How to Build Trust in a Team Exercise

Team building activities encourage collaboration, foster creativity, resolve conflicts and boost employee productivity. You can maximize these benefits by building trust within teams. Employees are more open to engaging with people they trust. Here’s how you can build trust in a team exercise:

Encourage Teammates to Get to Know Each Other 

It’s easy for employees to get used to discussing work when they spend most of their time in the workplace setting. Many employees may not know their colleagues beyond their office roles and their input to the company. This can make them distrust each other during team exercises resulting in poor performance.

Start your team exercise by asking teammates to introduce themselves. Encourage them to share unknown facts about them and swap funny life stories. This can be a great way to break the ice among people who don’t relate much outside the workplace. 

After the introduction, teammates can be more receptive to each other and one another’s ideas. Your team exercise will likely succeed, and you can expect more collaboration in the office. 

Encourage Vulnerability 

A common corporate misconception is that you must be perfect for earning other people’s trust. People are likely to be more open to each other when they openly admit their flaws. Being vulnerable encourages others to let their guard down and be vulnerable too. It creates a “we’re all human” mentality, which can help foster trust among teammates. 

You can encourage vulnerability by asking teammates to share their weaknesses and how they impact their performance. Request them to share what they’ve been doing to beat their shortcomings. This displays self-awareness and accountability since it shows they’re willing to work on their issues.

Always implement a positive-feedback policy as you encourage vulnerability. Team members can offer solutions to help each other perform better. Building a culture that encourages flaws and actively works towards improvements builds trust, as employees won’t be afraid of being treated differently after asking for help. 

Encourage Communication 

Silence can cause doubt among teammates, so encourage them to communicate throughout the team exercise. If you’re undertaking an activity requiring the teams to subdivide into sub-teams, ask them to keep each other updated. This eliminates doubt and activity replication, so the teams can finish their exercises faster. 

Communication boosts trust since it encourages openness and collaboration. Teammates are likely to trust each other when they know they can count on other members for regular updates. 

Encourage Autonomy 

You can enhance trust by giving teammates some discretion in how they complete tasks. They can exercise creativity to finish their scavenger hunt, as long as they don’t cheat. 

When there’s autonomy, teammates can be more willing to collaborate to develop creative ideas. If the innovative ideas work, the teammates will trust each other’s input during the team exercise and at the workplace. 

Offer Process-Based Rewards 

You can create special incentives that reward employee behaviors during the team exercise before the results. Many team exercise rewards are given to teams that finish their tasks fast. While this is great, it doesn’t always boost trust since some teams could finish fast without necessarily working together. A team could get out of an escape room the fastest by letting one person do all the work. 

You can avoid this by letting teams know you’ll reward them based on their collaboration during an exercise. This means that a team that listens and encourages each other will be eligible for a reward even when it doesn’t finish the activity first. Allowing employees to get to know each other instead of the pressure of winning helps build trust. 

Follow Through on Promises 

Event planners have to serve as an example for the teams. They have to implement whatever agreement they have with the teams. Neglecting this duty could make team members question the purpose of the exercise. You can offer rewards that target increased productivity, like allowing the teams that perform well to partake in more fun and collaborative activities. 

Team Building Activities Boost Performance 

Team building activities improve employee collaboration and boost productivity. These benefits are contingent on trust among the team members, so you should find ways to build trust. You can encourage communication, vulnerability, and creativity through autonomy and follow through on your promises.