Team Building vs Team Bonding

A cohesive team of employees might be imperative to your success. According to Inc. Magazine, many small businesses find high-performing teams critical because "people must work closely together, wear many hats and work effectively across the organization to get tasks accomplished quickly enough to remain competitive." Because teamwork is so critical to a business' success, team-building activities are vital.

If you are in management or human resources and responsible for selecting and organizing team building events it is important to understand the difference between team building and team bonding.

Team Bonding…
• is designed around a simpler goal or outcome of having a good time;
• may follow a specific schedule, but is not catered to an end workplace goal;
• typically does not require reflection time;
• can act as a stand-alone activity.

Team Building…
• is designed around a particular goal or outcome that is transferable to the workplace environment;
• has an intentional curriculum or flow;
• is typically built around a newly forming or intact team;
• allows for some sort of period where the participants reflect on their experience;

Is there value to both types of services? Absolutely. Team bonding is extremely important to creating a great team BEFORE team building can take place. This can happen organically in the office, after hours, or at organized team bonding events.

Those looking for team building events have a challenge ahead of them. This is due to the general misunderstanding between team building and bonding and the fact that a lot of companies offering these services boast team building exercises when what they are actually providing is team bonding.

Escape rooms are great for team building. In the room players are forced to use communicate, be creative, collaborate and use critical thinking skills. Standard roles are challenged and often reversed, with the boss being chained to a wall, giving other players the opportunity to lead.

There are obvious differences between team building and team bonding, but that doesn’t mean one of them is unnecessary or wrong. It all depends on the goal that needs to be fulfilled. If your team needs to work on improving its performance and developing deeper connections, team building is the program you need. If you just need to loosen up a bit and communicate with your colleagues outside of work, you will not make a mistake going for a team bonding event. Whatever the choice, good luck with helping your team be the best and the most trustworthy team possible!