Do companies need team building?

Do companies need team building?

We are the VR team building specialists, but do companies need team building? There is a surprising amount of evidence that they do.

We know organizations across the globe are developing strategies that are aimed at improving their employee’s performance as it is deeply connected with the overall corporate performance and productivity level (Obiekwe, 2018).

Organizations are focusing on the proactive formation of work teams as a way to improve this performance of individual members to maximize general organizational productivity (Baridam and Nwibere, 2008). This is where team building is one of the most significant methods used by organizations to maximize individual as well as group productivity (Fapohunda, 2013).

What is team building?

Fapohunda (2013) stated that team building involves a variety of activities, presented to the organizations aimed at improving team performance. This kind of organizational intervention, ensures self-development, positive communication, and the development of leadership, all this leading to the ability to work better as a team to solve problems.

Team building is a process through which a team studies its process of working together and creates a context that encourages the contributions of team members (Chive, Chen, Lu and Lee, 2006). Brandy (2018) states that team building involves helping employees and management alike to learn how to work together as a team. Team building can help with the improvement of interpersonal relationships within the company, increase the motivation of the employees, and it can help with getting to a resolution for organizational conflicts (Kriek 2007).

What are the outputs of team building?

A meta-analysis conducted by Klein and colleagues (2009), based on 60 effects sizes, supports the utility of team building on several outcomes. Some of the most important were goal setting and role clarification. Goal setting and role clarification components create a shared understanding of the task and team.

Osemene (2018) has pointed out that team building can influence the performance of the employees of organizations, in areas such as service delivery, organizational responsiveness, and market value creation for its products and services among others.

Jade (2012) has summarized the benefits of team building as follows:

Improvement of the employee’s morale and leadership skills
Helps target all barriers that hinder creativity
Helps analyze goals and objectives
Enhancement of organizational productivity
Identification of team strengths and the weakness
Additionally, it helps ease the conflicts by allowing employees to bond with one another and get to know each other better. It promotes teamwork which is highly important because the teams from an organization, need to efficiently solve the problems that they may come across.

Summary

McQuerrey (2019) asserted that teamwork helps individuals from organizations to work well together, improves productivity, and raises the morale of the organization members. In short, it adds a huge contribution to organizational productivity and effectiveness.

In the light of the global Pandemic COVID-19, doing classical team-building activities has become increasingly difficult. Given that, having an alternative for bringing people together is very important. VR technologies involve an immersive sound and visual-based experience, replicating the real word or augmenting its features.

Using VR technologies as a solution has become more accessible over the years ( Patera, Draper & Naef, 2008). VR is already used to help increase team performance in a sports or military setting. Whether is a soldier-based simulator or gameplay scenario, the users of the VR technologies can train and improve their abilities, through the realistic environment that is provided (Fan & Wen, 2019).

Some people might be worried about using technologies to replace human interaction. As team building involves connection. But does it have to be a physical connection?

Over the years where the internet has taken over, we’ve seen that is physical presence is not required all the time for you to connect with someone. Just using messages, videos or your recorded voice can help you get to know people all around the globe. The connection you make with other people is not by any means diminished. VR can take that to the next level, and create an immersive experience where you can meet someone, almost as you would meet them in the real life.

You would think that trust between each other, would be the hardest to get if it does not imply face-to-face interactions. Corbit and collaborators (2004) showed that when people work on teams face to face, relative to teams that collaborate virtually, there is no significant difference between their results. Trust emerged in both groups and the virtual team scored higher in the direction of effective performance.

People can use these technologies, to create a team-building experience where they can know each other better, have fun and improve their collaboration. Using VR in this way is relevant for organizations, as team-building has a real significance for improving the overall efficacy of the organization, and is an innovative option in these socially distanced times.

Our VR Team Building and Team Assessment Services

We are the VR team building specialists and we combine the best of team building with the best of VR to create some truly unique experiences for your teams.

We also offer team assessment and diagnostics, we can help you determine where your team currently is in terms of team performance and importantly what you can do to move them to a high performance stage.

Contact us now for an informal chat about your team development needs.

 

References:

Obiekwe, O., Zeb-Obipi, I. & Oparanma, A.O. (2018). Impact of firm-based family culture on employee involvement in Nigerian manufacturing firms. IIARD International Journal of Economics and Business Management, 4(1), 93-101.
Baridam, D. M. & Nwibere, B. M. (2008). Understanding and managing organizational behaviours. Port Harcourt: Sherbrooke Associates
Fapohunda, T. M. (2013). Towards effective team building in the workplace. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(4), 1-12
Brady, D. (2018). The Positive Impact of Team Building. Retrieved from: https://www.totalteambuilding.com.au/the-positive-impact-of-team-building/
Fapohunda, T. M. (2013). Towards effective team building in the workplace. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(4), 1-12.
Kriek, H.S. (2007). A survey of the prevalence and nature of teambuilding interventions in South African organizations. Paper presented at the 12th Conference of the Eastern Academy of Management in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Ikon, M. A., Onwuchekwa, F. & Okolie-Osemene, M. (2018). Team building and employee performance in selected breweries in South East, Nigeria. European Journal of Business and Innovation Research, 6(1), 14-39
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C. S., Lyons, R., & Goodwin, G. F. (2009). Does team building work?. Small group research, 40(2), 181-222.
McQuerrey, L. (2019). What are the benefits of teamwork on organization effectiveness? Retrieved from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-teamwork-organizationeffectiveness-78220.html
Patera, M., Draper, S., & Naef, M. (2008). Exploring Magic Cottage: A Virtual Reality Environment for Stimulating Children’s Imaginative Writing. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(3), 245-263.
Corbitt, G., Gardiner, L. R., & Wright, L. K. (2004, January). A comparison of team developmental stages, trust and performance for virtual versus face-to-face teams. In 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the (pp. 8-pp). IEEE.

