Team Building Objectives & Goals: Basic Guide

Home » Resources » Team Building ObjectivesUpdated: March 18, 2022

This is our guide to team building objectives and goals.

Team building objectives are wider results leaders hope to achieve by implementing a team building program and typically apply on an organizational level, while team building goals are immediate outcomes desired from these activities and are usually team-specific. Examples of team activity objectives include breeding loyalty and uniting a virtual workforce. Examples of team activity goals include fostering creativity and developing relationships.

These concepts are related to team building best practices, reasons to do team building, and team building strategies.

Specifically, this post includes:

  • team building objectives
  • team building goals
  • team building purpose vs. team building importance

So, here is the guide!

List of team building objectives

From conflict resolution and prevention, to return on investment, to communication, here is a list of the most influential team building objectives.

1. Breed Loyalty

Charities send small tokens such as address labels or ornaments with donation requests because individuals who receive a gift feel more compelled to offer some sentiment in return. Scientists call this phenomenon the law of reciprocity. As this Forbes article explains, the practice is powerful; small gifts produced a 75% increase in donations. You can also apply this concept to employees and the process of team building.

Team building events are not only opportunities to build skills and relationships, but also for employees to show worker appreciation. Factors like meals, entertainment, and prizes that help frame the exercises as treats, not obligations. These events are enjoyable, relaxing, and offer an alternative to the standard work routine.

Though teammates may not consciously try harder in the wake of team building activities, these gestures inspire employees to work harder and stay with the company longer. By making a commitment to employees through enriching activities, companies encourage workers to return a similar level of dedication.

Of course, team building games alone are not enough to establish and maintain employee loyalty if there are other underlying organizational issues such as a lack of mobility, wage discrepancy, or constant crises. However, combined with other good management practices, team building can be a powerful tool for enacting mutual respect and fostering dedication among employees.

2. Share Company Culture

If you walked into a Chick-fil-A restaurant and a grumpy employee greeted you with a string of curse words or outright ignored you, then you might be pretty confused and upset. Chick-fil-A’s claim to fame, besides delectable fried chicken, is exceptional customer service. No matter which location you visit, you can expect to see smiles and hear the phrase “my pleasure,” because the company emphasizes a personable and positive experience for every customer.

Company culture is important. Values, missions, and priorities tell customers what to expect from the brand as a customer, and workers what to expect from the organization as an employee. You want to execute consistency throughout your company. One outlying employee or manager can derail the company’s goals, intentionally or unintentionally. By initiating team building activities, you send a message about the kinds of teams you want to design.

For instance, if you value ingenuity and innovation, then you may host an event like a hackathon that challenges groups to invent new products. If hospitality is one of your  aims, then you may pamper staff with a stellar spa service as an example of great accommodation. If knowledge and continued growth are highly-sought organizational assets, then you may opt for a personalized museum tour or an educational-yet-fun lecture.

Team building exercises allow you to easily build and share a strong company culture to ensure that each employee understands and embodies company values.

3. Save Money

There is a reason that companies pay for team dinners, group tickets to sporting events, company retreats, escape rooms, and motivational speakers. This kind of education and entertainment does not come cheap,yet these activities bring lasting benefits that outweigh initial costs.

Corporations continue to invest in team building because these efforts can offer a solid return on investment. Organizations with strong teams have greater employee satisfaction, and thus less staff turnover. Not only do companies save money on hiring and training new employees, but these organizations develop a positive reputation that can help attract and retain talent.

Furthermore, coworkers who employ effective teamwork by communicating, delegating, and self-regulating conflict achieve better results at a quicker pace, conserving organizational resources and improving the company’s bottom line.

4. Foster employee bonds

A Gallup study found that employees who have close, positive bonds with coworkers are more engaged and engaging, produce better quality of work, and achieve a higher level of on-the-job satisfaction. In fact, employees who claim to have a “work best friend,” are seven times more likely to exhibit workplace enthusiasm and high performance.

Employees with strong ties to the team are happier, highly conscientious, and more productive. Team building activities encourage employees to care about the wellbeing of coworkers, and by extension, the health of the company at large. Team building exercises help promote trust, compassion, and respect, helping colleagues form more robust relationships that inspire intense commitment.

Here is a list of ideas for team bonding.

5. Encourage communication

Even if colleagues possess good intentions, assistance can go awry if colleagues fail to communicate. Long-term collaborators may begin to expect that teammates will read minds and guess the right course of action without explicit instructions, meaning that even well-bonded groups can benefit from a refresher course on communication.

