On April 5, 2010, I wrote an article “Team Building Makes Me Feel Dead Inside” where I talked about my thoughts on mandatory team building efforts. I don’t like them at all, mainly because I feel they’re more about giving lazy management a reason to ignore bad morale than they are about genuinely building effective teams.
Since that article, I’ve been very surprised by the entries appearing in my search logs that pointed to that article. I’m listing them here (this is a complete reference of every entry related to team building–I haven’t omitted anything).
Now it’s true my article wasn’t particularly positive where team building is concerned, but when I look through this list, I see mostly negative, or negative-neutral search terms. Even “mandatory team building” carries a negative connotation, because of the forced aspect implied by the keywords. Seeing this prompted me to look up some of these search terms in Google.
When I searched just for “team building“, I found a long list of companies that provided team building services, and news relating to team building. When I searched for “enjoyed team building“, I found testimonials people had written for others. In neither case did I find “diary-style” entries where people talked about how they really felt.
But when I searched for “crap team building” which shows in my logs with the highest frequency, I got the results pictured here.
This is hardly a scientific examination. In fact, it took me longer to write this article than it did to find these search results.
But I wonder…when people have the opportunity to speak their minds about team building, is it consistently negative? Do people, in general, loathe team building activities?
More importantly, if the management who spent money on team building activities and kept this industry in business knew how their staff felt about team building, would it change their minds about how they went about it? Or would management proceed anyway thinking it was for the employees’ own good?
How do you feel?