Over the years, company directors and supervisors have sought ways to increase inter-staff relations in order to maximize productivity through team building thus the coining of the term ‘Corporate Bonding’. ‘Corporate bonding’ is a term used to describe the establishment, development and maintenance of good social relationships between business contacts or colleagues. Over the past several decades, management theory has evolved from the promotion of competitive work environments to the development of cooperative ones.
An important element of corporate bonding is “Team building and it means a host of different things depending on who you ask. Some feel that it’s getting better acquainted, others think it should build trust, still others say it must improve communication, bonding, or learning how to solve problems as a group. In reality, team building is all of the above and more. A good team building exercise creates positive interaction among a group of people, and in doing so enhances their ability to work effectively as a team when they return to the workplace. Team building activities, whether they are five-minute games or week-long retreats, teach essential collaborative skills while helping employees develop trust in each other and each other’s abilities.
Various theories have been raised and hashed; and amongst others, corporate games have proven to be one of the effective ways to promote corporate bonding and Team building alike. Just as the term implies, ‘Corporate games’ refers to any activity that provides a means for the staff to let off steam, have fun and at the same time, exercise team building. It’s basically a time-out for the staff and provides them the opportunity to get to know one another. Corporate Games should involve activities that utilize key skills necessary to succeed in business e.g. Clear communication, Collaboration, Trust, Risk-taking, Leadership, Empowerment, Encouragement and Support. They can be organised indoors or outdoors depending on the nature of the game. Corporate games can be costly, but offer huge benefits for companies in the long run. This article gives an overview on some of the benefits of corporate games.
Benefits of corporate games
A team that plays together, stays together. Corporate team bonding games bring together staff as a team. People are too busy with their jobs sometimes, to notice each other, moreso in large scale companies. If they work in different departments or offices, the staff may not know each other at all and can hardly put a name to a face. Bringing staff together to play corporate games helps them to identify one another and improves their communication.
1. Relieving tension
Corporate games are a great way of relieving the tension or stress of workers. Not everyone gets along all the time and games can help to dissipate the potential for conflict. This is particularly important between supervisors and their staff where resentment can reach a crisis point. These activities help workers to see each other as people and not just fellow employees.
2. Client benefits
Corporate games can be even more fun if they are opened up to another office or extended to clients. Games like football, art competitions, or dodge ball are more fun to play with a larger audience. In the case of the clients, the games let them see the human side of staff and great connections can be made outside the workplace
3. Common Goal
Team building activities will help individuals to understand the need to cooperate to work together to achieve the corporate goals. Individual differences will have to be set aside and the company’s vision and mission, corporate culture will emerge as the underlying unifying force.
4. Improve Communication
Through carefully designed games, miscommunication among different departments will be brought up. This can be in the form of role plays from the teams to show the current challenges each department faces. Open and frank discussions to break down barriers and reconcile any differences can be discussed and employees could volunteer and give suggestions to improve communication. This will certainly help to create a more congenial work atmosphere in the future.
5. Problem Solving and Creativity
In the team building activities there will be group decision making and building project games by each team. Participants work in teams to solve puzzles and tackle problems. The fun atmosphere as well as learning oriented activities will produce leaders who will want to take charge. This also provides the Company an opportunity to study the participants’ behaviours at an informal setting as well as tap other participants who are usually quiet in formal office hours. and working under pressure within an allocated time frame will bring out new ideas and new talent.
6. Trust, Respect, Rapport
The team building activities and the deliberations that follow after every activity allow participants to give their views. The participants will have bonded in their teams and now view one another differently when they go back to office. There will be a sense of respect, trust, rapport and a sense of bonding among team members.
7. Individual Participant’s Benefits
The participant will learn to be an effective team player and team leader. He now understands his colleagues better, has mutual respect, trust and rapport with them. He learns some communication skills, problem solving techniques and most of all he feels energized, inspired and appreciative of the Company’s investment in him. He knows where he needs to improve himself in his communication skills and teambuilding skills. He sees the importance of group dynamics and his role in the Organization.
8. Organizational Benefits
The Company will be able to identify the self motivation and behavioural characteristics of the teams, not only of those who win, but also those who were left behind due to indecisiveness, lack of leadership or lack of cooperation.
Participants will leave the team building workshops with communication skills, problem solving skills and a new appreciation of teamwork and cooperation. This will bring about amore energetic workforce, increased productivity and increased sales and profitability for companies
Below are a few exercises that anyone can participate in—without fear of physical harm or looking silly to one’s associates.
The Cooking Challenge
This is a fun, unique twist in culinary teamwork. The staff is divided into groups of equal number before the day of the actual competition. Each team must choose a recipe for any dish of its choice, submit the recipe to the supervisors (to make sure no two teams prepare the same dish) and purchase the food items in advance of the competition with a budget of #2000. They could also come up with a name for their team and some sort of team identification (optional).
On the day of the challenge, each team will have 90 minutes to 2 hours to set up its stand (usually a table and canopy, which they can decorate with signage) and prepare the dish. The dishes will be served to a panel of judges (which could consist of important clients and a few supervisors) who will then select the tastiest and award a prize to the winner.
A talent hunt show can also be organized, preferably et the end of a long year’s work. You would be surprised at how much or how little talent your staff has. The hunt could be divided into different categories, for example- music, dance, art, etc. and judged by a panel of objective judges. Your staff will love this opportunity to flaunt what they have got and be appreciated for it. It might even provide some new ideas for the company.
This is a fun and chaotic activity that is a great ice breaker, meeting energizer and team builder– for any size meeting; 5 people to 500 or more can play. You can play it in 15 minutes or take longer—it is that flexible. You divide the group into teams of 5- 10 people. The object of the game is to have each team act out as many charades as possible for their own team members– in the period of 1 minute. For a generic version, you can use famous movie titles, but you could also use company trivia or whatever may be relevant to your industry. Of course, you can also use books, songs, etc. But whatever you choose, in order to insure speed, all titles should be of the same basic category. This is an activity that you can customize to suit your company.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
This is based on the popular television series. It is very entertaining and can be very informative. We use questions provided by your company for the contestants to answer. We start with a &fastest finger& round, and then move onto the &hot seat.& The &hot seat& contestant will have the three &lifelines,& &Ask the Audience, 50/50 and Ask a Friend.& There is room for improvising. This is a great learning tool for new hires or to reinforce information to existing staffers.
Monopoly games are very popular and could be organized using real money. The staff can play the game in 4 groups of 4-6 members and then the winner from each team goes on to the grand finale. The overall winner takes all! The same procedure could be used for other board games like scrabble and ludo.
Everyday games like football, volleyball, dodge ball, and even basketball can be organized as well. Track games like relay races, sack races, egg and spoon (a race which involves carrying a table spoon with an egg on it in your mouth. Once you drop the egg, you are disqualified) and Card games are also encouraged.
Make sure that competitive games are not split into teams that will worsen matters. Do not group “friends” against “enemies”, rather have people with a noted friction in the work environment pair up on a team. Try as much as possible to be the one to divide the groups. Have supervisors and workers teaming up together to work on solutions and problems. It is important that corporate time out means that they let go of their work personality and show their human side more. The staff will end up finding out interesting things about one another and will be able to see where similarities and interests lie.
Teambuilding is without doubt a vital element in the success factors of a growing and profitable organization. Together with dynamic leadership, it harnesses the resources of the workforce into a unified, motivated and focused team that drives performance to achieve corporate goals.
“None of us is as smart as all of us.”- Ken Blanchard
“Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
“In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity; every player must put the team first- ahead of personal glory.” – Paul Bear Bryant
Posted by Pearl O’Browne