Team building is a way to ensure your employees work well together. While everyone has specific individual duties, all coworkers should be furthering the company’s overall goal. If this isn’t happening organically, you might want to bring in team building consultants.
A consultant will look at your business’s purpose and how productive the employees are working with that overall purpose in mind. They’ll make notes of problem areas and create team building programs to bring the coworkers together. When team members collaborate, you’ll have a happier work environment, and everyone will feel supported.
Whether you’re looking to become a team building consultant or hire one for your workplace, it’s essential to understand what they do. Once you know the basics, you’ll see how team building is crucial to the well-being of everyone in your company.
What Is a Team Building Consultant?
A team building consultant is, simply put, a business’s advisor. Their goal is to get employees to work well together. A team building consultant can facilitate and inspire teamwork even if it seems like everyone in your business has their tasks.
It might not seem like employees in accounting have much to do with an administrative assistant, but team building consultants help everyone see how they work together. Team members of a business are like puzzle pieces. Everyone fits together, and everyone is crucial to the big picture.
Once coworkers see how important they all are, they’ll better understand how they keep the business running smoothly. When you work with a group, you can’t have your interests in mind; you have to make choices that benefit the entire company.
Instead of having a manager lead a meeting that’s meant to invigorate and inspire the employees, a team building consultant brings a fresh take to the business. They can see things from an outsider’s point of view and share these insights with the employees.
Because a team building consultant isn’t employed by the company, they’re able to see what works and what doesn’t. If there’s a rift between two departments, the consultant can find exercises that will help them work together smoothly.
What Does a Team Building Consultant Do?
Just as athletes have coaches getting them to stay on track and play the best they can to help their team win, team building consultants coach employees. They inspire teamwork through engaging and fun exercises. When coworkers have the chance to think outside of the box, they come together in unique ways that will later translate to their daily tasks.
Team building consultants inspire trust and teamwork within a group of employees. They boost company morale and open up the floor so everyone feels comfortable speaking up and sharing ideas. They create an environment of support, first by example, then by encouraging all coworkers to help each other.
A successful team building consultant works to help the business as a team and helps each individual understand their place in the company. When an employee has one task, they might feel overlooked by others in higher positions. Every employee in a business is vital for smooth operations, and team building helps establish that mindset.
Roles of a Team Building Consultant
Team building consultants typically embody three different roles so they can deliver everything the company needs. They act as a consultant, a trainer, and a facilitator.
The consultant role is one defined strongly by observation. A company hires a consultant to evaluate what they’re doing so they can get feedback about what’s working and what’s not. A company rarely hires a team building consultant only to evaluate, though. This is usually the starting point before they facilitate any exercises.
If you need an outsider’s perspective on the business, hiring someone only as a consultant is also possible. They can still give you the information you need to ensure your employees work well together and feel supported going forward.
The team building trainer role is one where they show the employees what to do. This is the second step after the consultant evaluates the company. Watching everyone in action helps the consultant understand what team building programs will most benefit everyone.
In the role of a team building trainer, the leader goes over the instructions so everyone understands the exercise and knows what steps to follow. The consultant is usually more involved with the exercises during the training stage, though not enough to prohibit teamwork between the employees themselves.
The role of a team building facilitator comes into play after completing the exercises. They take time to sit with the employees and ask questions about the team building programs. They try to find out what employees felt when they were working together. This method of debriefing helps coworkers understand how valuable they are when they come together as a team.
It’s also possible to help a company just by working as a facilitator. This role is often paired with consulting, so the professional can evaluate the company and then facilitate changes as everyone moves towards a new goal. Facilitating helps open up the floor to conversations so all employees feel heard, understood, and supported as they work together.
What Kind of Companies Do Team Building?
Even if you think your employees work well together, there’s always room to grow through team building. Whether they’re mom-and-pop businesses or massive corporations, most companies do some sort of regular team building.
Planning an annual team building day or weekend is a great way to let employees know you care. When you make an effort to schedule team building and include everyone, employees can see the company’s values. They know it’s essential to work together, so they’ll approach the team building programs with the seriousness required.
That doesn’t mean team building is more work. The stereotypical idea of team building involves trust falls and communication tasks like “Two Truths and a Lie.” Companies have used these practices for years and are an effective baseline, but these days, companies want more.
Team building programs are fun, and often ask employees to use parts of their minds that their regular job duties don’t necessarily require. For example, team building exercises involve Lego bricks, and not many professionals use Legos in their daily tasks!