Team building games challenge employees to discuss, instruct, clarify, listen, and compromise in time-sensitive environments. Team building activities also introduce and acquaint coworkers so that colleagues feel more comfortable initiating conversations.

Here is a list of ways to improve communication at work.

6. Build Skills

Perusing resumes during the hiring process allows managers the opportunity to gauge a candidate’s technical skills. Throughout the interview process, an interviewer can measure the interviewee’s people skills. However, an employee will only demonstrate true teamwork skills once on the job.

Team building exercises offer leaders the ability to evaluate and improve colleague’s collaboration skills. These activities prevent situations that require participants to respond with competencies such as listening, persuasion, and delegation.

Teamwork skills can vary from individual to individual and group to group, but a conscious team building process allows members to polish teamwork techniques. Even if a worker excels at competencies such as reliability, influence, and leadership, then a teammate may need to practice collaboration within the context of the particular team dynamic. Team building activities allow employees to focus on teamwork and master skills that enable frictionless cooperation.

7. Teach conflict prevention and resolution

The best teams are diverse, consisting of different combinations of ages, backgrounds, skill sets, problem-solving approaches, and perspectives. Varying traits allow for an increase in creativity, comprehensive analysis, and potential solutions. Such differences give teams an edge over competition, but can also lead to conflict. To function effectively, teams must learn how to prevent or resolve such conflict.

Team building games teach teams to function effectively. To reach group goals, employees must listen, compromise, and communicate. Team building activities build bonds and relationships between team members, which also helps promote peace. However, even the most tightly knit groups are bound to disagree at times. The goal of group harmony is not to completely avoid clashes but to disagree respectfully and reach a calm consensus. Team building teaches tactics such as negotiation and traits such as empathy that help team members deal with conflict in a way that does not harm team dynamics or group productivity.

Here is a list of conflict resolution activities for work and a guide to team building interventions.

8. Unite a virtual workforce

As the business world shifts more towards the remote work model, leaders look for ways to unite and engage a digital workforce. While working from home, you might never meet with colleagues until partnered on a project, and even then, you may only correspond in a series of emails. Team building activities, virtual or in person, humanize remote teammates and help battle feelings of disconnection and isolation.

Virtual offices lack common spaces that provide opportunities for natural discussion, weakening work relationships and contributing to feelings of loneliness. Online team building activities such as digital happy hours, online murder mysteries, and virtual coffee dates help distant colleagues socialize and boost a sense of belongings. Online team building activities can help workplaces feel more cohesive. However, you do not need to limit your virtual teams’ interactions to digital team events. Though online gatherings are easier to plan and execute, you can also coordinate in-person events as time and budget allows. Annual team building retreats are a great way to unite a scattered workforce and enable more intimate connections.

Here is a list of ideas for team building virtually.

List of team building goals

Goals are aims that leaders hope to achieve through team building. Here are some of the most common goals.

1. Improve Productivity

Lack of belonging, absence of recognition, an excess of meetings, and toxic coworker relationships can all cause low productivity in the workplace. Strong team building can help mitigate all these factors.

When teammates trust each other to do the work, employees feel the presence of a support system and a safety net, and stress lessens. Workers that identify as a valued member of the team feel a strong sense of belonging. Kind, respectful coworkers create a healthy and positive work environment. Teammates can call each other out for great work even when bosses are too busy to recognize accomplishments. When colleagues develop rapport and mutual understanding, employees spend less time explaining motivations in meetings.

All teams can benefit from a productivity boost. Even teams that function well together can raise efficiency by aligning objectives, agreeing readily, communicating more, and trusting each other. A strong team runs faster and quieter, like a well oiled machine. Team building helps teams function more efficiently, which translates into stronger performance.

2. Increase Communication

Humans invented some interesting forms of communication: cave paintings, smoke signals, coded radio signals, messenger pigeons. We have more ways to communicate today than at any other point in human history: text, email, phone fax, chat, online comments, social media, messenger apps, to name a few. Yet despite all the options, we are sometimes no more effective at delivering a message than our caveman-grunting ancestors. No matter how many conversational tools we may have at our disposal, communication is still a skill we need to master and practice in order to excel.

Team building activities teach teams how to talk to each other. Teammates may brainstorm possible solutions to tough team building challenges like building a spaghetti tower, discuss strategy during team building games such as the Amazing Race, or chat casually with the help of icebreakers during team happy hours. Either way, team building encourages teammates to communicate, which emboldens employees to start conversations outside of these exercises.

