If you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, you probably need to reevaluate what you are doing or at least don’t expect anything new. Well, this takes us to the discussion of team building. If you are responsible for improving your team’s performance and team building is in your plans, will you be utilizing the most current techniques? We know most aspects of organizational dynamics change, so is your approach to TB utilizing the latest and greatest approaches to improving team dynamics?
It wasn’t that long ago when team exercises comprised outdoor activities such as climbing ropes or falling backwards, into the arms of your colleagues? Those were exercises to instill trust and confidence in your compstriates. Today, those exercises seem to be pretty elementary. But those techniques don’t work today because employees change. These changes are brought on due to evolving technology, education, demographics and more sophisticated lifestyles.
Whether it is an exercise for new employees, experienced employees or executive level managers; building an organization must be based on current information concerning socio-economic issues and utilizing current trends in interpersonal skills training within teams. Further, the whole event does not need to be a marathon meeting in an attempt to cram as much learning as possible into a short period of time. More and become less when it comes to trying to change relationships.
Think back just 15 years and ask yourself: Has anything changed in the way team exercises are conducted, planned or structured? If you come out of the tech industry, most likely the economic downturn has been going on for 10 years. Remember when the dot com bubble burst? Then came a general economic downturn. We are all started trying to do more with less. That was facilitated to some extent because of: better employee/management skills, improved training, more education of the workforce, technologies, focus on what’s important versus some process that was not adding a significant improvement, or we just accept downsized expectations.
I submit, smaller team building groups, unique exercises, and a better understanding of the needs/motivations of employee participants can make a difference. The experiences of high unemployment, layoff’s of fellow workers/friends/family, corporate restructuring, and salary reductions add a new dynamic to team building. New approaches to team building techniques need to be explored; they must be current and relevant. People need to be given tools to help them work together better. More importantly they need to see and experience how to utilize the new techniques until they are comfortable using them as part of their daily routine.
A constant in business and team building is-change.