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What are Team Building Days?

You have the team, everyone gets along, and you’re all producing great work. Why would you need a team building day when everything seems to going swimmingly?

It’s one thing for everybody to leave each other to do their jobs, but it’s another thing entirely for your team to have a strong sense of teamwork at its core. The best way to build these strong teamwork bonds is through team building events that are super-focused on strengthening relationships and making them battle-tested!

Contact us to learn about our exciting team building days.

What is a team building day?

Team building days take a group of people – for example, you and your work colleagues – and put them in situations designed to foster communication, understanding, and trust. Some leaders in workplaces like to organise their own team building days, often opting for something that everyone will enjoy whilst also needing to work together.

Others look to people like us at Team Academy to organise and carry out their team building days for them, which puts the day itself in the hands of experienced trainers who know the best ways to build a teamworking atmosphere.

Team building days tend to be energetic affairs that push people out of their comfort zones and try to place them in situations they’re not too familiar with. This might sound like torture to some, but breaking down barriers and inhibitions is exactly how these days work!

Many team building events can get quite physical, but you don’t need to be an athlete to get involved. A thoughtfully constructed team building day will let everybody play a part and be themselves without barriers.

What is the purpose of team building?

Team building does what it says on the tin: it builds a team up, making the team stronger and more effective.

But what is ‘building’ a team? What gets built when a team comes together in a day designed to strengthen them?

Team building can have a lot of different purposes depending on what the team and its leaders want to achieve:

Teamwork

An obvious answer, but team building days foster a team’s ability to work together. Teamwork is the sense of a shared purpose between people. It’s the common goal that brings you and your teammates together to achieve greater things than you can as individuals.

This is the basis of any successful company, sports team, and group project. Teamwork allows people to create work that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Confidence

Team confidence can be a difficult thing to build. One study found that the self-esteem of athletes who play individual sports tends to be higher than those in team sports. Our efforts alone don’t necessarily mean that we’re confident in the efforts of our team, especially if we’re still new to the people we work with.

Building confidence helps us understand the worth of our contributions and teaches individual members not to be easily drowned out by louder voices. It can also help teams that come to rely on leaders too much and give them room to develop their own decision making and critical thinking skills.

Diplomacy

Teams full of self-sure and naturally confident people might struggle to get anything done, despite the individual traits that make them up. This is only natural. When you group together people who are all passionate about being heard and sharing their good ideas with the team – as vital as those people are – you can commonly end up with a team that butts heads too frequently.

Team building days teach participants to give their teammates room to thrive and shows the value in supporting your colleagues in developing their own ideas, rather than needing to always push yours forwards. Leaders are important, but a team full of competing leaders is as good as stuck!

Motivation

A lack of motivation can be fatal to any worker. You can develop staff with skills and knowledge that makes them more technically capable, but if they have no motivation to work, it won’t make much difference if any at all.

Team building events help build motivation back up by reminding teammates what unique skills and mindsets they bring to the team, and why their work matters. Confident, motivated teams work together and go the extra mile, for themselves, each other, and the business.

Team building events can make a difference in many different ways. Don’t worry that your team can’t learn anything if you don’t have a specific area for development in mind – team building is as much about discovery as it is about mending and building people up.

 What are the main types of team building days or activities?

There are no hard and fast rules surrounding what a team building day needs to be. There aren’t any guidelines that need to be followed and there’s plenty of room to innovate.

Having said that, you could categorise team building days in some loose categories according to common ways that they’re structured.

Social events

Some team building days aim to be lowkey and calm. Wine tasting, a big meal out, or icebreakers might not necessarily be the most challenging of events, but they do take teams outside of their formal work contexts and let them have fun at a slower pace.

Social events can be great for a team that are already familiar with one another but need to relax and have a chance to come together for a good time. They’re well suited for introverts and people who don’t have the kind of energy to throw into more physical activities that their younger (child-free!) colleagues have.

Social events are also ideal for team members to make their own fun, discovering new things about each other and forming new bonds as they get into deep conversation in an informal context.

Challenges/Physical activities

These kinds of team building days aim to get the blood pumping and really test a team’s ability to physically come together and see a goal through. It’s not uncommon for physical challenge-based activities to make a team groan with dread, but they’re often the best approach and we here at Team Academy love them for a reason!

The many benefits of exercise are well documented, including boosted self-esteem, heightened moods, and stress relief. When physical activity is put towards team building goals, it produces a kind of feedback loop where your successes are sweeter because you achieved them with your team, bringing you closer and making you able to achieve even more together.

The highs of achievements earned as a team are the ideal catalyst to break down the barriers surrounding individuals and form stronger bonds between team members.

Workshops

Workshop sessions can be more cerebral affair than a physical challenge might demand, asking people to listen and think rather than work at a quick pace. That doesn’t make them any less effective, and in the right context, a workshop can see teams leaving with fresh perspectives and new ideas on how to get the best of each other.

Workshops are conducive to discussions that let people dig deep into the workings of their organisation, how teams are structured and how they could work even better for the benefit of everybody.

A workshop might be an attractive choice for teams that feel like they’re lost their way or need to work on the basics before tackling the specifics of their group-working dynamic.

Positive outcomes from team building.

A successful team building session comes with so many positive outcomes that it’s hard to list them all!

Team building days, at their core, are about shaking up the usual way of doing things. This means taking people a little outside of their comfort zones, asking them to up their energy and enthusiasm from the normal day-to-day, and learn something new both about themselves and their teammates.

Team building can not only bring quieter team members out of their shells, but it can also temper the ego of louder, more commanding voices that might need to take things down just a notch. Fostering a culture of respect in which everybody is heard and valued is vital for any team aspiring to be the best they can be.

Outcomes can be anything from a resolution to have a morning coffee get-together ten minutes at the start of the work day, to ground breaking epiphanies between leaders and the people who rely on them day to day.

Are these days tax deductible?

Yes! Team building costs are tax-deductible for businesses, and there’s a lot of flexibility on the form of that team building. HMRC does set some requirements to ensure the relief isn’t being exploited, but it shouldn’t restrict leaders making an honest effort towards team building.

Government guidance states that the work-related training is “any training course or other activity which is designed to impart, instil, improve or reinforce any knowledge, skills, or personal qualities which are, or are likely to prove, useful to the employee when performing their duties; or will qualify or better qualify the employee to undertake the employment, or to participate in charitable or voluntary activities arising through the employment.”

In other words, as long as there’s a provable gain to your company by undergoing some team building, your accountant has some good news.

Team Academy’s team building events

We know exactly how to build a team building day specifically for your needs. Our high-impact training programmes have lasting effects that will benefit your people for years to come, and we help them build memories that will keep them running even when the going gets tough.

To find out more about our awesome team building events, contact us today.

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