Efficient communication means less miscommunication and frustration, fewer errors and conflicts, and happier, friendlier, faster, and more productive employees. Communication is absolutely essential for collaboration. Until we learn how to read minds, we need to be able to present our ideas concisely and clearly. Team building activities give employees the tools to instruct and update other teammates.

3. Foster Creativity

We imagine the lone artist or inventor in a studio, sketching a prototype or painting a  masterpiece. We often consider innovation to be an individual action. Yet creativity has always been a collaborative process. Even the seemingly solo dreamers draw influence from other creators. Not to mention, when the time comes to edit and revise, an audience helps the composer sort the good ideas from the bad and make improvements.

Creativity is a joint effort in the workplace, too. The most cutting-edge and dynamic ideas are not the brainchild of a single worker, but the efforts of a supportive team. Teams act as sounding boards for ideas and expand concepts by adding insight and different perspectives. Team building can help build an environment conducive to inventive thinking. In his book Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Studios, writes “getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.”

Workers must feel comfortable around colleagues to propose new and risky ideas. Team building activities help teammates exhibit vulnerability and establish trust. Team bonding also builds close relationships that prime colleagues for giving and receiving criticism gracefully. Team building efforts allow group members to feel safe enough to present unusual concepts without fearing consequences.

Here is a list of books on creativity.

4. Build Trust

Teamwork takes trust. Teammates divide duties and count on each member to complete a share, yet all group members are accountable for the final results. For team members to work happily and effectively, colleagues need to have faith in collaborators.

A study done at Google found that the two main indicators of team effectiveness were psychological safety and dependability. Group members need to feel that teammates will not rebuke or tease each other for sharing ideas. Team members also need to feel that teammates will complete quality tasks on time.

Teams that trust make quick decisions and present more daring ideas. These groups spend less time checking each other’s work, and delegate tasks more efficiently. Group members who feel assured of teammates’ skill and reliability do not hesitate to  pass control to a colleague.

Team building builds this kind of trust among groups. Feelings of familiarity help foster trust. For instance, as this article from the Guardian reveals, we are more likely to trust a stranger who looks like an acquaintance. On a similar note, we are more likely to have confidence in a colleague we know on a personal level. Team building exercises help us get to know coworkers better, which helps us let our guards down.

Team building activities humanize coworkers by thrusting teams into silly, challenging, or vulnerable situations. As a result, we see team members as fallible people, and are more willing to take risks in front of these individuals. Furthermore, team building activities require us to work together to achieve goals, which forces us to rely on others.

Here is a list of trust building exercises.

5. Develop Relationships

A study by Cigna showed that over sixty percent of American adults reported feeling lonely. Those feelings impact work performance. At least one tenth of lonesome employees reported underperforming at work. Experts determined that disconnected workers utilize more sick days and consider quitting more often than more socially-satisfied colleagues.

Because we spend upwards of one-third of weekly waking hours on the job, many of us socialize with coworkers more regularly than with friends or extended family. Work relationships are a significant part of an adult’s overall social life. Team building activities present the opportunity to build great relationships with colleagues.

Building rapport helps teammates value other teammates and feel valued by colleagues on multiple levels. Team building helps us recognize our coworker Lucinda as a skilled fire juggler and an otter enthusiast, not just the colleague we visit when we have accounts payable. Employees feel appreciated for all identities and talents, not just job titles. Caring about our coworkers’ health and wellbeing invites our coworkers to care about us in kind, and inspires all team members to care about the overall welfare of the company. Plus, having friends just makes every day seem more pleasant, and certainly makes the workdays pass faster.

Check out this list of relationship building activities.

6. Boost Morale

Boosting morale is one of the most meaningful team building goals. Employee satisfaction creates a more positive and prosperous work environment. Happy employees achieve more and linger longer. Team building activities are a great way to raise employee morale and rejuvenate energy in the workplace.

Team building exercises are educational, but also enjoyable. Though teaching teamwork skills such as conflict resolution, decision making, and problem solving is crucial, allowing employees opportunities to relax and play is equally important. Fun is not frivolous. Rest and amusement allows employees to recharge, refocus, and re-energize, helping workers tackle upcoming tasks with speed and enthusiasm. Overwork can lead to burnout and apathy. Business requires a mix of labor and leisure. As Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining,” put it, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Besides entertaining, team building also sparks team spirit. These experiences build camaraderie among groups, and help foster feelings of belonging. Teams celebrate shared accomplishments and support other teammates. The morale-boosting effects of team building are long-lasting. When teammates fall into the habit of acknowledging peers, every day at work becomes a mini pep rally.

