AND CORPORATE TEAM BUILDING
An article by Elisa Castoro
A team shares space and values assuming interaction of ideas and skills and sharing of results until objectives are achieved. Participation, involvement, communication, trust, responsibility, and sense of belonging.
- Teams and Teamworking
- Outdoor Training
- Evolution of Outdoor Training
- Corporate training strategies and outdoor training
- The Kolb cycle
- Types of Outdoor Training
- Team Building, what is it?
- Importance of Team Building
- Fundamental skills
- Team Building exercises
Teams and Teamworking
Team, i.e. a group of people working together on a job or for the same purpose. A cohesive team has a better chance of achieving its goals.
“A team becomes great when its members stop thinking about I and start thinking about We.” (Japanese proverb)
In sports, the importance of teamwork is obvious. Combining one’s strengths, skills and skilfully mixing – the task of the team manager in the corporate environment – different characters inherent in the players, results in good teamwork and the achievement of the goal. The same tactics used in sports can easily be transposed to the corporate environment. Motivation, trust, communication, relationship. A corporate team aims to achieve an economic advantage. The correct human resources management ensures that the team works without mistakes and without dissatisfaction, without conflict, and with strong motivation.
There are many advantages of good teamwork that implies a fair distribution of tasks and workload, and a strong sense of belonging:
- Improved dynamism and efficiency
- Adherence to deadlines
- Better communication
- Exchange of knowledge and methods
- The interests of the team and the company outweigh personal interests
- Any failure is distributed to each team member
Coordinating the skills of team members, assigning each one the right tasks and duties, or modifying their roles over time, safeguarding the core elements underlying good teamwork can be achieved through constant monitoring of the Skills Matrix and also by resorting to Team Building practices.
The graph highlights the results obtained where a good team manager provides help in prioritising work activities.
Outdoor training refers to open-air activities that stimulate learning through experience and practical activities, focusing on the development of organisational and relational skills. Playful-sport activities are used to address topics related to Team Building, Team Work and Leadership in the corporate environment.
Evolution of Outdoor Training
Research conducted in the 1920s by the psychologist Elton Mayo showed how the productivity of a group of employees in a telephone company could improve substantially when the managers’ attentiveness to their team members was improved. In 1941 it became a real training methodology following the successes of the Aberdovery school in Wales. The school founded by German educationalist Kurt Hahn is the first outdoor training school, whose successes are consolidated and extended. ‘Go out to sea, out of the safe but stagnant waters of the harbour’ is the motto of the Aberdovery school. The outdoor training method is no longer restricted to young British aristocrats but spreads to large industrialists, managers, and overseas to the armed forces as a leadership development programme. Practical activities at sea – outward bound – tending to develop character and behaviour of mutual trust within a group, direct challenge with the wilderness, risk, discovery. Outdoors landed in Italy in the 1990s at the hands of psychologist Marco Rotondi, who made it a true training methodology. While maintaining its basic approach, outdoor training has evolved and been perfected by the contribution of other disciplines to the extent that it has been applied to corporate and organisational environments. Involvement in action stands for faster and more profitable learning, as the US educator David A. Kolb theorises – the Kolb cycle.
Corporate training strategies and outdoor training
Following the motto ‘experential learning’, the synergy of a corporate team is strengthened by means of engaging activities on an emotional, physical and cognitive level, linking to topics of corporate interest. Each individual develops his or her own potential, discovers new skills by relating to and observing himself or herself and other members within the group through briefing, de-briefing and review activities. Sharing group rules and experience, improving dynamics within the team, organising work and sharing strategies. The learning process, passing through a rapid activation and development phase, utilises three phases: action, de-briefing and elaboration of mental models. The feedback resulting from the outdoor training activities is aimed at the purpose of the training activity itself implemented.
The Kolb cycle
The Kolb cycle is a methodology that defines experiential learning as a process of four spiral steps: experience, reflective observation, conceptualisation, active experimentation. Experience involves the acquisition, development and improvement of skills and competences, which are then put back into a new process of experimentation and verification, and so into new experience. The cycle continues in the same way. Learning is facilitated by soliciting emotional intelligence. Experiential training simply adopts activities that have strong relevance to everyday life, we call them business metaphors.
Types of Outdoor Training
There are various types of outdoor training, such as small techniques (playful-metaphorical activities), outdoor management training (comprehensive and structured methodology), pre-set camps often using sport climbing activities – useful for improving communication in the group, better managing emotions and conflicts, recognising one’s own limits and those of others, sailing, Tibetan bridge and orienteering.
Team Building, what is it?
Team Building is understood as a series of training activities – team games, team experience, team wellbeing – that foster communication and fellowship between team members and improve their task-oriented performance. The exchange of roles fosters empathy and understanding of others. The employee develops skills relevant to his or her role. He/she develops analytical skills, listening, agility, commitment and leadership. Team building that is fun and appreciated by the employee breaks the routine, improves employer branding and decreases turnover. Being part of a team affects individual happiness, significantly alleviating the onset of stress and burnout. 27% of employees who do not feel any connection to the work environment resign (source: Bit.) The profitability of companies that boast committed employees and teams increases 2.5 times more than companies that lack a non-cohesive team (source: Hay Group). Team Building as a corporate strategy creates and sustains those recognised values inherent in the company. Team Building literally ‘building a team’, has its origins in the methodology of outdoor training.
Productivity increases by 20 per cent and personal well-being by 80 per cent when a team performs Team Building practices (source: Atlassian).
Importance of Team Building
The dynamism inherent in team building meetings and the effectiveness of the results is driving more and more companies to invest in this area of training, highlighting its strategic importance. In the UK, there has been a marked increase in corporate investment in team building activities that lead to the achievement of an empathetic and positive working climate. The enhancement of the employee on a professional level goes through the valorisation of purely human and personal aspects. Team building as a useful means of achieving important objectives such as:
- Knowledge, socialisation and networking
- Team spirit, motivation
- Improved communication
- Greater synergy, improved teamwork
- Identification of roles and responsibilities
- Improved problem solving, negotiation and creativity
- Optimising performance
- Stimulating competition
Outdoor training develops certain individual and group skills that prove to be fundamental for improving company productivity. Competent, motivated and capable people make a team, a winning team.
Team Building Exercises
There are a variety of team building practices that can be adopted in the corporate environment, depending on the objectives to be achieved. Role-playing, climbing, archery, ball throwing, adventure, Tibetan bridge, sailing, escape room, trust game, marshmallow challenge, sports competition. By focusing on the participants’ soft skills, the goals are achieved.
TAG: #Team building #outdoor training #training #team work #skills #business metaphor
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