Team Building: What is it?

What does it mean, what is it for, and how to choose it?

What do we talk about when we talk about corporate team building, team building activities, team building games, educational team building, and experiential team building?

Find out with us what team building is and continue reading on the other pages of our site to learn about all the different proposals and formats. In the other articles you can find out how to organize a corporate activity, get tips and ideas for team building based on your company’s needs, and learn what the difference is between team building and incentives.

Read also:

A different kind of Team Building: Online Team Building

team building virtuale zoom

Nowadays, working remotely is now possible and increasingly popular, thanks to the development of new technologies and the countless tools that the Internet provides. In particular, after the pandemic that hit the world in 2020, many companies had to experiment with it. Many of them were comfortable with it and even decided to continue adopting this strategy!

Like remote work, remote team building is also becoming increasingly popular.

It is important to be aware that the world moves and technological breakthroughs do not stop. Work teams can consist of people from all over the world collaborating virtually. This is precisely why it is important to think of digital team buildings that you can participate in from the comfort of your desk. We have called them Stream Building and they work!

With remote team building, each team member participates while standing at his or her desk in front of his or her computer.

Therefore, to interact with the rest of the group they need to use the latest forms of technology available such as, for example, video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Teams or Hangouts.

Many traditional team building formats can be adapted to facilitate remote group work. What is important to us is to continue the coaching, the training, whether live or through a screen. Of course, we much prefer to go out in open spaces and do live experiential training, but it is right to rethink strategies to best address the future, taking into account every possible eventuality.

Team Building is the action or process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.

Team Building: what does it mean?

Literally the building of a team, Team Building refers to the set of activities and procedures used to bring a group of people together for the purpose of improving their ability to work as a team. The activities can be formative and educational, but also experiential or purely recreational.

In short, they can also be very short events, lasting an hour to an hour and a half, which already contain within them the stimulus for group building and do not need further reflection.

Activities of this kind can be useful in any setting:

  • In corporate settings to motivate and incentivize a work team, improve its communication and collaboration
  • During an incentive trip to entertain and reward participants

but also

  • At school to improve understanding within the class, between multiple classes or between class and teacher
  • In a group of friends to create team spirit and fellowship

The most widely used variety undoubtedly remains the corporate event, where training activities are used to facilitate the achievement of business goals.

Team Building or Teambuilding?

In English it is spelled separately: team building. However, it should not be considered a mistake to write Teambuilding all together. In some countries, such as Germany, the locution Teambuilding is even the one used most often. On our site we will most often use the two-word wording, but we may also happen to use the single word Teambuilding!


Are there other synonyms?

We can talk about management training, corporate training, group building, and team building. Not a synonym but a related methodology is, however, Experiential Training. Experiential Training is a set of trainings and activities used to develop soft skills and communication skills.

Experiential Training aims to develop communication skills through creative metaphors, using tools borrowed from corporate theater and outdoor training.

lego team building

It will particularly involve role-playing games and problem solving challenges that put participants in a position to learn interactively. Between cognitive and physical activities, it will be a “total,” well-rounded learning experience.

Corporate Team Building: what is it for?

The purpose of a corporate event is to build the team, that is, to create positive dynamics that enable the achievement of corporate goals, without losing sight of the well-being of all members of the work team.

Working in a team can indeed be a useful and positive experience, but at other times (and all too often!) it becomes a source of frustration and stress instead. Especially in large national and multinational companies, it is useful to work on improving interpersonal communication.

Problems that seem insurmountable due to overly long bureaucratic rigmarole and excessive hierarchy can often be solved in a single meeting session if the attitude is the right one: positive and proactive. Team building helps to practice and practice effective communication.

Do you want to know more on Team Building?

Effects of Team Building

It is scientifically proven: good team building dramatically improves mood and team functioning. In what areas will we notice improvements?

  • Communicaton
  • Listening to one another
  • Respect for the opinions of others
  • Trust
  • Integration of the team members
  • Improving of problem solving abilities
  • Ability to deal with change and rapidly changing circumstances
  • Ability to manage stress
  • Ability to manage time and deadlines
  • Ability to deal with personal and business crisis
  • Strengthening team spirit

Team Building: how does it work?

Team building is not classroom training! Unlike this, teambuilding activities go to work on team functioning in a different and implicit way. The trainer and the classroom are possibly present only at the time of the initial briefing and final debriefing, when the activity is presented and when outcomes and consequences are then summarized. All the rest of the time, the team is in a deliberately different context away from the corporate routine.

It is not always necessary to go into the woods or travel into the wilderness to find the right environment to have a corporate team building event. The suitable space (the characteristics of which always depend on the type of teambuilding organized) may be that of a hotel meeting room, a restaurant, a park…

It is even possible to use part of the space occupied by the company itself! If the activity itself is well designed and organized, the novelty of the chosen format will be enough to make people forget the old group dynamics.

When to organize a corporate team building?

Such a training activity can be useful on multiple business occasions. For example:

  • During a sensitive period for the company: a merger or crisis moment
  • As an integral part of an incentive trip;
  • As a celebratory moment at the culmination of an important meeting;
  • During a company Family Day, as a fun activity suitable for young and old;
  • During a holiday such as Christmas or Easter, at the release of a new product, or on another special corporate occasion.

