Updated: Jan 11
From workshops to fun challenges, why are team building activities important? And why even more so for retail?
You’ve heard countless times before that teamwork makes the dream work—and I agree—but... are some random employees thrown on the same shop floor really a team?
Luckily, retail team building activities go beyond a quick introduction and training period.
What are team building activities?
Team building activities are workshops, interactive meetings, and challenges undertaken by a group of colleagues to boost motivation, cooperation, and cohesiveness in the workplace.
They’re basically designed to bring a seemingly heterogeneous group of people together in an efficient, productive, and motivational way.
11 reasons why team building activities are important for your business
When organised correctly, team building activities are important because they improve the experience of both your team and your customers while leading to a healthier and more productive working environment (aka more revenue for you).
But let me tell you exactly how this happens.
1. Team building activities bring your staff together
Before you say that your team is already close-knit, are you sure? Like, actually sure?
Because, when they’re busy completing tasks or serving customers all day, your employees don’t always get a chance to socialise and get to know each other properly.
Not only that, but different rotas usually mean that the same people tend to work together on most shifts, leading to the creation of separate cliques. When another employee appears—either because they’re new or because they usually work different days—your team’s performance might not be as strong.
With retail team building activities, on the other hand, everyone gets to participate, getting to know other colleagues beyond their usual group and comfort zone.
2. They boost your employees’ morale
After weeks of busy shifts or difficult customers, knowing that there are some retail team building activities planned will give your staff something to look forward to.
It also breaks the usual shift pattern and lets them try something new.
This is even more important given the challenges that the pandemic has been placing on our industry since the very beginning. No wonder that 84% of retail staff has struggled with mental health during these uncertain times.
3. They facilitate communication
Misunderstandings on the shop floor are a big enemy of the day-to-day running of your company.
From particularly busy shifts to employees secretly starting to resent each other due to simple mistakes, a lack of communication is often at the very root of problems that turn into wider issues.
Socialising between employees can improve communication patterns by over 50%, and retail team building activities will encourage both.
These workshops give your employees a chance to consult with others, strategise, and find the most efficient way of completing a task together.
And this doesn’t go away once the team building session is over!
These activities motivate them and give them the right skills to maintain this collaborative spirit and healthy communication on a daily basis.
4. They help develop trust
Whether it’s to cover their shift or to share a task during a busy time, your employees need to feel that they can actually trust their colleagues.
When they do, they start to feel safe, comfortable, able to open up and to actually collaborate by embracing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
This also feeds into the communication side of things: in order to communicate effectively and openly, they need to trust each other. To get to that trust, they need to start with the right communication. Retail team building activities will favour both!
5. They inspire healthy competition
When they’re divided into smaller groups, your employees will find a way of achieving a set goal faster than the other factions… but in a fun way!
In fact, healthy competition has been proven to increase productivity.
Doing so during a retail team building activity means that they’ll all learn ways of collaborating smartly. While the competition between makeshift factions will disappear once your employees are back to being a larger team, this drive to achieve won’t.
This will make it easier for them to work together towards a common goal, such as your store targets or, for example, striving to do better than a different branch.
6. They enhance productivity and help your employees unlock their untapped potential, boosting your revenue
In a heterogeneous group of people, everyone focuses on their own task. In a powerful and productive team, colleagues share their workload in the smartest way possible to achieve a specific goal.
Retail team building activities are designed to help your employees find ways to collaborate proactively and dynamically, getting more work done in a faster and more efficient way.
Needless to say, this will allow your store to smash its targets and generate higher revenue. Plus, your customers will receive better service.
Come on: we can all tell the difference when we’re being served by an uninspired team member getting away with doing the bare minimum or someone who’s actually enthusiastic about what they do.
7. They encourage creativity and learning from others
What a waste if your employees have been holding onto their secret strategies and methods to overcome problems!
Instead, think of how much better your store would perform if everyone knew that they can confidently share tricks, come up with suggestions, and learn from each other.
Retail team building activities are a fantastic opportunity to start brewing fresh ideas and look at things from new perspectives instead of acting like a group of people who are actually working on different solo projects.
8. They facilitate conflict resolution
Despite being known as the happiest retailer on the planet, I can’t deny it: sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated at colleagues, especially when we’re the ones who’re actually feeling nervous, stressed, and overwhelmed.
But the main enemy, as I mentioned before, it’s still the same: a lack of communication.
When your team is distant and unintegrated, a simple disagreement can lead to a secret buildup of resentment that can negatively affect their performance.
Once your employees feel that they can communicate openly and trust each other, healthy conflict resolution will be a no-brainer.
Of course, there will still be disagreements. That’s part of the job—any job—but the important thing is that they will be solved amicably and constructively. When handled correctly, these conflicts can even turn into more valuable work and lessons.
9. Organising retail team building activities makes your employees feel valued
The fact that your company has decided to plan some team building activities shows your employees that you’re willing to invest in their development.
Rather than being just a number, they’ll feel that they’re actually valued, both as individuals and as a team.
10. This will improve your company culture
46% of potential candidates who consider a job but don’t actually apply do so because they feel that a company wouldn’t be a good culture fit… and I can’t blame them!
From attracting the right staff to retaining your existing ones, company culture plays a huge role in employee satisfaction.
And why are team building activities important for this aspect, too? Because—by making it easier for your staff to get to know and trust each other, communicate, and resolve conflicts but also feel heard and valued—they consequently boost both their morale and company culture overall.