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If you are a business owner, one of the most challenging tests is to build a team that gels well together. Every office has contrasting personalities and personnel that have their own specific expertise and skillset. So how does a business establish and develop a coherent organised unit striving to achieve overarching goals together and work in harmony with each other?

In the UK, one popular approach in cultivating and encouraging a workplace environment of teamwork and cooperation has been the use of team building activities. Typically, this involves taking the team out of the office to participate in an activity, with the purpose to enhance team performance and generally to get everyone to integrate and to know each other better.

Team building activities come in a wide range of types. They can be relaxing or competitive. They can serve as a team reenergiser or icebreaker. They can be tasks set for large groups or smaller intimate groups. There are many options available to choose from but it is important to select one where everyone will have a memorable and enjoyable experience, as a fundamental element of team building activities is that it boosts morale and provides the opportunity for everyone to enjoy collaborating in each other’s company. With these positive emotions, they are then brought back into the workplace resulting in a tighter knit group of individuals and stronger trust within a team as a result of the team building activity.

Typically, when the suggestion of team bonding sessions arose in the past, it brought up connotations of tedious tasks, but now more stimulating and dynamic activities are being used. For example, whether it’s seeing if the team can all coordinate together in a rock band with a session in a recording studio in London or taking the competition to the water with an adrenalin-pumping dragon boat race, the activities available are becoming more and more exciting.

The benefits of incorporating a team building session into your calendar can be seen, but if you are a team leader wanting to make a case for it, the following reasons are amongst the most compelling explanations for arranging a team building activity:

Developing an innovative business 

Regardless of whether you are a global corporate organisation with a workforce of thousands, or a company with only a handful of employees serving only the local community, for a business to survive it is critical to have a team in place that is efficient and productive.For a business to keep growing, it needs to have a team that can innovate and stay a step ahead of the competition.

Some of most successful businesses such as Apple and Amazon have a culture ingrained into their team to constantly innovate and this has allowed them to regularly grow and adapt to latest consumer trends, one of the key reasons why they are thriving businesses.

To develop into an innovative team, employees need to be given the opportunity to be creative and imaginative. Businesses that allow for this and that have individuals who collaborate effectively will be better suited as work places that promote and are able to innovate. Team building sessions support the cultivation of this type of collaborative spirit and enhance relationships between colleagues.

Getting competitive! 

From the perspective of a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, competition can be one of the key drivers to make a business push forward and grow. Healthy competition in the workplace can also lead to increased productivity.

A team with a collection of individuals who are competitive but who are also unified in achieving a mutual goal can be very powerful in aiming to overtake and outpaceits competition and for the continual growth of a business.

Activities for team bonding sessions that advocate and bolster the competitive streak in individuals help to develop this ambitious and competitive mentality.   

Being social 

Needless to say, people who get along with each other will work better with each other. One of the main reasons that a business looks to arrange team building days is to improve the camaraderie and relationship between employees.

Team building days allow for those that rely on one another for their day-to-day business activities, but otherwise get minimal time to talk to each other on a personal level to get to know each other better and socialise. By developing friendships and closer bonds, this means they will enjoy working with each other more, and a more cohesive, connected team means a more productive business.

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