Team building exercises can also get physical. Many outdoor adventure centers offer team building activities that get your blood pumping. Examples include helping coworkers balance on a large teeter-totter or having a group of six stand on a platform meant for two.
Even more solitary tasks, like scaling a rock climbing wall or crossing a rope bridge, have an element of support and cheerleading that help coworkers feel connected to each other.
Escape rooms are another way to inspire employees to work together for a common cause. Many cities have escape rooms you can rent, or you can create your own in the office. Coworkers have to share clues and ideas to find a way out of the room, disarm explosives, or accomplish various other tasks.
When you realize the extent of possible team building programs, you’ll see why and how all kinds of companies use them. Regardless of how many employees you have, ensuring everyone can work well together to keep the business running is crucial.
What Are the Qualities of a Successful Team Building Consultant?
There are many qualities that a successful team building consultant should possess, such as:
- understanding a variety of skills
- teaching and communicating effectively
- quick thinking
Team building consultants don’t need to be an expert in each industry, but they should have a general understanding of various skills. This helps them know what employees in a mechanical engineering company need to learn compared to, say, clerks in a retail store.
There are many soft skills that employees in any field should possess. These skills involve having empathy for others, communicating effectively, and helping your coworkers and clients succeed.
Besides understanding soft skills, a successful team building consultant will also demonstrate these skills. They’ll show through in the way the consultant teaches and communicates with the employees.
Instead of lecturing the group, a good consultant gets involved and talks like they’re also an employee. They explain things clearly and understand any concerns brought to their attention. They know how to relate to people experiencing, and perhaps struggling with, these team building exercises for the first time.
A team building consultant needs to be a quick thinker. Things don’t always go to plan, even if a consultant evaluates the company before suggesting exercises. As an outsider, it’s not always possible to know how people will react to specific tasks.
Employees don’t always understand or enjoy team building exercises. Instead of forcing coworkers to finish a task that falls flat, a successful team building consultant will stop everyone and pivot to a different exercise.
Quick thinking goes hand-in-hand with flexibility. A successful team building consultant isn’t rigid in their approach to leading exercises or in the tasks they choose to implement. They’re able to read the room and understand how employees are reacting to their leadership.
If the group seems resistant, a successful team building consultant doesn’t push on. That would risk potentially alienating the employees. Instead, they know that they need to explain things differently, or even step back and open the floor for employees to share their concerns before moving on.
How Do Consultants Help in Team Building?
Consultants help with team building because they’re experienced in their field; they are professionals. They know how to get employees to think outside of the box and jump into unfamiliar exercises without feeling self-conscious or doubting their abilities.
Because consultants are outsiders, they bring a breath of fresh air to the company. They’re not necessarily concerned about a business reaching a certain tier of sales; they’re focused on the well-being of the employees. This distance allows them to approach things in a new way.
When consultants help a business with team building, they’re making staff feel involved and valued. As a result, your company will have higher rates of employee retention. Team building shows staff that you want them to stick around and help the business grow.
Using a team building consultant also benefits the business because it opens up communication. All employees will feel like they have a chance to share what tasks they do, how they fit into the big picture, and ideas they have for the future. By facilitating exercises that let staff think outside the box, employees feel more creative and inspired.
Team building develops collaboration. Employees who sit at their desks, completing their work in solitude, will better understand what their coworkers do. They might realize that someone in accounting can help them format spreadsheets they’ve struggled with. Employees who realize they can mentor others will also help boost the company’s overall morale.
When every employee feels like a valued member of the team, a company is capable of exponential growth. Instead of focusing on an outdated, narrow goal, the company is open to hearing out employee ideas. Getting fresh ideas and involvement inspires everyone to work towards change.
Team building doesn’t have to focus on company growth; the most important aspect is employee appreciation. After doing the same tasks day in and day out, employees might burn out and not make the most of their working hours. They might look for other jobs out of boredom. Scheduling fun team building activities will shake up the daily routine.
While your employees are having fun with team building exercises, they’re also growing and learning. They’re communicating in new ways with coworkers they might not regularly interact with. They’re having fun and playing, which opens their minds to new ways of thinking, which they can, in turn, apply to their regular jobs.
Hiring a consultant can improve your employees’ morale and give your company a boost of energy and creativity. Becoming a team building consultant is a way to use your expertise to help employees realize their value.
Team building is vital for businesses of any size. There are team building exercises for every industry, and a successful team building consultant will help employees reach their fullest potential.