month, to encourage staff to attend, or encourage some healthy workplace rivalry, such as by introducing a fitness challenge. Splitting your workforce up into teams, giving them pedometers and offering a reward to the team that does the most steps can be a great initiative — not only will it get your staff moving, especially if they’re prone to sitting for eight hours a day and eating lunch at their desks, but it will also encourage your team to bond and communicate with each other — and we all love the opportunity to win a prize.

Team building improves relationships between staff

Encouraging positive relationships between your staff is vital for success. When an employee has a negative relationship with a colleague, they’ll come to associate those negative feelings with their entire work life. The result is that they’ll be less likely to give their all and they’ll be the first out of the office at the end of the day.

You may think that encouraging relationships between colleagues won’t benefit your business — you don’t want them gossiping around the watercooler all day or distracting each other from their desks. But this is often an unfounded concern. Positive relationships between staff will only ever improve morale, which is directly tied to increased productivity. You can’t expect all of your employees to be best friends, and that will rarely be the case, but you can use team building activities to cultivate professional relationships built on solid communication and mutual respect.

Consider an activity such as an escape room — this may not be your typical team building exercise, such as roleplaying or trust falls, but that’s a good thing! An escape room involves “locking” employees in a room, where they have a set period of time to get out. To do so, they’ll need to work together and communicate to solve puzzles. Successfully escaping within the allotted time will give your employees a feeling of shared accomplishment that will bring them closer together.

Team building increases creativity

While there are clear correlations between happiness and creativity, there are many ways that team building activities can directly influence creativity by putting your staff in situations that require them to think differently. Paintball may not seem like the first choice for a team-building activity, but corporate paintball has multiple benefits. Set in a vast woodland battleground and with multiple high-spec weapons to choose from, your employees — split into teams — will need to communicate and think uniquely to come up with diverse strategies for a range of scenarios. As you chase down your rivals, you’ll need to plan for cover and delegate effectively — who is best placed to snipe down long-distance enemies and who is better for close contact? This will force you to consider each of your team’s strengths and collaborate to achieve the ultimate goal — gunning down your opponents and claiming the flag!