Here is a list of morale boosting ideas for work.

7. Enhance Engagement

Gallup estimated that unengaged employees account for a staggering half of the US workforce. Lack of employee motivation translates into employee absenteeism, wasted company time, on the job errors, lower customer satisfaction, and worker turnover, all of which affect a company’s bottom line.

Disengaged employees show up to work to collect a paycheck; engaged employees clock in to make a difference. Professionals crave meaningful work. Colleagues long to contribute to a worthy cause. Team building helps reframe individual performance as part of a larger effort. These team experiences transform participants from passive order-followers into active contributors.

Team building efforts can backfire, however, when the collaboration excludes certain team members. For team building to be effective, measures should actively involve all teammates; otherwise, the enterprise may further alienate and disengage already isolated team members.

To truly reap the rewards of team bonding, you should include all teammates in activities and give every member an opportunity to share. You can achieve this end by selecting complementary partners on projects, assigning duties that encourage reserved teammates to take a more active role, and soliciting opinions from shyer or quieter team members. You can also foster a culture of acknowledgment among employees by encouraging teammates to compliment each other and shout out great work. By making every member feel heard and seen, you ensure each teammate feels indispensable instead of replaceable, which encourages your employees to engage in the work.

Here is a list of employee engagement best practices.

Team building purpose vs. team building importance

The difference between team building purpose and team building importance is that importance explains why team building matters, while purpose outlines the reasons to do team building. Purpose centers around the specific goals of team building, while importance refers to the significance of the general concept. Team building purpose provides context behind an organization’s motivations to implement team building.

Conclusion

Having objectives and goals in mind is an important part of the team building process. Doing random activities may entertain and benefit employees, however leaders can only extract the maximum value from team building activities by knowing what they hope to accomplish. Goals and objectives create guideposts for designing team gatherings as well as ways to measure the

Next, check out these lists of books on team building and leadership.

We also have a guide to team building days.

FAQ: Team building objectives

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about team building objectives and goals.

What are team building objectives?

Team building objectives are positive outcomes of team bonding activities and reasons why companies invest in team building. Objectives of team building include factors such as developing loyalty, sharing company culture, and building skills. These outcomes are also known as “team building goals.”

What is the purpose of team building?

The purpose of team building is to develop teamwork competencies such as communication, compromise, and collective reasoning. These exercises reframe success in terms of group outcomes, and encourage teammates to adopt a team mindset even after the activities end.

What is the importance of teamwork?

Companies consist of individual workers laboring together towards a shared goal. If employees fail to coordinate goals and efforts, then the group may undermine each other’s attempts and fail to achieve the desired results. To reach success, teams must function as a unit, aligning every action and intention with the overall good of the group.

What are reasons for team building?

There are several reasons to initiate team building. Of course, team building advantages offer compelling arguments in favor of the practice. However, there are also certain circumstances that may merit the action.

Some of the specific reasons to do team building include:

  • The birth or rebirth of a company
  • An influx of new employees to the organization
  • Company restructuring or team reassignment
  • Formation of a remote team or workforce
  • Noticeable lags in communication
  • Significant employee turnover or absenteeism
  • Considerable interpersonal conflict
  • Intention to motivate employees or boost morale
  • A desire to build employee skills
  • Team retreat or other unifying company event

You should note that while these situations can be catalysts for team bonding, team building is by no means an immediate or one-time fix. Ideally, team building should be an ongoing process and a regular part of workforce development. Just as going to the gym once a year will not turn you into a bodybuilder, performing a single team building exercise at random will not form a supergroup.

Regardless, the items on the list above provide a guideline of situations when team building measures may be most appropriate or beneficial.

What are team building outcomes?

Team building outcomes are the results of your team bonding efforts. Some of the positive outcomes of team building include:

  • improved communication
  • increased innovation
  • collaborative mindsets
  • stronger company culture
  • greater employee engagement
  • more confident employees
  • robust relationships
  • boosted productivity
  • reduction of human resources expenditure

Of course, you cannot always guarantee these results, but if you follow team building best practices and prepare meaningful activities, then you are likely to build rapport and high regard among your team members and achieve favorable outcomes for the company at large.

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