Team building interventions are techniques and activities designed to elevate team trust, performance, and collaboration. Interventions may include skill-based workshops and team activities and exercises.

The goal is to equip employees with the right tools and skills to spearhead ongoing team goals, initiatives, and conflicts. For example, if team members have faced interpersonal conflicts amid onboarding a new client or employee, the intervention would focus on conflict management.

What Are Some Types of Team Building Interventions?

Some common types of team-building interventions include:

  • Activity-based interventions: These involve outdoor or adventure activities that take team members outside their comfort zones. The team partakes in physical challenges and obstacles (e.g., rope courses, spelunking expeditions, etc.), which encourages them to focus on teamwork, problem-solving, trust, and risk-taking.
  • Personality-based team building: Personality-based team building aims to help team members develop their interpersonal skills. Each person takes a personality test (e.g., Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), and their results are shared with the rest of the team. The goal is to help the team understand their personalities better, which can help facilitate better interpersonal relationships.
  • Skill-based team building: This type of intervention follows a workshop structure with a training that instructs team members on particular skills (e.g., leadership, communication, etc.).
    The workshop then proceeds into activities where team members practice what they have learned. Some interventions conclude with individuals developing action plans to help them consistently improve upon those skills.
  • Problem solving-based team building: Problem solving-based interventions involve team members working together to solve a specific problem. The problem should be directly tied to a current roadblock the team is facing. The session should allow employees to explore and analyze the conflict and, together, discover a solution. Teams may decide to conduct this intervention outside of the workplace to reduce daily distractions.

coworkers high fiving each other around a table

What Are Team Building Skills?

Team building skills are abilities that help leaders develop engaging and high-performing teams.

Team building skills include:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict management
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Delegation
  • Empathy
  • Presentation
  • And more

These skills can serve as the guiding principles in team building interventions. Leaders should customize each skill to meet the unique needs and pain points of their team members.

What Are Some Team Building Strategies?

Team building strategies put team building skills into action. Some effective strategies include:

Establishing clearly defined roles for each team member

Successful teams understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Leaders should know how to leverage these areas to assign each team member a defined role for which they are best suited.

Consider the following roles:

    1. Champion: One who enjoys promoting ideas, bringing the team together, and driving change.
    2. Creator: One who likes to identify and tackle solutions.
    3. Implementer: One who is good at taking charge of day-to-day work activities and administrative tasks.
    4. Facilitator: One who is adept at managing relationships, both within the team and outside the team.

These roles together can improve collaboration and help team members deliver the right results. Personality-based team-building interventions can help teams establish these roles.

Identifying how each role relates to other team members:

In addition to understanding the responsibilities of each team member, individuals should also comprehend how one role affects the other. Taking time to educate one another on areas such as which tasks are a priority, one’s own workflow process, delegation needs, and deadlines, can help fill in any gaps that may be hindering teams from reaching their full potential.

Leaders may have team members practice their roles (champion, creator, implementer, and facilitator) in an activity-based intervention to help further flex their skills and see how their positions are linked together.

Discussing current roadblocks & strategizing ways to solve them

Some team members may not feel comfortable voicing their concerns amid the hustle and bustle of daily work activities. Taking time to sit down with your team members to discuss current challenges they face is a great way to address, acknowledge, and tackle issues head-on. Moreover, it’s an excellent opportunity to practice empathy and problem solve as a team, both of which can help bolster team morale.

What Are the 3 Most Important Qualities Needed for Effective Teamwork in the Workplace?

The three most important characteristics required for effective teamwork entail:

1. Mutual Trust

Individuals at high-trust companies are 76 percent more engaged and 74 percent less stressed. Trust is essential to building healthy communication among team members who feel comfortable taking appropriate risks and exposing vulnerabilities.

A lack of trust can lead to a culture of fear and anxiety, isolating individuals from one another and creating a toxic work environment. Team leaders can set an example by consistently asking for their employees’ feedback and practicing self-awareness to show they care for the team’s wellbeing.

2. Strong Communication

Eighty-six percent of employees and executives believe ineffective communication incites workplace failures. Communication is key to creating a team that works collaboratively.

Leaders can initiate better communication by including team members on important organizational matters and incorporating employees’ input to drive strategies forward. Leaders should also foster a collaborative environment where team members are encouraged to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

3. Sense of Ownership

A successful team possesses individuals who understand what their responsibilities and goals are. They also understand how their roles affect other team members and how to leverage each other’s strengths to pull their team forward. In addition, if someone makes a mistake, they own up to it and proactively find a solution.

Teams who lack a sense of ownership may experience more misunderstandings that can lead to wasted time. Leaders can encourage team members to bolster ownership with personality-based or problem-solving interventions.