Team Building – A necessity or waste of time

Despite the misconception that team building is lame and barely seen as relevant, did you know that team building is the most important investments you can make for your team?

It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line. 

In this article, I will be talking about the importance of team building and sharing some valuable tips on how to plan effective team building activities.

Why Team Building?

1. Networking and socializing 

Socializing and getting to know your team in the workplace is one of the best ways to increase productivity in the office. Team building boosts morale and also allows for team members to work better at solving everyday workplace issues.

2. Teamwork and boosting overall performance

Employees tend to understand each other better after completing a team-building activity. It becomes easier to identify each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This collaborative spirit and team effort helps everyone work even better together on future projects vital to a company’s progress.

3. Fostering of innovation and creativity

Successful team building events not only bring people closer together, but they also contribute to a more successful and creative workplace. Games and competitive exercises become more challenging as people tend to have a larger imagination when they are around people they are comfortable with. 

4. Communication 

To no surprise, communication and working better together is the top reason why people choose team bonding. Everybody desires a friendly work environment, where people are comfortable and happy to talk to and collaborate with anyone. One of the results of team bonding is that the activities actually work to improve communication.

Are you looking to improve your team’s communication skills, collaborativeness and performance? Why don’t you try these tips when planning your next team building soiree:

  1. Identify the goal of this event

This includes identifying what you want the focus to be on. It is best to plan an entire team-building session around key objectives. For example, if you want to foster better communication among group members, then your activities should include initiatives that call for various combinations of players taking a leadership role in giving directions, commands, or ideas in both verbal and non-verbal mediums.

  1. Replace the usual team dinner with something new

Choosing something unique and slightly outside of people’s comfort zones can encourage them to come together in new ways. Take your team paintballing or maybe to a boxing ring to let off some steam. A little physically challenging activity might be all you need to get people to destress. 

  1. Quit looking at it as a favor but as an investment

This event isn’t fluff. You don’t have to break the bank for something fancy or to go on expensive trips or experiences, but don’t skimp either. Be willing to make a real investment. Bad experiences stick longer than beautiful memories. 

  1. Keep it up

Most team-building events fall flat because it’s a one-time activity that is done and then forgotten. It’s key to find ways to keep organizing these events.

The challenge is creating opportunities for people to connect and interact in meaningful ways, outside of regular meetings or presentations. One way we do this is to have a monthly team hurdle. At this event, team members can celebrate achievements and show appreciation to their co-workers.  

  1. Assessment/ Evaluation

After team bonding exercises, you must evaluate and measure impact. For you to measure a team member’s ability to collaborate with other departments on projects, I would recommend that this be evaluated or assessed during performance appraisal.

This can be done in the form of a questionnaire, survey or during 1-on-1s with other team members. This is the easiest way to track improvement when it involves showing team effort.

How do you know you’ve gotten team building right? If there was laughter, a sense of excitement and accomplishment, and maybe a few Instagram moments, you’re definitely on the right track! A little adventure can unlock many levels of creativity.

Twitter Chat with Kuwala: Building an International Fashion Brand (Oct. 13)

building an international fashion brand

How do you go about starting a fashion company where you source from one place, you and your partner live in different cities and your clients are world wide? How do you ensure quality through the pipeline and celebrate the culture that you source from? These questions plague many budding entrepreneurs.

Join us Thursday Oct. 13th for a twitter chat with the founders of Kuwala, as we discuss the ins and outs of sourcing ethical fashion brands, selling around the world, and managing an international team.

Kuwala is an international African e-commerce site started by two Malwaian women living in Canada. Veronica Nnensa and Freeda Mulenga use Kuwala to promote high-quality fashion designed in Africa and are working to show that Africa is also a fashion hub for creativity and manufacturing. If you have ever considered going into fashion or starting a company across multiple countries, then you don’t want to miss this chat!

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • How to source African fashion designers
  • Leveraging technology to manage a global brand
  • Changing the story around African fashion
  • Differentiating your brand
  • Advice for people interested in all aspects of African fashion

Twitter chat details

  • Date: Thursday Oct. 13, 2016
  • Time: 1pm Toronta // 6pm Lagos // 7pm Lilongwe
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa and Kuwala  on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats

twitter chat kuwala international fashion brand

About Freeda, Veronica & Kuwala

Born in Malawi and raised in South Africa, Freeda Mulenga is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, with a degree in Finance and Accounting. She has worked as an accounting professional including for well-respected firms such as Collins Barrow.

Born in Malawi and raised in Canada, Veronica Nnensa has a degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management with a minor in French. She has a wealth of skills and experience developed through a variety of socially conscious initiatives and organizations, including working as an Economic Development Officer in Brazil.

In January 2014, these two friends launched, an e-commerce platform which curates unique and exclusive pieces from socially responsible African fashion brands. Based in Toronto, these two fashionistas hope to promote the growth of a sustainable and ethical African fashion industry through Kuwala. To find out more about their story, click here.