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.