I recently read an article that posed the question “is team building a waste of time?” In the article, one of the problems stated was that the exercises did not translate into their current project and issues. This is a key component when identifying the right team building program for your group.

Some folks think team building is heading to the bar after work for a few drinks and chicken wings or playing putt putt golf. If you are looking for a fun social activity, then those may be great choices for you. If there are issues or skills in your team that you want to build upon, then kicking back a few beers will not improve communication skills and accountability. When searching for a team building program, its important to understand what you want the end result to be. Team building can mean different things to different people. For some, team building means fun, interactive activities. For others, team building connotes a process in which people address the issues that are inhibiting a positive and productive work environment.

Prior to any team building intervention, you need to have a clear understanding of your expectations. You may wish to consider those behaviors that you believe the group needs to Stop, Start and Continue.

If your team is not getting along, morale is down, everyone is overworked and annoyed with each other, and you decide to take part in a treasure hunt, you won’t end up solving any of your team’s issues. Think of it this way. You go to a wedding and sit at a table with family members who you typically don’t get along with. You’ll be cordial during the reception but when you are back home, your feelings toward your family wouldn’t have changed.

So why team building? Because team building can be high-energy, engaging and it can target specific issues and goals for your team or it can just be a day of fun.