Three people give each other a high five after successfully completing a team building task.Team building activities sometimes come in for criticism. Recently in the UK the company Vodafone published a survey which claimed to show that teambuilding activities are not effective. Various media and bloggers commented on this and, typically, examples of the types of activities used included trust falls (which we don’t recommend for health and safety reasons), massages from colleagues (I’ve not seen that in over 20 years in the business) and lingerie parties (nope, not seen that either).

Some of the adverts that have lampooned team building include this one from American Airlines which is well done and funny but, again, uses clichéd representations of team building activities. Business tends to like provable and measurable activities and it’s not always easy to include such things as fun and relationships in that. However, most managers know that time out and fun are important to get the best out of their teams.

With the Vodafone publicity and a fair amount of negative coverage of team building it’s not been the best start for the industry. However, sales don’t seem to have suffered and there is as much interest in events as last year. Fun events can be an easy target, particularly if people choose to misrepresent it, but most managers can see beyond that and know whether it’s something that their team needs and something that will help them to achieve their goals.