An event during which people shift focus from their daily routines and responsibilities to personal or group development.
Team building refers to a wide range of activities intended to help a team become an effective performing unit. To achieve this, team building aims to increase team members' awareness and understanding of their working relationships by focusing on their interactions with each other. The purpose is to create a cohesive group from a set of individuals and avoid common pitfalls that can undermine a team, such as conflict, miscommunication, and lack of trust.
Team-building activities require the participation of all team members. These often take place when a team is first created and can include activities such as the team working on a brief exercise to begin the process of collaboration or individuals simply introducing themselves. Sometimes organizations use more intensive and time-consuming activities such as off-site, day-long retreats with an agenda that can include interpersonal bonding exercises, simulations, personality and communication style assessments, and group-dynamics games. The human resources department may coordinate team building, though sometimes companies hire consultants or trainers skilled in facilitating those types of activities.
A team can also benefit from team building after its work has begun. Sometimes teams recognize that members are missing abilities that make collaboration easier, such as problem solving or conflict-resolution skills. Training sessions that address these deficiencies build the team's ability to work together. After people have been working together for a while, socialnorms can develop that interfere with a team's performance. Individuals might be afraid to challenge decisions if it has become unacceptable to question a team's leader, or work habits such as tardiness to meetings may have become commonplace. A discussion among team members creates an opportunity to address factors that are standing in the way of their working together effectively.