How team building can boost productivity
The sales figures at Best Bank in the World Incorporated aren’t what they should be- and Ashley isn’t pleased. If the team doesn’t start supporting each other, there’s no way they’ll be getting their annual bonus. He can practically see his Ferrari souped-up Ford Mondeo driving out of the car showroom without him.
Who’s in the team?
Amy has just graduated from university and is very excited about her first job as a junior sales executive. She’s bought some lovely kitten-themed stationery and read 16 books on ‘how to be girl boss’. At the moment she’s too scared to talk to anyone on the phone, but she’s sure it will pass.
Ashley can’t stand Barnaby, a sales manager who’s just returned from Asia. Partly because he won’t stop talking about the life-affirming spiritual experience he had in Northern India, but mostly because Tamsin from marketing thinks he’s hot. Yesterday they spent three hours arguing over sales leads and 20 minutes making calls.
Linda has been on the sales team at The Best Bank in the World Inc for 15 years and is sick of Ashley trying to push her around. This week she’s fallen out with two clients, lost a major sales deal and told Amy to stop being a wet lettuce. (Amy cried in the toilets for 25 minutes and got mascara all over her favourite unicorn jumper.)
It’s obvious that the sales team aren’t working well together- and it shows in their performance. We explore some of the ways that team building can help to boost productivity among employees.
How can team-building exercises help to boost the sales team’s productivity?
Modern team building options offer so much more than a bar trivia night and a round of gin and tonics. They allow employees to share their best skills with the group and learn from each other in a non-pressurised environment. Activities can be directly tailored to the personalities involved, giving everyone the chance to contribute equally and have their say.
While Linda might not be the most diplomatic of employees, her straight-talking attitude could help Amy make that phone call she’s been putting off for three weeks.
As sports teams regularly prove, good morale is integral to the success of a winning team. After a losing streak, it’s easy to start feeling less engaged– especially when you’re working with people with completely different skills and backgrounds. Team building exercises can help employees to regain their team spirit, and motivate them to work together towards a shared goal. If Ashley and Barnaby can successfully compete for the same virtual reality football team in an app-based game, there’s no reason they can’t win clients together. (As long as nobody mentions that Barnaby’s got a better car than Ashley.)
Learning to value team members
Mutual team respect is essential- and can be forgotten in stressful environments. Team building activities give employees the opportunity to celebrate each other’s successes away from work, through fun puzzles and games. Staff should be actively encouraged to offer each other positive feedback, and express gratitude to their colleagues. When Ashley can learn to value Linda’s experience and appreciate Amy’s enthusiasm, they’re far more likely to be productive as a team. (And Linda will stop spitting in Ashley’s coffee.)
From virtual escape rooms to corporate scavenger hunts, team building gives people the chance to try new activities and take on new roles in a safe space, without worrying about mistakes. It’s an opportunity for more confident team members to support new or inexperienced staff and help them to find their way. If Amy can lead her team through a series of complex challenges with support and encouragement, she’s likely to take these skills back to the office and become more assertive. She might even ask Linda to stop stealing her favourite kitten pen.