Fostering Team Building and Collaboration

Core Values Series

How do you foster team building and a collaborative atmosphere in your financial services firm? There are many ways to successfully develop a positive company culture and encourage meaningful connections inside and outside the office.

Admittedly, many a reflexive eye roll has accompanied the mere mention of a “team building” exercise. Splitting off into pairs for corny mirror exercises is the go-to reference for why most employees dread any formal attempt at a team exercise. Yet, the benefits of creating spaces where employees can connect in joyful, relaxed ways outside the pressures of the office are manifold.

These “fun for the sake of fun” moments help to encourage a sense of belonging, collaboration, and long-term connection. Even taking time for lunch breaks or short walks can have a profoundly restorative effect on employees.

Recently the Gate 39 Media team blew off the proverbial steam at the Flight Club in Chicago — a darts-inspired social bar engineered for fun team building-minus the cliched trust falls.

Gate 39 Media’s team of financial services marketers, designers, developers, and video production specialists collaborate daily yet only sometimes have the opportunity to connect on a personal level. So, the occasional field trip to the “fun zone” helps our team to unwind, recharge our batteries, and renew our esprit de corps.

Hitting the Reset Button

In this fast-paced digital marketing environment, our teams consistently pivot across financial services design, tech development, video, and marketing projects juggling numerous projects, priorities, and deadlines. We love it. We thrive on adrenaline and activity.

Yet, the mental and physical stamina required to keep sprinting across a never-ending finish line necessitates a little rest and rejuvenation from time to time. So, scheduling an opportunity to pursue fun strictly for the sake of fun helps teams decompress and find the refreshment they need to recommit to the company mission.

Hitting the pause button periodically can also dramatically reduce the potential for burnout. Even something as simple as taking lunch breaks, which an alarming number of employees need to take advantage of, can lead to greater productivity and job satisfaction. According to Forbes magazine, simply taking a complete lunch break each day, rather than eating at your desk, can have the following benefits:

  • Productivity & Focus- Employees gain focus and energy after stepping away from their desks.
  • Mental Clarity- Taking time for a quick walk or a healthy lunch releases stress and improve mental well-being and clarity.
  • Enhanced Creativity- Taking a break can give employees a fresh perspective on challenging projects.
  • Healthy Habits- Regular breaks, including a lunch break, give employees time for a healthy lunch, exercise, meditate, or engage in self-care.


Fun Competition Can Create Cohesion

You might think that competition is the opposite of team building in the ultra-competitive atmosphere of North American corporate life, but therein lies the paradox. Team building exercises that involve competitive activities where winning has little impact on the event itself help foster cohesion among coworkers.

The Gate 39 Media team split off into random partnerships in our darts venture. These newly formed partnerships automatically created camaraderie within the partnerships themselves because team members have to work together to “win.” Both winning and watching each other fail encourage laughter and a loosening of the typical inhibitions that prevent bonding in the workplace.


Creating Meaningful Dialogue

Creating the opportunity to enjoy a more playful side can also open up lines of communication between team members who might not ordinarily interact much with each other because they occupy roles within different departments. In addition, fun-based activities help break down typical social barriers where each can share other essential areas of their lives, they otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have the time or capacity to share, such as hobbies, leisure, and family life.

Our excursion was marked by moments of laughter and a surprising number of side conversations about favorite music, film, sports, and life experiences. In addition, we all learned exciting things about each other that we most likely wouldn’t have had the space to explore within hurried agency life.

No matter the industry, it is essential that we intentionally engineer friendly work environments. Your productivity is sure to improve when your team is fully engaged and feels an inherent sense of inclusion. Companies with strong employee satisfaction and engagement are more likely to be productive, with a potential increase in profits of up to 21%.

Whether encouraging your teams to take a lunch break away from the office or taking them on a fun excursion, successful team-building events can go a long way in establishing strong connections among your team members resulting in a more engaged, committed, and happy staff.

Need help aligning your digital financial marketing strategy to your business goals? Connect with Gate 39 Media today and let us help.

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