Evidence That Team Building Events Work
It is notoriously difficult to prove the effectiveness of team building events. Often managers do not need to prove this, they will know when their team needs an event and will often have past experience of the method's effectiveness.
Studies have been made into team building and here we have assembled some of the findings with their sources. This is likely to be more of a student resource than something for our corporate end users.
Team Building, Trust & Cohesiveness
Challenge courses include high ropes and the more adventure based end of the team building spectrum. In The Journal Of Experiential Education K.D.Hatch and C.J McCarthy made the following observation (Exploration of Challenge Courses' Long-Term Effects on Members of College Student Organisations, 2005, Volume 27, Issue 3).
"Past research has indicated a number of short-term benefits stemming from challenge course participation. Benefits to the individual include increased self-efficacy, hope, self-esteem, leadership skills and improved mood. Group benefits include gains in team building, trust and cohesiveness."
Cooperation & Cohesion
Again in the Journal Of Experiential Education J.Maxwell (Increasing work group effectiveness: Combining corporate adventure training with traditional team building methods, 1997, Vol. 20, Issue 1) notes that;
"After several sessions of group initiatives on a challenge / ropes course teams often exhibit greater cooperation and sharing of power than they do in their normal work environment. Group initiatives also promote people's 'natural role' on the team to emerge.
Once the team member has distinguised his / her own role they can begin to feel as though they have purpose toward the betterment of the team. This aspect of team cohesiveness can lead to many individiual benefits as well."
More often than not individuals may not show their true personality and extent of what they are capable of throughout their day to day working life sometimes sticking to what they know and what is expected of them. Through teambuilding team members can get to know one another on a personal level and also exhibit their strengths during a task. It strengthens team bonds and enables them with the skills to work together on more serious issues whilst reinforcing communication skills.
Next; What Is Cohesion?