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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Team Builder

Team building is a vital aspect of nurturing effective, cohesive, and high-performing groups within organizations. It encompasses a range of activities and initiatives designed to enhance teamwork by fostering communication, improving interpersonal relationships, and aligning team members around shared goals.

From problem-solving exercises and outdoor physical challenges to skill development workshops and collaborative projects, team building can take many forms, each aiming to break down barriers in the workplace, boost morale, and increase overall productivity.

What are the key elements of effective team building?

The key elements of effective team building are:

  • Clear objectives: Establish what you hope to achieve with your team building activity, be it improving communication, boosting morale, fostering innovation, or simply having fun.
  • Inclusivity: Design activities that are accessible to all team members, regardless of physical ability or personal interests, to ensure everyone can participate fully.
  • Communication: Activities should encourage open dialogue and enhance listening skills among team members.
  • Collaboration vs. competition: Aim for a balance where activities encourage teamwork and collective problem-solving rather than fostering unhealthy competition.
  • Engagement: Activities should be engaging and demand active participation from everyone to be effective.
  • Reflection: Allow time for participants to reflect on the activities and discuss what they learned and how it can be applied to their everyday work.
  • Follow-up: Effective team building doesn’t end with the activity. Continuous efforts and follow-ups are essential to reinforce the benefits over time.
Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

Where can you find resources for team building activities?

The areas where we can find resources for team building activities:

  • Books and eBooks: Many books on management and team dynamics include chapters or even entire sections on team building exercises (e.g., "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni).
  • HR professionals and consultants: Specialists in human resources often have experience and resources that can be tailored to different team sizes and types.
  • Corporate training companies: These companies provide structured team building programs that can be customized to suit your team’s needs.
  • DIY blogs and articles: Numerous business blogs and websites publish articles with creative ideas for team building activities.

Who should be involved in planning team building exercises?

The people involved in planning team building exercises are  

  • HR department: Typically has the expertise and experience to lead the planning and execution of these activities.
  • Management: Involvement from various levels of management ensures that the activities align with broader business objectives and company culture.
  • Team leaders: Direct supervisors or team leaders can provide insights into the specific needs and dynamics of their teams.
  • Employees: Including a representative group of employees in the planning process can ensure that activities meet the interests and expectations of a broader group.
  • Professional facilitators: For more elaborate or objective-driven activities, professional facilitators can help design and conduct effective exercises.

When is the best time to conduct team building activities?

The best time to conduct team building activities are

  • During periods of change: Such as after a merger, acquisition, or significant shifts in company strategy, to help employees adjust and unite.
  • Start of major projects: To boost cohesion and align goals.
  • Regular intervals: E.g., quarterly or bi-annually, to maintain and strengthen team dynamics.
  • After achieving milestones: Celebrating successes together can reinforce a sense of collective achievement and belonging.
  • When onboarding new employees: Helps integrate new hires into the team more effectively.

Why is team building important for remote teams?

The importance of team building for remote teams are

  • Overcomes isolation: Connects team members who might feel isolated due to physical distance.
  • Ensures consistent communication: Helps establish routines and tools for effective online communication.
  • Fosters a sense of belonging: Helps remote employees feel as much a part of the team as those in the office.
  • Encourages informal interactions: Provides opportunities for casual interactions, which can help strengthen bonds and improve collaboration.
  • Adapts to global teams: Can be designed to accommodate different time zones and cultural contexts, ensuring inclusivity.

Are there any proven benefits of team building for productivity?

Yes, there are proven benefits of team building for productivity. Let’s look at them

  • Improved collaboration: Clearer communication and better relationships can streamline project management and cooperation.
  • Enhanced problem-solving: Diverse teams with strong bonds can more effectively brainstorm and tackle workplace challenges.
  • Reduced conflict: Regular team building can reduce misunderstandings and conflict, leading to a smoother workflow.
  • Increased loyalty and retention: Engaged employees are more likely to remain with a company, reducing turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new staff.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What are some innovative team building exercises for virtual teams?

The innovative team building exercises for virtual teams are

  • Virtual reality team adventures: Use VR platforms to engage in collaborative tasks or explore new environments.
  • Online workshops or classes: Learn a new skill together, such as a cooking class, photography, or even a language.
  • Remote fitness challenges: Engage in a fitness tracking challenge where members can participate and update the team on their progress.
  • Cyber scavenger hunts: Utilize apps or websites to create scavenger hunts that can be done individually but shared with the team.
  • Interactive webinars with live polls and Q&A sessions: Not only educational but also a great way to engage large teams and encourage interaction.

How does team building contribute to employee engagement?

The ways in which team building can contribute to employee engagement are:

  • Connection: Team building helps employees connect with one another, building relationships that enhance enjoyment and satisfaction at work.
  • Motivation: Engaging in non-work-related activities boosts morale, which in turn can increase motivation and overall job satisfaction.
  • Sense of value: By investing in team building, companies show employees that they are valued beyond their day-to-day output, leading to enhanced loyalty and engagement.
  • Skills development: Team building can help individuals develop new skills in a low-stress environment, which they can bring back to their roles, aiding personal growth and engagement.
  • Innovation and communication: Activities can stimulate creativity and improve communication among team members, factors that are key to a dynamic and engaging work environment.

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