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.
11. Team building activities can reduce staff turnover
Now that you know why team building activities are important and how they can improve company culture, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they also help reduce turnover.
And yet I’m shocked at how many companies complain about this problem on LinkedIn while not doing anything to improve their employees’ satisfaction levels or to bring their teams together.
Don’t be that kind of boss!
Make your staff feel valued and motivated by organising team building activities that can turn them from an uninspired group of people ‘just doing their job’ to a solid team SMASHING IT together.
Why are retail team building activities especially needed?
Unless we’re talking about solopreneurs, I can’t think of a single industry that wouldn’t benefit from these workshops.
And yet, while we’ve already established why team building activities are important in general, let’s see why they’re even more so for the retail industry:
Unlike a 9-to-5 office job, the rota-based shift patterns that characterise retail mean that certain team members are more likely to work with others, leading to the creation of cliques and other colleagues feeling left out
Retail is traditionally seen as a stressful job, and it can certainly be that way if there’s poor management and a lack of communication. In fact, it has the 5th highest burnout rate across all industries!
Retail is one of the industries with the highest employee turnover rate in the UK, too: improving company culture, boosting morale, and creating tight-knit teams is more important than ever
Discover our retail team building activities & workshops
After twenty years in retail, I’m still upset with the misconceptions around what I consider a bustling and inspiring industry… but even more so with the companies that actually reinforce them, whether that’s by creating stressful work environments or leaving their employees on their own.
Be part of the change!
I started The International Retail Academy to help turn the retail sector into a promising career path. We have created retail team building activities and workshops for different aims and can easily tailor them to your own needs, both remotely and in person.
I have curated a range of core topics that can benefit you whilst partnering as an extension of your team, I will deliver a truly bespoke programme for your unique needs.
This workshop includes the best team building activities for retail staff!
We won’t spoil it for you, but let us just say that this fun day even includes the opportunity to star in a team movie that we’ll edit and send to your store within two weeks.
It’s the perfect chance to help your team bond and tap into their actual potential.
While our Team Building Day is always a good idea, we especially recommend it to take some pressure off your staff around:
The start of a new season or financial quarter
A new store opening
Unfortunately, it’s easy for what looked like a promising manager to start ‘box ticking’ instead of inspiring your team and being a positive influence.
This workshop will allow them to go from managers to leaders—and not silent, aggressive, or passive ones!
Our Mindful Leadership, Softskill Development focuses on understanding the emotional side of leadership, learning how to identify feelings, what triggers them, and how to actually master them.
This won’t only help them handle any challenge with confidence: it’ll allow them to pass on this knowledge to the entire team by leading by example thanks to their new mindful approach.
Remember when we mentioned our industry’s high burnout rate? These team building activities for retail will allow your company to reduce yours.
Covering essential topics (such as healthy stress, the biological impact of too much stress, and how it can slow down a team), it’ll give your employees the tools to build resilience and a strong mindset.
This will allow them to feel in control of themselves even during busy shifts or challenging situations by opting for a continuous mindful approach rather than isolated negative outbursts.
Basically, happier employees, less procrastination, better results.
This obviously involves retail team building activities for your staff, but the biggest change you’ll see will be… in your customers!
Once we teach your employees our juicy tricks to connect with them emotionally, they’ll go from browsers to loyal brand fans.
This workshop covers aspects like body language, hidden messages, and communication that can make or break a customer’s experience in your stores.
Your shop floor will become a stage… and team performance will obviously matter even more.
The foundation for effective leadership is clear communication with intent.
As almost 80% of employees quit due to poor relationships with their line managers, this workshop is your chance to prevent this from happening in your stores.
We help your leaders become great doers rather than micro-managers, allowing your employees to feel heard and understood.
This workshop covers topics such as hard and soft coaching, matching it to personality types, giving and receiving feedback, considered communication, and more.
So, why are team building activities important? I’d say they’re actually essential if you wish to create a loyal workforce while boosting both company culture and performance. Let me help you get there.