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HR Insights: The Value of Team-Building Activities

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with Gail Rolls on critical HR topics. The first, second, and third interviews may be viewed at their respective locations.

Why is it so important to encourage teams in the workplace, and how is this done? In an interview I conducted with Gail Rolls, Senior IT Recruiter and Career Development Consultant for Computer Aid, I asked about what Computer Aid does to encourage team building.

AITS: How important do you think it is for HR to host team-building activities or events (e.g. games, lunches, etc.)?

Gail Rolls: I think it is important. I would say that HR doesn’t necessarily have to host a function though. Any manager for his/her department should look into this. If you can have fun while working and get to know your coworkers on more of a personal level, it helps with team camaraderie.

AITS: Do these activities help improve employee morale? Do they impact employee productivity?

Rolls: I believe it makes work more fun and I believe it promotes team productivity.

AITS: Do these activities help encourage coworker camaraderie? How important is encouraging employee relationships in the workplace?

Rolls: We don’t come to work to make friends. But if relationships can grow as a result, it makes team work all the better.

AITS: Do employees need to form connections with coworkers in order to further their careers? Do they need strong work relationships to be productive, or happy?

Rolls: Think of a machine with connecting parts that rub together. Could the machine work without oil/grease? Yes—at least to start. But without the oil/grease, friction and heat will build up. Connections and oil/grease work in the same way. Make sense? The oil/grease helps make the machine run smoothly. Relationships help coworkers work together.

AITS: What sorts of special activities does Computer Aid host?

Rolls: Holiday parties, mixers, picnics, etc. All events are so much fun!!

AITS: Do you believe any of these fun activities or events help improve an employee’s work/life balance?

Rolls: I do believe they are a fringe benefit!

AITS: Do you feel it is necessary to have mandatory team-building activities?

Rolls: Team building activities are fun. I find that very rarely you need to make them ‘mandatory.’

AITS: How would you handle an employee who is disengaged, or does not want to be a part of the team?

Rolls: Ask them why—privately. ☺


Gail Rolls also maintains The IT Entrepreneur LinkedIn group.

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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