Team Building Vs. Team Bonding

We often hear the terms "team building" and "team bonding" used interchangeably, but what do they each mean and more importantly, what do they actually provide a business?

Firstly, what we need to understand is that they both play a crucial part in the development and longevity of any business and team. To be successful, a company needs to take part in both Team Building and Team Building events to ensure they grow and develop.

Team bonding and team building aren’t necessarily exclusive
from one another. If you are working with a good, reputable, experience team
building company they will ensure that all their events combine the two.
However, team bonding events can and often are exclusive to their own.

A good corporate team building event will always ensure team bonding is included as part of their event. A team works most effectively when they have a strong and healthy bond. This isn’t a fact we can deny we see it in stories, TV shows, movies and sports. When a sports team has a bad bond they don’t perform well, we have seen this time and time again.

But what are the differences between Team Building and Team Bonding?

Team Bonding Events

The goal is simple for team bonding events: Develop the bond within your team.

This is commonly done by social events, something light-hearted, engaging and fun. You often see businesses going for after work drinks, a team lunch, or going to watch a sporting event.

Through these events a business would hope to unite their team
through a common interest or use the environment for their team to open up and
invite the others into the “world”. It would be a hope that through these
non-work related events, employees will find common ground which will untie
them and build an emotional connection between them all.

However, there are some big downsides to doing Team Bonding Events in a non-structured and in a stand alone way. If you have any interpersonal issues within your team, when you take them out for drinks, lunch, or a social event, people will just flock to those they feel comfortable with. They won’t necessarily go out of their way to rebuild any pre-existing issues. They know who they have connections with and typically stick to those groups.

You can often compound issues further by relying solely on self-managed Team Bonding Events as you will commonly overlook issues or be blind to new ones forming. Plus, most people have their favourites anyway, so unless you are actively trying to get up and mix it up between your team, you too will flock to your “clique” and the overall objective of bonding may be missed all together

Team Building Events

In simplicity, Team Building Events are: An event used to develop
the overall performance of a team to maintain or reach high level success.

Team Building Events are commonly, and should be, delivered by a professional who knows about ethics, morale, motivation, customer service and leadership. These events can be facilitated through fun and exciting events such as: Amazing races, problem solving games, Olympic based games and just fun abstract challenges which are done on mass as a team.

Now for some this can be challenging to see the correlation
between business and playing games. The act of Team Building Events are to go
back to basics; develop these keys skills needed in business. Developing key skills
such as: communication, problem solving and trust, work ethic and motivation.

When you work with a professional company who delivers team
building events, they know the best way to really develop a team; improve communication,
improve customers service is to boost morale through the bonding and uniting of
the team as a whole.

If working with an outside agency, tell them your goals and objectives of the day. If they offer a free team assessment take it! Let them understand your goals so they can best deliver the event. If you want to focus on the bonding, tell them so they can deliver it.

Team building events should not be exclusive to themselves, they should have a strong bonding element within them, which will result in the best outcome for the business long term.

When you neglect the bonging aspect within Team Building Events, people will often feel talked down to, lectured, belittled or insulted by how the “game” is being portrayed.

Corporate Team Building Events are a holistic event which develop your team whereas team bonding events focus predominantly just on bond.

Self-Managed or Outsourced?

If you want to get the most out of your time and investment…
Leave it to the professionals!

When you as a manager try to put on a team building event and run it yourself, you can run the risk of really missing the importance of team building. Your staff will feel as if there is something wrong with them and you are trying to “fix” them.

Team Building isn’t a dirty word, bringing in a professional to help develop your team is what businesses do who honestly value their team and see the benefits of it.

When you run self-managed event you can often hold back and
miss key aspects of the event due to personal reasons, not wanting to offend a
friend/co-worker, or co-workers not taking you as serious as you change the
dynamics of the group.

An outsider brings an element of separation which can help people open up more as their as less preconceived notions of the team or business. Team building and team bonding both have a key role within growing your business. They should both be actively used by businesses of all sizes who are serious about growth and success. They should be used in relation with one another as part of their culture plan for the business.