Should Team Building Be a Part of Onboarding?

The optimal employee onboarding process should include team building exercises as an essential component. Every business has a process of onboarding for new employees that often includes getting all the required paperwork signed, giving them a laptop, making their access badge, setting up an email account etc. We are certain that team building should be a part of the onboarding process too.

Many corporate leaders have a general understanding that team and relationship building are crucial components of the onboarding process as well. However many managers find it tempting to skip this step, especially when money is tight, the department is understaffed, or a new manager is hired. 

It’s simple to think of team building as the “fun stuff” that can wait since “real work” needs to get done. So in this article we want to look at the importance of team building and why it’s important to implement it in the beginning part of onboarding.

Team building creates stronger company culture

Building a stronger company culture is one way that team building can improve your employee management and onboarding strategy. Each business has a culture, and changes in management, leadership, and organizational procedures recently may have had an impact on that culture. 

With the addition of a new leader or team member, it’s critical to maintain the focus on continuing to build on that culture and momentum. A great way to show how a new team member aligns with and fits into a company’s culture is through team building. It also gives current team members the chance to show how they contribute to the culture as well as the organization’s overall goals. 

In our opinion corporate team building can be done in so many ways. Different quests, sports or entertainment games, movies nights, dinner parties are just a few examples. 

team building

Pros of doing team building rather sooner than later

There is always a chance that the dynamics and culture of the team could change when a new leader or team member is selected. Team building is crucial to overcoming these early preconceptions because the old employees can be skeptical and critical of a new management or colleague at first.

So here are some more detailed reasons why team building is important even in the onboarding process.

Onboarding as trust building exercise

The key component of a successful team is trust. Without trust among team members, you won’t have productive discussions, accountability, or the outcomes you want.

At its foundation, team building begins by establishing that element of trust through mutual understanding and connection building. This is accomplished by giving the team the opportunity to collaborate on an issue or challenge that has no potential consequences should they fail to find a solution. Teams can “work out their bugs” without taking any risks to the company.

Additionally, it shows to team members that they can rely on one another. Your onboarding mentor could also be a great help. Obviously, during onboarding exercises, trust won’t be totally formed, but a team-building activity is very useful for creating the foundation.

Improved team dynamic

Employees discover each other’s communication dos and don’ts, as well as which strategies work and which ones make others nuts, during a team-building activity. 

They can relate to some of those annoyances when they operate in a team atmosphere. For instance, if it’s analytical paralysis, they can see the escalating irritation or the utter satisfaction experienced. Understanding those variations in values, personal peeves, communication styles, and what genuinely inspires others allows us to start applying those things to the work we must do every day. 

In the end, team-building activities aid in the orientation of new hires by providing a solid platform for them to build upon as they begin their collaborative careers.

team building

A shared experience for employees

Developing connections, trust, and communication may seem like apparent advantages of team building throughout the onboarding process for new employees. But the memorable, shared experience it creates is a less obvious and easily missed benefit.

To switch things up, as a manager try finding some fun outdoor team building ideas. Especially is the weather at the said time is good. Spending some time outside the office and getting to know the new employees in fresh air will be very beneficial.

Following a team building activity, new hires may express that they had fun, gained a new perspective on their coworkers, or felt that the company cared enough about them to ensure their engagement and wasn’t just telling them to “get straight to work.”

However, the team building activity is what people remember when asked about their overall orientation experience two, three, or more years later. They might not remember much from the policy manuals they studied or the orientation movies they viewed. Nevertheless, because of the emotional impact of the team building program, they remember specifics from it.

In conclusion

Team-building exercises can be a crucial part of new hire onboarding. They are just as essential to preparing staff for success as providing them with the appropriate laptop and access to the appropriate software programs.

Team-building prepares new employees to contribute meaningfully to group efforts more rapidly by aiding in the development of trust, relationships, an understanding of team dynamics, and shared experiences.

You could read our article on Best Intern Onboarding Practices to learn more.

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