Teams – Part of the Motivation Equation

Team building
Team Building Fun!

We know teams

We do a lot of work helping improve how teams operate.  Some of it is straight old fun team building – you know the type where you go off-site for a day and do different types of games and activities (note – some people love these types of programs and others detest them with a passion).   Other programs we do are much more intense and involve really working on specific team issues and developing action plans for greater collaboration, communication, or productivity.

We’ve worked with big teams.  We’ve worked with small teams.  We’ve done programs for executives and for line-workers.  We’ve worked with teams that are working well and just want to get to that next level and teams that really are on their last leg and need immediate urgent care or they will implode.

We have done one hour fun sessions.  We’ve created on-going programs that last months and require intensive work by the participants.

Regardless of the type of team development we are doing – it is also part of building a more motivational organization.

One of the reasons I appreciate the 4-Drive Model of Employee Motivation is that it has a team element – the Drive to Bond & Belong.

I have been conducting team building activities for over 17 years.   For most of those 17 years, I knew in my heart and also in my brain that team building helped motivate people – but I couldn’t explain why.  None of the theories on motivation really captured it.

The 4-Drive Model captures it precisely.  We are naturally driven to want to create positive bonds with the people we are surrounded by and feel like we belong to a special group. This is a drive that is innate inside all of us.

As leaders we can tap into it and enhance it by doing lots of things.  One of those things is to conduct a team building session.   Good team-building programs help enhance this drive because:

1.        They allow team members to get to know people in a different way and in a different setting – creating a more powerful bond

2.       They can help foster more open communication and interactions between team members

3.       They create a shared experience that can help bond participants (i.e., “remember when we…”)

4.       They can create a shared vocabulary that creates a feeling of belonging to a special “in-group”

5.       They can break down barriers that exist between individuals

6.       They can address specific issues that inhibit team members from working effectively together (i.e., trust, communication, styles, etc…)

7.       They can identify areas of misunderstanding and help overcome perceived slights

8.       They are an opportunity for shared fun!

Having effective and productive teams is part of an effective motivation strategy.  Leaders need to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to make teams work – team building can be an important tool in that effort.

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