Team building activities are essential to a healthy work environment. Danny Horwood, Customer Relations Manager at Foxtrail London, an outdoor team escape game through the streets of London, has put together his top 5 benefits of company team building. 
Team building activities can range from small games and trust exercises at work, to full weekends of scavenger hunts and retreats, which all provide skills which can then be transferred back to the office. They carry many advantages for both employees and employers to drastically improve employee engagement, but what exactly are the benefits of team building exercises and why should you invest in them? 
Build trust 
Team building exercises rely heavily on your team working together and trusting each other to carry out their role in the group. They’re a great way to give your employees a chance to bond and get to know one another whilst figuring out where everyone’s strengths lie. Going forward, they’re more likely to trust each other in group projects and to meet deadlines on time. 
These activities also give people a chance to become individuals instead of just their job title. Seeing those in senior roles outside of the work environment situates them as human beings, so staff are more likely to come to them with problems and trust them to lead effectively and empathetically. 
Improve productivity 
If your staff are able to work together more efficiently, they can work out who to rely on to carry out certain tasks, and where their efforts need to be more focused. These activities also teach employees how to be more accountable for their actions, which leads to greater care when working and a better finished product. 
Statistics from Sage state that 78% of employees agree that they are more productive when their work experience is a positive one. This percentage increases to a whopping 92% for millennials. Fun team building activities and the skills they develop contribute to a positive work environment and therefore improve productivity. 
Encourage creativity 
Team building activities often offer the opportunity to develop problem solving skills as well. These exercises rely on your staff to come up with creative solutions to their problems and encourages them to do the same in their working environment. Staff are therefore less likely to look to senior staff for help and will be able to generate solutions themselves, which will in turn increase productivity. 
Improve communication 
Team building exercises are designed so that each task would be impossible for just one individual to complete alone. This encourages the team to work together in order to reach each specific goal. Staff will be required to play to each other’s strengths to pitch imaginative solutions to problems, communicate on progress and share ideas. 
These activities also allow you to introduce and form bridges between different departments so they can learn more about what their colleagues do. This then allows them to build contacts with people who may be able to help them with any issues they may face in their own work. In the office, staff are more likely to communicate with each other to ask for opinions and collaborate on projects together to reach deadlines. 
Improve morale 
Not only are team building activities useful, but they’re also incredibly fun. 66% of employees state that being appreciated for their work is the most important part of their employment (Sage). By taking the time to organise trips and events, you are showing your employees that you value their input in the company and you recognise that they should be rewarded. Staff will also feel more positive about coming to work if they know and get along with everyone there. 
High staff morale also leads to higher levels of staff retention simply because employees are happier, feel valued in their work and know that they have the option to build upon their skills. This then leads to less time needed for training and quicker results. 
Team building activities are vital to maintaining employee engagement and showing staff your corporate values. They can also be hugely beneficial to your business by building trust, improving productivity, increasing staff morale, refining communication and encouraging creativity, all of which are important to keep your employees happy and the company running as smoothly as possible. 
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