Team Building vs Team Bonding – What’s The Difference?

employee engagement activities in hr

Imagine, that there your team is emotionally low and having mundane days, and you organize a scavenger hunt activity for them! Or, there is a lack of goal orientation among team members and you take them out for a team lunch. Doing this is not wrong, however, it will only give a temporary solace to your team instead of a more permanent and right solution. So, what should be done? Management needs to understand the difference between Team Building and Team Bonding. Once the understanding concerning the same is clear, then it becomes easier to understand if your team needs group bonding activities or group team building ideas. 

Through this blog, we will explain the what is the difference between team building vs. team bonding and where to invest.

Team Building

At an event wherein, you feel that there is a lack of motivation among your team, or there is a specific skill that your team requires to perform a task, this is where team building comes into play. Team building is the organization of activities that enhance the skills of employees as well as management and help them perform better toward the company’s futuristic goals. In a nutshell, team building activities help in the personal as well as professional growth of the employees, making them a better fit in the organization. Activities such as team marathons, scavenger hunts, mystery challenges, sports leagues, etc are all group exercises for team building.

A. Benefits of Team Building

Team building activities can help you achieve a positive and motivated workforce. The top five benefits of team-building activities are: 

1. Increases Confidence

Team building activities make employees step out of their comfort zone and perform tasks which they may not be familiar with. This kind of environment boosts the confidence of the teams and also helps them to know their strengths. 

2. Increases Productivity

Team building exercises make employees work together, like a well-connected team, to achieve a common goal. Due to this goal-oriented process, the teams feel well connected enhancing the overall productivity of the teams. 

3. Improved problem-solving

Activities like scavenger hunts, mystery rooms, etc promote on-the-spot thinking, and quick decision making leading to more operative problem-solving skills among team members.  

4. Enhances Communication

When teams participate in team-building activities, they are put in an environment wherein they need to communicate effectively and clearly. Through this, members understand how they are required to communicate with each other and the level of understanding between them.  

5. Positive reinforcement

Team building activities create a sense of appreciation and belonging among team members. Also, by participating in these activities, the employees in exchange can provide honest and valuable feedback to the company which helps in the overall growth of the employees and the company.

Team Bonding

Team bonding exercises are more like group bonding activities for employee with no set objective. The main objective is to lighten the environment, reduce work pressure, and make the employees feel involved. Team bonding activities are designed to enhance interpersonal skills among team members, and to create a fun and happy bond between teams. Activities such as team lunches, corporate retreats, offsite, team picnics, etc are all group bonding activities for work or virtual teams.

B. Benefits of Team Bonding

Team bonding activities promote a social connection and team bond among members. The top five benefits of team bonding exercises are:

1. Mental Health Improvement

A constant work environment can create a sense of stress and pressure among team members. Through fun group bonding games companies can help teams to unwind and relax for a day which in turn can be a great boost in improving the overall mental health of the team members. 

2. Highlighting Hidden Talents

Team bonding activities which are inclined towards a more creative side, can help companies unearth hidden talents of their team members. Having fun activities like a cooking challenge, music competitions, art exhibitions, etc will motivate employees to come forward and showcase their hidden talents. 

3. Opportunity to Lead

Sometimes a change of environment can bring out the best in someone. Group bonding activities for work do not have to be professional, instead challenging activities like hiking, team games, murder mystery challenges, etc. can bring out a leader in an employee and help managers to see it and give better roles and responsibilities to these members. 

4. Stronger Relationships

When teams get to connect outside work, in a more relaxed environment there is a flow of conversations and teams get to connect on a personal level. This creates a sense of belonging and promotes stronger relationships. 

5. Connecting Remote Teams

Team bonding activities are a great way to bridge the gap between remote working members and virtual teams. With the availability of many virtual team bonding activities, remote working teams can now connect virtually to have some fun and bond with other teams.

Team Building vs. Team Bonding 

Team building has a more exhaustive role. It enhances the skill set of your employees and also makes your employees more goal-oriented and motivated. However, team bonding on the other hand, is an investment in the happiness of your teams and brings a fun element into the workplace. Both team building and team bonding are pieces of the same puzzle, yet have their own importance.