Team Building Does Not Equal Teamwork

Team building does not equal teamwork

It’s nearly impossible to think of a work situation where teams are not present. From the mega-companies like the Amazons of the world, to the small mom and pop type businesses, teams are instrumental at every level of an organization. Even the scrappy solopreneur has at least some degree of a team, whether it’s with his/her vendors, freelancers and clients. 

And while teams are ubiquitous across the globe, teamwork is not. Often, teams are thrown together simply out of structural norms, ie.) everyone in Sales at the company is part of the Sales Team. Likewise, teams are frequently created strictly on a project-basis. A new marketing campaign. Product development. Launching IT infrastructure. In any of these instances, a team was likely created- often hastily- and then set loose to complete the project. And at project completion, the team was probably dismantled, with members jumping to the next project and next team. 

What is the impact on team performance- the actual obtainment of KPIs? It’s staggering. Simply- teams cannot be high-performing when they are thrown together hastily, without deep commitment to teamwork training. 

Yet, it’s extremely rare for an organization to engage in actual teamwork training. Team building, however, occurs frequently at the organizational-level. How many of us have participated in a ropes course, or a cooking class, or bowling tournament via our work? 

While these activities can unquestionably be beneficial for building relationships and trust, they fall flat when it comes to actually teaching a team how to work together. That’s where teamwork training comes in. 

Teamwork training teaches the actual skills and knowledge that are critical for engaging in effective team processes. It is a systematic, strategic process, just like any other learning and training endeavor. And while they are existing models for teamwork training, they must be highly customized to a specific organization and/or team. A one size fits all approach will not work. 

This is especially true now more than ever, as millions of people around the world are suddenly working on remote teams. Creating a strong, effective teamwork training program is imperative for organizations to survive- and thrive- during these challenging times. 

But so how do you do it? How do you create an impactful, measurable teamwork training program? And further- how do you adapt it for remote teams? 

Simple: you call WeLearn. We are the experts on designing engaging and powerful teamwork training. We have a simple and painless process to get to the root of your challenges in teamwork. Through our rapid consulting, we will hone in on the best strategy for YOU and YOUR teams, not some off-the-shelf program that doesn’t account for your unique organization. In less than one month from your first phone call with us, we will hand you the blueprint for you to improve- or create from scratch- your custom teamwork training program. 

Our team of experts is ready and excited to help you build high-performing teams. What are you waiting for?

By Kate Hixson

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    A recent US census estimated that 5.2% of US workers (8 million people) worked remotely. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, that number has unquestionably multiplied. But is remote work as strange as it seems?

    Major companies like Twitter have embraced the trend in remote work and have actively made working from home a permanent change for their frontline talent. With so many opinions on the future of work, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. This post will guide you through the possible pros and cons of remote work and help you find the best fit for your team’s professional development goals.

    Is Remote the Right Learning Philosophy?

    A Loss in Creativity: In a recent article, Kevin Roose of the New York Times warned key stakeholders and workers that ditching the office could lead to feelings of isolation, a decrease in employee engagement, and a loss of innovative thinking.

    Before making the switch to fully remote work, weigh the importance of teamwork at your business or firm. Studies actively illustrate the innate power of working with people face-to-face, and employees collaborating on a project together in the same room may be motivated to solve problems faster than remote teams.

    Employee Burnout: Remote workers could feel more pressure to always be available and productive in their supposedly “more relaxed” work environments. Be wary that your remote team might be taking shorter breaks and fewer sick days than an office-based one, and consider how that might impact their ability to create their best content.

    If you are the kind of boss that wants your employees to stay healthy, happy, and motivated, consider creating strict boundaries. Set a “no text after 8 PM” policy, and try your best to grant your workers the weekends they deserve. 

    The Pros of Employee Engagement at Home

    Happy Workers, Healthy World: The average commute of an American hit over 27 minutes in the past year. While at an office-based job a commute is inevitable, a remote position grants employees more freedom to spend time on things that matter, such as their health and family. Surely your team will feel better after a 27-minute walk with loved ones than nearly half an hour spent in traffic!

    If you want to take a look at the bigger picture, consider the environmental benefits of remote work. More than ever before, your company has the chance to lower the number of cars on the road and help reduce harmful Co2 emissions.

    Equality In The Workplace: Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where 86% of employees believe physical appearance matters, and 73% actively believe it impacts a person’s competency on the job. Working at home places emphasis on an employee’s ability rather than their wardrobe or looks.

    Working remotely may motivate female or minority team members to be more productive, as they will be experiencing far less sexual harassment or office-bullying. Zoom might be tiresome, but in the end, it unifies us by how imperfect we all look at home.

    Questioning Workplace Culture

    Face-Time is Overrated: Recent reports have shown that American companies spent 54% of their time on email, meetings, administrative tasks, and office-based “interruptions”. Michelle Ruiz of Vogue recently referred to the obsession of face time and challenges its importance.

    In her article, Ruiz suggests that face time is the ultimate “mirage, the symbolic appearance of working (going to meetings, chatting with co-workers) but not getting much done.” So, if you want your team to feel more comfortable and focused on working rather than putting on airs, consider remote work.

    Positive Productivity: While managers need to be aware that their team might be taking on more as remote workers, it’s not always a bad thing that employees are inspired to push themselves.

    In Stanford University’s two-year remote work productivity study, researchers followed 500 employees after separating them into their respective “remote” and “office-based” groups. The remote working group didn’t feel the need for as many days off, and results showed a work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work.

    The Future of Work: Uncertain But Promising

    While it is impossible to predict the future of work, the surge of remote working has provided companies and employees with more options than ever before. To encourage the best work possible, try making the office an optional space for employees to choose based on their preferred working style.

    Let your workers know that whether they are in the office or their living room, they are still relevant to the company and appreciated for their efforts. Share your story on remote working with us here at WeLearns learning development blog! We would love to hear your thoughts, and move together through these unprecedented times.

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