Let's be clear. I am talking about real team building that has an impact on the business, not a corporate play day or recreational event. They have their place but that is not what we are discussing today. How would you feel if someone invited you for dinner and instead of providing a full meal served an amuse-bouche and dessert and rushed you out the door before you could finish your coffee? Yet, this is the approach to "team building" that is becoming more and more common.
Some organizations are forgetting that businesses exist to generate profit. Their primary mission is not to provide social activities for employees. It's a trap into which many organizations fall. When the good times roll, there is a heavy emphasis on corporate play days that are justified in the name of "team building". This is followed by massive cuts in team building budgets whenever the economy dips. Much as this might upset those who peddle paintball and other recreational activities, recreation is not team building. Marketing recreation as team building is just as misleading as marketing icing and as cake or gravy as meat. So if recreation by itself is not team building, what does real team building look like? Here is some food for thought.