“None of us is as good as all of us.”
Each and every company recognizes the importance of staff being held together by a common bond and the significance of renewing energy in the company. Towards a successful company, fun team building activities are organized once in a while to allow workers to see each other in different perspectives and also ease any barriers that may be between them.
Our company, Yocean Group Limited, decided to hold a team building day on the 24th of March at Savelberg Retreat Centre and here are some of the things I learned.
Activities involved teams competing against each other and sharing ideas and lessons learned out of them.
How to Achieve Team work:
All games played aimed to instill the benefits of communication as effective communication enabled teams to win or perform well as they had to come up with good decisions through sharing and discussing how to tackle tasks. This included choosing the team leaders, choosing games representatives, deciding how to come up with plans etc. One game which involved the whole group’s participation was the rabbit challenge. In this game, groups are to choose to become either a rabbit, a wall or an arrow. To beat the opponent, a rabbit must climb over the wall, the arrow must shoot a rabbit and both groups had to decide in secret what they would do.
A company should aim to achieve having effective flow of communication among staff. In any company where the executive communicate freely with the normal staff, quality work is evident as employees are able to know their expectations from the management’s side and the management gets to have knowledge of the staff’s concerns. Communication breaks inferiority complex and encourages employees to share progressive ideas with the management. When there is active communication pattern across employees and employers a good rapport is created and makes works feel lively and appreciated. Communication builds trust.
Teamwork identified and rewarded
Prizes were given to the best performed teams by giving them cash prizes. I am proud to say that my team was the first Runners-Up and we scooped a cash prize of 8,000/= Kshs, while the Winners walked away with 10,000/= cash prize, the third position was awarded 6,000/=. The groups had 9 members each and were a total of 6 groups.
A company should be able to assign team goals to all the staff and watch out for teams that will set the standard in their routines. When the management recognizes teamwork among its members and award them, it is definite that work performance shall improve and encourage positive rivalry among them. The Human Resource office should appreciate employees who decide to work as a cord to achieve their daily set goals; this could be through giving incentives, gifts, days off, bonus salaries, certificates of recognition and medals among others.
Performance management system
Individual performance and input was important in all stages. Some games like arranging letters on the alphabet table required individual performance though the results had been important for the final score. There was no other choice than winning. There was also a blindfold game while walking past obstacles without stepping on them,by following tracking advice from team mates. This was a boost to listening skills and group’s keen assistance to ensure the individual finished the challenge fast and successfully. There was no room for laxity during the games for all the members.
Tracking of performance should be unbiased and non-dictatorial. Employees’ performance should be rated according to their input without favoring others or undermining others. Depending on job level, all employees should be gauged on their determination, completion of duty on time, willingness to work beyond request, interests to make the company better and any other activities they take part in for the benefit of the company.
Combined commitment to a goal
A team that is unified by a common goal, is one that displays extra ordinary teamwork skills. At this point, quality production and customer satisfaction should be the number one goal for all employees. A team that is aware of this strives to put their efforts, and making sure that the end product is just as per required by the clients who are the first employers. Co-ordination of work is a benefit of having a common goal.
This point takes us back to the topic of communication. Whenever there is openness in a company, issues such as secrets and grudges are easy to avoid. Staff build trust when they are open to one another and are free to share moments of disappointments from their colleagues, complaints about the management, work related issues among others. Openness is also important for conflict resolutions and task co-ordination as there is acceptance of assignments. Team mates do not have personal differences and as they interact they are able to know each other better.
Chemistry is when members feel good being part of their teams and to an extent feel proud to be part of the company. Chemistry brings out quite a number of traits from a team such as:
- Innovating new ways of working
- Coming up with necessary change to improve performance
- Setting challenges and working towards achieving them
- Team leader is admired by his team members and they look up to him.
Benefits of Team Building Sessions
- Renewed Energy
- Members have better knowledge of the colleagues. The Managing Director confessed by saying, “I saw the different sides of you people today and the great and unique talents that you have. I am happy to see that we are all talented and to see who you are,” he told the staff.
- Review of company goals and expectations
- Learn new things out of the discussions
- Inspire one another
In closing remarks it was agreed that the key word is to start by building trust among one another, to create positive conflict, becoming committed to the team, being accountable when we make mistakes and finally achieve results.
The managing director commented that when we believe and work towards that which we believed, God would give it to us. He closed emphasizing that in the company each individual is like a single Chinese stick which on its own would easily break and be irrelevant but if the sticks were joined together, we become unbeatable.