Team communication is the foundation of building a highly collaborative work environment. When employees communicate effectively, they are more likely to exchange ideas freely and work productively to achieve the collective vision of the organization. In hybrid and remote work environments, communication often gets limited to using technical channels for communication. This impacts the social fabric and organizational culture drastically. To forge relationships between team members and improve communication, organizations can organize fun corporate team building activities that have a significant impact on building an organizational culture that motivates, inspires, and retains employees.
Communication is essential for any workplace and is even more important in the hybrid work environment due to the challenges associated with virtual connections. Collaboration tools and video conferencing programs can help bridge this gap, but it requires a certain level of commitment from all members of the team. Stepping up to embrace new technologies, understanding how team members are connecting and how they prefer to communicate, as well as asking how to support your team members are all important steps toward establishing strong communication in a hybrid office. Being flexible and recognizing that there might be some growing pains along the way will ensure everyone’s success in addressing how best to continue working effectively together.
Although there are many benefits, here are 5 ways in which team building activities help in building effective communication in a hybrid environment:
Builds personal bonds
Employees spend as much time with their colleagues as with their family members or other personal relationships. However, it is often misunderstood that workplace relationships cannot be personal. Leaders and management often stress the need for boundaries and avoid forming personal relationships as they fear being vulnerable and loss of productivity.
However, research has proven otherwise. When employees build personal bonds at workplace, they are more likely to come to work with a positive mindset which improves productivity. Team building activities help in nurturing these relationships by building strong communication between team members. While participating in team building activities, employees are less conscious of being vulnerable and understand each other better. These activities also build bonds that are resilient, lasting, and memorable.
Fosters trust, integrity, and empathy
When employees trust each other and the organization they are more likely to go the extra mile to achieve the organization’s vision. The pandemic has also proven that being empathetic does not encumber an organization’s productivity it rather enhances it. In a hybrid work environment, the need for trusting each other is heightened owing to reduction in face-to-face interactions.
Team building activities can help in fostering trust, integrity, and empathy in teams. These activities allow team members to understand each other on a personal level and act more humane to each other. Trust building activities are more effective when the leadership team participates.
Improves listening skills
Effective communication is not possible without active listening. Communication skills are often misunderstood to be speaking skills alone. However, without an active listen, communication is incomplete.
Active listen skills need to be cultivated to build stronger communication in teams. Team building activities help in doing so. As team members give time to listen and understand each other, they develop a need for listening to each other more often.
Team building activities also help team members embrace patience and identify non-verbal communication cues. Some examples of activities that are suitable for improving listening skills are free-walk, memory games, listen with your body etc.
Relieves stress and prevents burnout
When employees are stressed out or on the verge of burnout, they are less likely to be inclined to interact with one another. Whether it’s a remote, hybrid, or physical environment, the impact of stress transcends from professional to interpersonal interactions.
Therefore, it is important to have initiatives or activities that relieve employees of stress and allow time for personal wellness and recreation. Team building activities help employees in focusing on their mental health, rejuvenating themselves after a long day, or to make time for fun.
Having a relaxed and rejuvenated mind is key to effective interactions. Some examples of stress buster activities are virtual lunches, meeting together once a week for an outdoor activity, truth or dare etc.
Aids in conflict management
Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable in highly collaborative teams. When conflict is avoided or prevented, it leads to group think or behaviour that favours the status quo.
Instead, conflict needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Team building activities are an excellent conflict management strategy. During or after conflicts, team members often feel insecure or forbidden to share ideas.
Team building activities help in breaking these barriers. These activities impart a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and fun to the team which helps them rekindle and initiative conversations. Some examples of activities that aid in conflict management are icebreakers, group discussions, creative games etc.
Hybrid work environments are the future of work. As the world braces for further adversities and uncertainties, the shift towards hybrid work environments is accelerating. The reduction in personal interactions in hybrid and remote work environments need to be compensated.
Team building activities not only compensate for these interactions but are also a great strategy for employee retention. They are investment into the organization’s commitment towards employee well-being.