How long does a team building activity last?

It can have very different durations depending on the purpose we give the corporate event. It ranges from a few minutes to several days of activity.

  • 15-60 minutes: short icebreaking intervention between sessions at a convention, to break the ice and make participants “wake up.”
  • 2-4 hours: training activity embedded within a convention to work on team functioning and develop more effective communication modes.
  • 1-2 days: corporate event that takes participants to a setting away from corporate normality to integrate new people into the team and work in depth on solving business problems.
  • Periodic intervention within a six-month or annual corporate training course.

The Coach/Team Builder

The team is accompanied throughout the event by professional trainers and coaches. With their extensive experience, they are able to constantly monitor the team’s progress, stimulate creativity and imagination, and ensure everyone’s involvement in working together.

The role of the coach in teambuilding exercises changes depending on the type of corporate event being organized. Sometimes specialized help may be needed.

The most typical example? In-kitchen or Team Cooking activities. These are not feasible without the help of a chef! Or a Survival Training class. In this case, the help of the certified instructor is important both as a matter of safety and because the techniques taught are particularly challenging.

Other times, the role of teambuilder does not require specific knowledge, but rather strong motivational and organizational skills. When? For example, in a team building Treasure Hunt or Urban Game. Nothing happens during the activity that the teambuilding or incentive participants are unable to cope with using their everyday skills and potential. However, team spirit, motivation, and the ability to collaborate depend to a very large extent on the intervention of a coach trainer.

Often the coach or trainer also serves as an evaluator of the group assigned to him or her. He or she carefully observes the communication dynamics and emotional reactions manifested by the participants throughout the activity, and at its conclusion draws a psychological profile of each team member and an overall profile of the team taken as a whole. This profile will be useful to the main organizer and trainer involved in the event for the final debriefing. But it can also be acquired by the company, which will thus gain a better understanding of what happens in teamwork within the team.

Team Building: La figura del Coach
Team Building: what is it? Contact us if you want to know more!

Team Building Adventure: why choose it?

The Action or Adventure category brings together the most active and dynamic formats. The advantage? Working on problem solving, communication and teamwork through outdoor sports activities. These are activities that require varying levels of physical and mental exertion but in each case strongly engage participants.

WHO: fairly young and active groups with a need to work intensely.

WHEN: at times of crisis (merger, acquisition, rapid growth) or to integrate teams with rapid turnover.

Cooking Team Building: why choose it?

Team building in the kitchen is not only fun but also effective. For years, food and events organized around food have created relationships between people. Cooking Team Building activities requires great commitment to division and organization of labor, as well as good time management.

WHO: suitable for international teams who want to discover Italian culinary traditions, but also for Italian teams of all ages.

WHEN: perfect for a corporate celebration, as a time before a communal dinner or a corporate dinner.

Creative Team Building: why choose it?

Creative formats allow the company’s Mission, Vision and Values to be visualized through artistic metaphors. They pair well with a brainstorming phase and shared reflection on the company’s goals and future.

WHO: Teams of all ages and backgrounds who are open to novelty and creativity.

WHEN: Creative formats can be especially useful during times of growth, change and crisis.

Music Team Building: why choose it?

Events with music are a way to connect with colleagues not through words, but directly through the unconscious and emotions. Some formats have more training value, others are suitable for building team spirit.

WHO: teams of all ages and geographical backgrounds.

WHEN: when there is a need to work on communication, sharing, listening to each other and expressing inner feelings.

Social Team Building: why choose it?

Building a corporate team can also have an ulterior motive: to do good. In this way the team will find greater motivation and incentive in the consciousness of being part of a beneficial and positive body. Social formats can be made explicit through very different projects that have in common the effort to help others through the involvement of weak individuals or the creation and construction of something useful.

WHO: teams that need to be motivated.

WHEN: during holidays such as Christmas and Easter or corporate celebrations.

Urban Game: why choose it?

An Urban Game is the educational and creative variation of a Treasure Hunt in an Italian or European art city. Participants discover city streets and monuments by performing creative activities in which they intensely interact with each other and with the city’s inhabitants. The itinerary can be tailored to meet all client needs.

WHO: particularly suitable for international teams who want to discover Italy or other European cities.

WHEN: during an incentive trip or meeting away from the corporate headquarters, or vice versa to let a task force from abroad discover the city.

Extreme Team Building: why choose it?

Extreme team building puts the team under pressure in an environment full of challenges and difficulties to be faced. This is not a truly “extreme” or dangerous activity, but the physical commitment is certainly greater than in other formats.

WHO: young, dynamic teams.

WHEN: when there is a need to work on Stress Management and Crisis Management or integrate new members into the team.

Training Team Building: why choose it?

The category of Training includes those activities that are properly formative, those that allow the most important business concepts to be processed and shared, such as sharing a goal of change or improvement. We work on the team dynamics.

WHO: teams of all ages that need to be integrated and share values.

WHEN: during strategic periods in which the team needs a development.

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