The definition of teambuilding has changed over the years. While it used to be straight-forward and simple, it has changed to incorporate anything that bonds employees together. Expanding beyond just a workshop with physical exercises designed to get people to work together, anything like bowling or seeing a movie is sometimes included.
In the good old days, you would have a small group of employees, get them into a circle and have them fall into each others arms. By catching your fellow employee before they hit the ground, you'd build trust. That and other similar exercises would be your teambuilding workshop.
The workshops became more sophisticated. Some of them became even more specialized, with some focused on communication, some on executive training, some on simple problem-solving and teamwork. The specialization has allowed these to be refocused and advance with the knowledge of the workplace.
Some bonding experiences are more focused around simple activities such as a bike-build, cooking, rope courses, or other activities where coming together is required to accomplish the goals.
Some other experiences are aimed at competition, with a variety of teams acting independently to score higher than their counterparts. The spirit of competition, even though a negative to overall teamwork, creates small unit cohesion against opponents. And when done correctly, victory is more a matter of pride than something that directly affects quality of living. This makes it to where it's a friendly competition versus a serious competition that can cause bad blood within an organization.
Then there are activities that people simply share. This includes everything from seeing a movie, a comedy show, a boat ride, skiing or just about anything else. Taken to a slightly higher level, it's a group problem solving activity. For example, sailing a boat when different people take on different tasks within the group dynamic.
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