Building Your Team

business people meeting

When you think of team building do you immediately think of your group off at a resort playing games; hanging from ropes; or completing some exotic puzzle or experiment? In the past, many organizations have approached team building this way.

Upon arriving back in the office, they wondered why that great sense of teamwork, experienced at the retreat or seminar, failed to impact long term beliefs and actions back at work.

Retreats, planning sessions, seminars and other team building activities are not necessarily unsuccessfully at encouraging teamwork, but they have to be part of a larger teamwork effort.

“Retreating” as a group for a couple of days each year cannot be the only team building you do if want a cohesive team.

Team building is something you must do every single day. Consider these suggestions to build an efficient, successful team: 

  • Teams should be formed to solve real work issues and to improve real work processes. The team should spend its time working on the project not on figuring out how to work together, so training on systematic methods may be appropriate to alleviate any uncertainties within the group.
  • To obtain input from the group and to coordinate shared work processes, hold department meetings to review the status of projects. When team members are not getting along as well as you would like, examine the work processes each person owns. The personalities of the team members often isn't the problem, but rather the team members may not have agreed on the steps required to get something done. An objective perspective can often help resolve this type of issue.

  • Fun and shared occasions into the organization’s agenda creates bonds within the team outside of the workplace. More often than not these bonds carry over back into the workplace creating a stronger team environment. Pot luck lunches; sporting events; organized dinners at a local restaurant; hiking; or trip to an amusement park are all events that have proven success at other companies. Talk to your team to find out which events will work best for your organization.

  • Using teamwork exercises at meetings or having creative ice breakers work well to get people more comfortable in the environment faster. It also helps team members to get to know one another. These activities can be limited to ten minutes. Despite being only a small investment of time, they create a invaluable feeling of team camaraderie.

  • Publicly celebrate the success of the team shows that the team did something worth rewarding. This will encourage others to be good team members and inspire a teamwork culture in the organization. The reward can be as simple as buying everyone the same t-shirt or putting team member names in a drawing for gift certificates. The options you have are practically limitless, but do what is the best fit for your organization.


After doing some of the teamwork activities noted here, you’ll be surprised by the progress you will make towards creating a teamwork culture. Your organization or team will become a culture that enables individuals to contribute more than they ever thought possible since they will now be working together.  


More resources on how to build effective teams: 


[ Teamwork ]

[ Back to Tools ]