Why is team building and development vital for the success of a warehouse?
Let us take a look at the topic of team building and development.
Are Team Building Exercises Just An Excuse To Get Out Of Working?
Some of you might already be thinking, “Oh my gosh, do we really need to spend time on team building? In terms of training and development, that is so ‘90s.”
When in reality, it is that train of thought that feeds into one of the biggest myths around team building, that it is just an excuse to get out of the office. If we just go out golfing, play ropes, perform trust falls, and that sort of thing – are we really going to gain a lot from that?
Some of the things that we typically have done around team building have not really resulted in the kinds of gains that are needed to make high-performance teams.
A Lack Of Alignment Within Teams
A salesforce.com study showed that employees, as well as, 97% of leaders felt that the lack of alignment within teams was one of the biggest issues contributing to any failures that cropped up in different projects.
This idea of team cohesiveness, of being aligned and on the same page makes a difference to the success of many projects.
Case In Point
We once worked with a rapidly growing distribution business, and when a new general manager came in they wanted to make some improvements in operating performance because it had been suffering at that location.
At that time, some new team members had joined as well, and what could be evident was that there really was not a cohesive understanding amongst the leadership team. There was no clear vision of what the problems were and what the potential projects or solutions could be.
When they came in for training with us, we got them together and ran them through a straightforward workshop. As a result, they got on the same page and started to make some significant gains in their operating performance over time. This happened simply by paying attention to the group dynamics of the team and making sure that they had higher levels of trust.
Here are the components that contributed to this outcome.
Effective Team Building Exercises That Actually Work
There are three great activities to consider including a team-building/development retreat. These really work towards team building and development.
Activity Number 1: Walk A Mile In My Shoes
What you do is divide your people into teams. Then ask them to put themselves in the shoes of other departments or functions.
Ask them to think about:
- What are the key objectives of those other departments?
- What are the key frustrations that aggravate them or prevent them from hitting their goals?
- What kind of support could other departments lend to help contribute to the success of that department?
By rotating themselves into the shoes of these other functions, the team starts to develop a better understanding on the leadership level as to what others are dealing with and how they can contribute and collaborate to having just one team.
Activity Number 2: Emotional Intelligence
When you distill it down, really having an understanding of these key components can drastically improve your team’s relationships with one another. Have them answer the following:
- How do we look after one another?
- How can we contribute to the psychological safety of the group?
- What can we do to make sure that we are talking to each other in ways that are both respectful, but also possibly revealing?
Emotional intelligence can be a good exercise for your team to go through.
What can we do to make sure that we are talking to each other in ways that are both respectful, but also possibly revealing? Click To Tweet
Activity Number 3: Team-Based Problem Solving And Decision Making
One of the most popular topics that we often include in a team development session is our team-based problem solving and decision making. The approach that we have taken usually uses some form of a survival simulation. In this approach, team members have to first individually and then in teams figure out what their strategy is going to be. Then determine which items are most important or least important.
When teams go through that simulation; the highest performing teams are the ones that do not view this as a competition. They are not focused on “I am trying to convince you that my thoughts and decisions were better than yours”.
This is a collaborative way of maximizing the participation and involvement of people, even for those people who are quieter and may be less confident.
Become Part Of The Process, Not The Problem
How do we make sure that we are not overlooking a gem of an idea from those team members or just listening to the loud people speak and going in that direction?
One of the key takeaways for many leaders in that last activity is that they have to be mindful and not speak too early in the process because it will result in their people just falling in line with whatever their superior says.
Many leaders like the fact that people just “go along with their ideas,” but ask yourself, are you really allowing the team to contribute ideas and suggestions?
Many leaders like the fact that people just “go along with their ideas,” but ask yourself, are you really allowing the team to contribute ideas and suggestions? Click To Tweet
Takeaways From Team Building Exercises
The great takeaway from those three things is that these are really good tactical skills, while at the same time, building the camaraderie of a group as they go through those learning activities.
What Comes Next?
Once you have worked on building a more cohesive leadership team using team building, you might decide you want to work on some of your other leadership skills. At Front Line Leadership Training, we have got a very comprehensive program that will be beneficial for that. The advantage is that there are around a total of six days of content, but most people start with a few days of content and then build from there.
You can further explore or begin a conversation on our website at uniquedevelopment.com.
We can help you decide what the right solution is for you that will help to build the skills of your team. Whether that involves us coming on-site or delivering from our state-of-the-art virtual training studio, we can put together an interesting solution for you that gets you the results that you are looking for.
Most of our previous or ongoing customers have built on that and have grown into a much longer and more comprehensive program.
We look forward to helping your team become high-performing and therefore, in turn, creating high performance in your organization.