Not another teambuilding event

High performance teams can benefit from teambuilding.

Before you embark on spending money on another expensive team building event, ask yourself: "What is it that I want to achieve by doing this?" If you want more than just a day of fun, playing team building games with your co-workers, consider why your team needs building.

The best teams function well as a unit.

A key part of team work is having an understanding and awareness of how each member of a team functions and how they all fit together. With increased awareness and understanding effective goals can be set and actions identified to increase the performance of the team. And this is where you need to consider what you want out of team building. Bonding through fun or a deeper understanding and awareness of one another which enforces the psychological contract and lays the foundation for; or enhances higher performance in teams.

The psychological contract

Employers already have so many contracts in place, but one of the most important aspects in any given relationship is the unwritten psychological contract. This contract refers to the relationship between an employer and its employees and concerns the mutual expectations of inputs and outputs. Simply put it is the fairness of how the employee is treated by the employer versus what the employee puts into the job.

Where this contract differs from other physical contracts, is that it represents a notion of trust or understanding, which can exist for one or a number of employees, instead of a legal document which might vary from one employee to another. This contract embodies the sense of collective feelings within a workplace. Whilst each individual holds their own personal view of what this psychological contract means at a personal level, at an organisational/group level the collective view is far more significant. The contract extends further than just employer/employee, but also brings into context employee/employee or team dynamics, and should be seen as dynamic and reciprocal that allows a sense of transparent mutual expectations.

Like a Rose

When an employee feels bad, they will to look for someone else to blame. This typically occurs when their emotional reserves and/or self-image is low. When an employee looks for someone to blame he/she tends to put the employer high on the list. The perception of the employer worsens.

The psychological contract is now the thorns on the rosebush mostly because the employee feels bad.
Conversely, when an employee feels good and the self-image is strong, he/she tends to see the employer more positively. "I like my work (and my boss) because I feel good." The psychological contract now smells of roses.

When people are happy at work they are more emotionally positive, resilient and flexible. These attitudes make it easier for people to adapt to and accept change, and to tolerate and be flexible in response to unexpected demands or irritations.

This is true in life generally, not just in work. To handle change - or any potentially negative effect - we need strong emotional reserves.

Emotionally positive people tend to be resilient and flexible. They also tend to rationalise events in a positive way, even events that in other circumstances might be regarded as potentially threatening.
Positive attitude, mood, and frame of mind are very powerful in turning perceptions and opinions into helpful realities.

It is human nature for happy satisfied people to see the bright side of things, just as it is human nature for unhappy dissatisfied people to see the negative and to fear the worst.

Unhappy employees are emotionally not able to be very tolerant or flexible when their employer needs them to be, which makes managing the psychological contract much more difficult.

High performing teams
6 pillars of teamwork
Build trust and motivate
Being a trusted team-player or working in a trusted group, where people show up and do great work, happens when trustworthy leaders embrace the power trust brings.
Managing conflict
Good conflict among Team Members requires trust, which is all about engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate around issues.
Embrace diversity
A diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary to drive and foster creativity and guide business strategies. Multiple voices lead to new ideas, new services, and new products, and encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
Achieve commitment
In order for any strategy to have a chance at succeeding, commitment and dedication from every team member is required. In order for this to happen, each team member must be accountable to one another
Healthy and balanced staff are able to maintain the equilibrium between the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional, they are better able to control and react positively to the circumstances that they are faced with on a daily basis.
Results focused
Develop a clear unambiguous simple measure of team function, in order to remove individual egos from the game plan.

So while team building interventions that revolve around activities and games are fun and worthwhile, one needs to also factor in a soft skills element which teaches delegates about the six pillars of teamwork and incorporates a theoretical aspect where this knowledge can then be incorporated into the dynamic. A holistic approach to a team building intervention will ensure all of your bases are covered, that positive psychological contracts are entrenched and your team is motivated to work together with mutual understanding and a common goal.


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