Teambuilding activities are meant to improve the bond among the members of a team. These activities provide an opportunity for members to get to know each other. They find peoples strengths and weaknesses during these activities.
Some companies spend a lot of money to conduct these exercises even just once a year. The intention is good, but things dont usually end up the way they are supposed to be. Instead of bringing people together, they are torn apart. These are some reasons why teambuilding exercises fail.
The exercises are irrelevant
You conduct these exercises because you want to make people learn from the activities and apply what they have learned on their job. The problem is that the nature of the exercises is quite irrelevant to what people are supposed to do at work. They end up feeling lost and confused during the exercises, and they bring nothing home. Obviously, you dont give them the exact same activities related to their job description, but you need to at least have something close to it.
You force people to have the same realizations
After every teambuilding activity, it is important to provide an opportunity to reflect and share ideas. The problem is when you have a conclusion in mind that you want everyone else to share. It is counterproductive because people wont view the activity under the same lens. They might come up with different realizations, and some might not even have one, but it is okay. The goal is for them to see the activity their way and learn from it.
No one bought the idea
It is a good thing to allow the members to immerse in the exercises. It is also good to know what the objectives of the activities are before letting everyone do them. However, even with careful planning, there are members who might still be skeptical of the results. They question the process and they dont believe in the conclusions made. It is okay for them to feel whatever they want to feel with the game. Dictating to them what they should think is counterproductive. You need to have a dry run of the activities and see how selected members respond before introducing them to the large group.
The activities dont address issues at work
Teambuilding activities are not supposed to be done only for promoting teamwork. They are meant to address issues at work that are stopping everyone from doing their job. It could be personal conflicts. It could also be time management issues. Anyone facilitating the activities need to know what the common issues at work are, and create activities related to these problems.
You need to accept that teambuilding activities dont always end up the way you wanted things to be. They can even make things worse. However, with careful planning and selection of the right activities, it is possible to succeed in achieving your goals. You also need to remind everyone to avoid being too competitive and have fun doing the exercises.
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