Benefits of team building using VR

Benefits of team building using VR

Many studies show the advantages of virtual reality for effective team building (Ellis, 2008).

Industries have been developing team building games exponentially these past decades for this reason. If your company has already organized team building activities, you may be wondering how effective they are and how they can be improved using virtual reality. First of all, these are the main benefits that can be observed from team building activities :

  • Improving communication between coworkers
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased morale and motivation

These benefits aren’t only limited to VR team building, but VR technologies present advantages and particularities that you should definitely consider.

 

Traditional team building vs VR team building :

Health and safety measures : With the current situation of the global pandemic, remote working has exploded. It doesn’t come as a surprise either that new technologies have been more and more used as a result. Virtual reality in the workplace enables international collaborations but also close in situ collaborations, while respecting the safety measures.

Endless scenarios and lower cost: Team building requires quite some organization and budget. The initial investment in VR is quickly made profitable, considering the fact you can have extremely diverse choice activities and games that don’t require having to pay for transportation or accomodation.

Higher levels of attention and engagement : With VR team building, there is no place for passivity. The engagement is higher than with usual team building events. When you are invested in a virtual reality activity, you are fully immersed and more attentive and mindful (Izzouzi, 2021).

 

Specific benefits of VR for team building :

The notion of collaborative reality : We all evolve in a shared reality, but not necessarily always in a collaborative mode. By creating artificial virtual spaces, we create places where people don’t even have to be in the same room or country, but are still able to live a shared moment together. It creates a profound communication, as it enables us to share a very particular vision and perspective.

By cooperating in this miniature created environment, you are reinforcing the sharing process and interactivity (Klackova, 2021). This can be very useful in times of pandemic, but also just in general to reinforce international teams that were maybe already being coordinated virtually.

Social identity theory : When playing a game in virtual reality, there is a stronger sense of identification to the group than with a traditional game. The initial work group isn’t necessarily that strong. Some personal characteristics can overcome the identification to the group ; such as gender for example. Creating a stronger identification to the group has many benefits : it improves communication, cooperation, and productivity. Most importantly individuals that are part of this new ephemeral group tend to contribute more to the work group afterwards, after the games have been played (Ren, Kraut, and Kiesler, 2007).

Increasing social communication : Most groups are oriented towards the task, and not on the emotions between the peers. By participating in a virtual game using VR ; individuals are forced to increase their communication but in a different setting than usual. Games call for other kinds of communications than usual work tasks, which leads to increased levels of social communication (Olson, 2002). Colleagues don’t have to be friends, but by maintaining emotional relationships with them you increase their trust and general group productivity.

Focusing on body language : This benefit aims for teams that were originally virtual, but can also work for non virtual teams. One of the main problems with teams that are purely virtual is that there aren’t any nonverbal cues in virtual communication usually (Maloney, 2020). These nonverbal cues are displayed in body language ; and enhance trust and cohesion in a group. By entering a virtual world, these groups now have the chance to develop their interactions on another level, via their avatar.Avatars have been recognized to balance this negative effect quite effectively. The representation of the scheme of the whole body is important for an effective team work, and virtual reality is the only type of technology that enables one to fully embody avatars (Postmes, 2003).

 

Our VR Team Building and Team Assessment Services

We are the VR team building specialists and we combine the best of team building with the best of VR to create some truly unique experiences for your teams.

We also offer team assessment and diagnostics, we can help you determine where your team currently is in terms of team performance and importantly what you can do to move them to a high performance stage.

Contact us now for an informal chat about your team development needs.

 

References :

Ellis, 2008. Games for virtual team building, Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Cape Town, South Africa, February 25-27.

Hogg & Abrams. 1999 Social identity and social cognition: Historical background and current trends. In D. Abrams & M. A. Hogg (Eds.), Social identity and social cognition (pp. 1-25),. Oxford, England.

Izzouzi, 2021. Effectiveness of Social Virtual Reality, University College London
Department of Computer Science.
James, K. and Greenberg, J. 1989 In-Group Salience, Inter group Comparison, and Individual Performance and Self-Esteem. Personality and Social Psyc. Bulletin, 15 (4), 604-616.

Klackova, 2021. November 2021IOP Conference Series Materials Science and Engineering 1199(1):012005.

Maloney, 2020. Talking without a Voice : Understanding Non-verbal Communication in Social Virtual Reality, Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 4(CSCW2):1-25.

Olson, 2002.. Distance matters. Human Computer Interaction 15.

Postmes, 2003. A social identity approach to communication in organizations. In A. Haslam, D. van Knippenberg, M. Platow, & N. Ellemers (eds.), Social identity at work: Developing theory for organizational practice. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

Ren, Kraut, and Kiesler, 2007. Applying common identity and bond theory to design of online communities. Organization Studies, 28(3), 377-408.

Sutanto, Phang, Kuan, Kankanhalli, 2005. Vicious and Virtuous Cycles in Global Virtual Team Role Coordination,Proceedings of the Thirty-Eighth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, United States, 3-6 January.