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7 Simple Strategies for Effective Team Building

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Team building has been a catch cry in business for sometime. We probably all know the value of team building for improving effectiveness, boosting productivity and ultimately helping your organisation to be more successful.

However, do we know how to effectively build a team? What strategies are the most effective? Luckily, the best team building strategies are not necessarily the most expensive or complicated. Some of the best ways to build a team which works well together are also some of the simplest.

Let’s take a look at 7 great, simple strategies which will have your team working together productively in no time.

Ask: what makes a good team?

Before you implement a team building strategy, it would be useful to reconsider what would make for a successful team, as this would be a great way to measure your return on investment.

Research done by Google identified five characteristics that most successful teams have. These are: Psychological Safety or having feelings of security and trust within a team; dependability; structure and clarity; a meaningful goal and doing work that makes a genuine impact. Any good strategy should pay attention to at least one if not more of these aspects.

Open Doors or at least don’t close them all the way

An open door policy is essentially when leaders create an open environment which encourages employees to communicate and meet informally, raise any questions or issues that may be bothering them.

He explains that the theory behind this policy is that openness builds trust, collaboration, communication and respect. On the other hand, this is a passive policy and while beneficial it would be better to implement an active communication policy that will include features like regular one-on-one meetings, bi-annual career path meetings and well-run anonymous surveys. Check out TrainingConnection in Chicago for a hands-on business communication course for your team.

Boundaries and direction

While new-style businesses are trying to operate without a manager, the truth is that people need leaders, boundaries and direction. These are critical elements and essential for a team being able to achieve the organisation’s goals. This doesn’t mean, of course, that guidance and instructions can’t be given with respect and in a considerate way.

Industry figures show that 75% of the reasons that people quit their job are related to their manager. A lot of this is related to the current management structure, which calls on managers to do an essentially impossible job. Instead, experts advise, organisations should have leaders rather than managers. Leaders don’t tell people what to do. They ask hard questions and train others to make decisions, and then they get out of the way.

Manage Sensibly

A 2014 survey of employees showed that 59% of workers have been employed by “an overbearing, domineering, micromanaging boss at some point in their professional lives.” This will of course cause stress and frustration among employees and should be avoided.

Management should starts by motivating, encouraging, trusting and empowering team members. By making a conscious effort, you will find your team responds with dedication and confidence.

Tactical retreat

There are several great reasons why it works for a team to go on a retreat including research that shows a getaway will improve productivity and boost team bonding. Corporate retreats have been proved to be very successful team building strategies. There are many different ways you can run a retreat, from a focus on sport to a charity event, which are ideal for fostering team work in a positive setting. This doesn’t necessarily mean travelling, it could even be an event held on site but a departure from normal work tasks and meetings.


Instant feedback is important to a modern generation of workers. Feedback should be given in the form of recognition and appreciation. This strategy can also be used to increase healthy forms of competition and improve employee engagement. Gamification creates exciting, educational and fun learning experiences, increases engagement and boosts team members’ sense of accomplishment and retention. “In short, the application of game mechanics in team building has been shown to drastically increase its effectiveness,” the article added.

Give permission to fail

Sometimes the best way to learn is to fail first.

“Trial and error is a strategy that should not be avoided but embraced. After all, if you don’t experiment and try something new, then you can’t flourish,” an article published by Career Addict reads.  “A great managing method is to give your staff some level of autonomy on any project. By extending this independence, you’re highlighting your trust in each and every one of your employees.”

The article warns to expect some mistakes but adds that in the long run it is a solid strategy to ‘take a chance on your staff and they will take a chance on you.”

 Solve Team Problems

A great team doesn’t mean that everybody get along. In fact it would be reasonable to expect that some team members will struggle to work together. Mediation is one of the most successful strategies to solve team problems adding that this allows the team to focus on the work that really matters. As a leader, remember that is your responsibility to bring grievances into the open and clear up any interpersonal issues. At its heart, mediation is all about active listening.

If you need a fun but effective way to increase employee engagement – remind team members of your values and help your team engage with great goals, the team at is ready to help you get there – and they will throw in some happiness to boot.

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