Team Building and Staff Motivation

As recruiters we are consistently asked by both our clients and candidates to recommend training we know of that might be useful for developing an individual or a team. As this is quite a wide ranging subject we thought it would be nice to run a series of blogs on training that would be appropriate to certain job types. In this post we look at ‘Team Building and Motivation’ as a general topic.

Team Building and Motivation

So what does it mean? Well we could talk a load of management speak….but fundamentally it’s about ‘getting people to work well together and be inspired to do it themselves with as little management intervention as possible’ (in our humble opinion!) See below for metaphoric illustration.

There is a range of different types of training available, from classroom focused purist methods to ‘get great performance’ – these are aimed at giving managers the tools and confidence to change attitudes in their teams/companies. Then there are staff engagement focused team building sessions for groups.

Here we review some of the options and discuss what they actually mean.

Team Building

The success of organisations will depend on the company’s ability to get its key staff to develop teams that are wholly interdependent – so it’s pretty darn important! More on Interdependency
The benefit of team building is that it can:

  • Improve the group skills of individuals
  • Improve communication
  • Enhance bonding opportunities
  • Improve productivity
  • Lift motivation
  • Highlight leadership potential
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Aid the understanding of objective and goal setting

Team building exercises are best done out of the office environment as this allows staff to break down their political and personal barriers, eliminate distractions and have fun.

In the typical office environment people bond only with those sitting next to them or those in a specific department. This leads to potential rifts between Creative and Production, or Client Services and Project Management. Therefore when organising something it is important that you put a mix of these people together in an event that requires a balance of skills and teamwork to help improve their ability to collaborate.

Of course, going to a pub, having a pizza together, playing pool and going bowling are all team building activities, but are are less goal oriented. In order to add value to the business, hire a specialist organiser to put on an event that will develop your people. There are loads to choose from but here are a few suggestions: CCC Events – London team building     Penguin Events     Drum Cafe      Chocolate Delight

A particularly good event that we did this summer was a sailing trip to the Isle of Wight through a company called On Deck. Each member of the crew is given responsibility for something which allows them to improve their decision making and learn responsibility in a non-work environment. The activity day brought staff closer together, got them involved in some friendly competitive banter and pushed the practical benefits of communication to the forefront. We thoroughly recommend it!!


What is motivation?

Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge.

Why is it important to your business?

In the workplace, the motivated employee or team can be relied upon to be ‘self propelled’. They will seek out answers to questions, offer up solutions to problems and generally work well with those around them. Motivated staff aid you in creating an interdependent team of people that ‘naturally’ push your company forward.

How to get your team motivated?

Firstly, you need to be motivated yourself! You’ll also need to be patient  – not everyone is the same as you and many will need your leadership to get them excited and interested in the goals and visions of the business. Thirdly, your business will need to create an atmosphere that promotes motivation, responsibility and autonomy whilst offering reward and recognition for motivated employees.  Motivating the team is a multi-faceted problem that doesn’t have one solution – the overall solution is one that includes the review and personal development program you have in place, the salary benefits and soft benefits on offer, your ability to inspire those around you, the type of people you employ and much more! If you are lucky to have a qualified HR team you may well have a lot of the building blocks in place already – but no matter what, you will have some work to do yourself!

Getting started!

The first step to motivating your team is to get some formal training yourself. Courses vary considerably from residential week long affairs through to breakfast seminars, webinars, and white papers that you can read. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is a great resource for up to date thinking and information on motivation and many other areas that affect the way businesses engage with their staff. Below links to a few of the courses and providers that are out there, from the large well known companies to smaller boutique offerings (the list is not exhaustive, nor is it necessarily our recommendation).

Reed Learning
QA Ltd
Core Training and Consultancy
Activia Training

Good luck! We wish you success!