Fact-checking assertions and setting the record straight.
When you hear a team building activity announced, do thoughts like these come up?
Do team building activities really work?
Oh great, more cheesy trust falls!
I’m pregnant/in a wheelchair…is it really for me?
Then buckle up, ‘cos this is the blog post for you!
Team building myths - debunked!
It’s amazing how, despite team building activities having gone full-on mainstream, myths and outdated ideas continue to haunt the concept.
That’s why, as a well-known and highly-rated team building event organizer in Chicago, we’ve decided to run some fact-checking on some of the most common misconceptions about team building events.
So that you can make an informed decision about whether to host/participate in such activities.
Myth: Team building events don’t really work
Gif via giphy.
These events are a waste of time and money. All they can offer is a fleeting rush of exuberance which soon wears off.
Team building has been well-documented to offer tangible benefits, the most crucial of which is improved productivity.
A good team building activity will help team members bond with one another, and develop a “community spirit” - making them feel they belong in the group.
Studies have shown that employees who feel like they are part of a team are more likely to be engaged and motivated at work.
In a fast-paced work environment, it is important for employees to be able to rely on each other and work together efficiently.
Furthermore, team outings encourage communication and collaboration among employees.
This is absolutely essential in driving innovation amongst the entire group as a whole.
And it is the combination of being able to rely on one another and being driven to innovate to produce results that boosts productivity.
To better understand how team events can spark innovation and drive group members into developing the “killer instinct”, you can go through our blog post on why team building matters for your company.
Myth: Team building = cheesy trust falls
Will you be caught in cheesy and stale activities like icebreakers and trust falls?
The main idea behind team building is to bring people together, get them focused, and inspire them to give their best for the team.
You can hardly expect to achieve that from icebreakers and trust falls that are so…no, not even last year but last decade.
At the very least, the activity has to be exciting enough to induce participants to take part.
It should also prove a refreshing experience to give folks a chance to reboot themselves and put the pressures of the workplace behind them.
And it should naturally prod team members into talking and collaborating with one another.
Safe to say, icebreakers and trust falls do not fit the bill.
Oh, and on a personal note…if I were to announce an icebreaker team event here at Fox in a Box, our staff would give me quite an icy stare.
Check out the top team building activities in Chicago to get a feel of what an actual team event will be like.
Myth: Good team building activities require physical fitness
Will you really be unable to compete if you’re in a wheelchair, are pregnant, and so on?
This one depends.
There are team bonding options that do require physical activity and fitness.
And there are options that don’t.
For example, if you opt for team building at Fox in a Box escape room, you can take part in experiences that can be fully enjoyed by people using a wheelchair or walker.
And we can make seats available inside the adventure area for anyone that needs to catch their breath.
Search for activities that can incorporate your specific requirements, and we’re sure you’ll find one that meets your needs.
Any team building venue worth its salt will have its accessibility levels ability to meet special requirements clearly listed out as we have done in our FAQ page.
Myth: Team building makes everyone bff’s
Or, the objective of team building is to make participants besties.
We can certainly understand how that would be cringe-level infinity.
The good news is that it’s simply not true.
The objective of team outing games is to make everyone work towards a common goal and develop a feeling of being part of one cohesive unit.
It’s for everyone in the group to understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses and develop respect for diverse abilities.
All of which will require you to communicate freely with one another.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone has to be besties as the event ends.
Having hosted many team building events, we can confirm that our clients don’t expect their employees to become best friends from their one hour of collaborating with one another to beat our escape rooms!
Team building DOES help you know your colleagues better. Go through the reasons you should take part in your company’s team building event to get an idea of the realistic benefits you can expect.
Myth: Effective team building can only be done outdoors
We have no idea where or how this claim came to be, but rest assured - it’s not true!
Building team spirit can happen anywhere. It doesn't have to be outdoors specifically to be effective.
Just so we're clear, it's not the location but the activity/activities you're taking part in that matters.
Will you find them thrilling?
Do they encourage active participation?
Do they present opportunities for innovation and quick thinking?
Furthermore, there are good team bonding options that require limited space to set up.
Myth: Team building activities don’t make financial sense
In other words, they have little to no ROI.
It's true that there is not always an easy one-to-one relationship between team building and profits.
However, you’ll start seeing clear benefits once you broaden your search a little.
Take employee engagement - a metric that any HR department will tell you is crucial to achieving overall success and profitability.
Unfortunately, shrinking employee engagement is a common problem among many businesses these days.
And you know where we’re going with this - a disengaged employee is much more likely to quit, which means you have to hire a replacement. And that comes with costs of its own.
Good team bonding meetings and events will strengthen team spirit and boost employee morale, arresting the slide of employee engagement.
Moreover, as we discussed before - team building activities increase productivity which implicitly gives you a return on investment.
Looking to organize an event? Here’s how you can organize an epic team building event.
Myth: Team building activities are expensive
As we mentioned before, you’ll have various options for your team building event, which will be available at different price points.
Here’s the deal: it isn’t the price but the activity itself which counts.
Go through the specifics and work out whether it offers what your team needs.
Myth: Just once a year is enough
In other words, you can do one session a year and expect lasting improvements in team morale, productivity and so on.
We don’t even know where to begin with this.
Do you expect to remain in shape all year based on one day’s workout at the gym?
Whatever product or service your business is involved with - aren’t you constantly looking for ways to improve it?
Team building is a gradual process just like those.
You need to keep doing it for effective results.
Now, of course, it isn’t feasible to have a full-scale team event every day or even every week.
But you should look at having them more frequently than once a year to gain the maximum benefit possible.
Here are some holiday season team building options.
Chicago’s favorite way to team-build
If you’re looking for team building options in Chicago, look no further than Fox in a Box!
We offer amazing team exercises that allow teams to discover and perhaps renegotiate their internal relationships.
Among other things, Fox in a Box built the BMW escape room in Munich to develop skills and foster bonding for BMW employees.
Our team building program allows you to choose from various options and customize your event.
From a basic escape room team building activity, to an office outing that combines escape rooms with refreshments and a full-scale retreat designed by a professional organizational psychologist - you can choose exactly what kind of event you want.
Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.