Appreciation breeds motivation and commitment. These high value traits can manifest themselves in a number of different ways, from increased discretionary effort to increased collaboration or working late to meet a deadline, but it’s fair to say we are all more likely to go the extra mile again and again because we feel appreciated for the role we play.

How an organisation chooses to show their appreciation can also have a significant impact on motivation and commitment. For example, team building activities can be an excellent way to show this appreciation, but it can also be a substantial investment – not just the cost of the activity, but also lost productivity through time out of the business.

If you are simply looking to have some fun, then low cost options such as bowling or a trip to the pub can have a short term, positive impact on morale, but does it have a positive impact on the bottom line? Probably not. What if you could combine fun team building with learning outcomes which improve business results? What if the experience could also align with your organisation’s vision and values?

In my opinion, fun and learning don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Having worked in the field of experiential learning for the past 9 years, I would argue that a key element of a team build session should be the opportunity to explore learning outcomes such as enhanced collaboration, open communication or effective team work; outcomes which can have a significant impact when applied back in the workplace.

Therefore, the most important question I ask people is, ‘What is it that your team do now that you would like to see them do differently?’ If you can unlock the vital behaviour you want to change within your team, then your day out of the office is no longer just about fun, it can add significant value in the long-term to the performance of your individuals, team and organisation.

So, when it comes to team building, don’t just settle for fun. If you focus on what you really want to achieve, your experience can also create a big return on investment.

To discuss team building opportunities that can change business results with Gaynor, please contact gaynor@gra.uk.com or call 01189 332222.

By Gaynor Sorrill, Business Development Executive, Grahame Robb Associates Ltd

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