Across the globe, the workplace environment has changed dramatically over the last two years. Employees working remotely had to embrace technology to communicate and connect virtually with their colleagues and clients alike, and the legal profession was certainly no different. Now that we are settled back into the office, it’s almost as if we all have to get to know each other again and also relearn how to work together as one cohesive team.
So how can we reconnect with our colleagues? One great way is taking part in some Team Building exercises which are designed to help teams to work together on achieving one common goal. In this article we are going to highlight the benefits of team building for your law firm and share some ideas that you can organise for you and your colleagues.
What is Team Building?
Team Building is essentially a strategy to enhance connections between members of a group in order to help them accomplish their goals in a more efficient way. It’s a management technique that has been used across many different types of organisations and professions and it usually involves activities or events that take place outside of the typical workday.
The end goal is that you and your colleagues should have learned more about each other and developed skills to help you work together, skills that can then be transferred to the workplace.
When it comes to solicitors, team building activities can play an important role in creating bonds, re-energizing your team, and encouraging cross-practice collaboration. So let’s look at those benefits of team building in greater detail.
The benefits of Team Building for law firms
Encourages teams to work collaboratively
In the legal profession, there’s often a crossover between different areas of practice, as more often than not, your clients will require legal assistance for a number of different issues. Encouraging your legal team to take part in team building activities allows for team members to get to know each other, which in turn will nurture a more collaborative culture within the firm.
Essentially, if you want your legal team to work as one unified crew, activities that require cross team collaboration are going to be hugely useful in helping you to achieve this. And of course not only does this benefit your team, it’s also going to result in a more positive experience for your clients. As Henry Ford once said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
2. Promotes a culture of mutual trust and respect
Being in the legal profession requires a huge amount of trust and respect amongst your colleagues. Often, you are dealing with sensitive information and helping your clients navigate difficult and complex situations. It’s important to know that you can rely on and trust your colleagues when the need arises. Furthermore, when you encourage a culture of mutual trust and respect, team members allow each other the breathing space and autonomy to make independent decisions and accomplish their tasks when required.
There are many examples of team building exercises that put people in a position where they are forced to place their trust in their fellow teammates.
3. Shows your appreciation for your team
For employees, regardless of their profession, feeling appreciated by their management is important. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 81% of employees feel motivated to work harder when they feel appreciated by their employer. And of course, like many other professions, solicitors encounter their fair share of stress and fatigue from the sheer workload. What better way to show your team that they are appreciated by giving them a chance to take a break from work and take part in some fun team building activities?
Making these kinds of activities a priority shows your team that you care about them and their wellbeing. You have an opportunity to show your valued team that you appreciate their hard work by rewarding them with a light hearted and enjoyable activity that brings the whole team together.
4. Enhances performance and encourages healthy competition
Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, and being able to identify those characteristics is essential for a successful team. Team building exercises are a great way for everyone to understand their colleagues’ individual strengths and interests, which will help the team to work better together. This can only have a positive impact on how you will approach a challenge when back in the workplace. Each person will have something unique to contribute and by everyone working to their strengths, your team can reach your collective potential together.
On the flip side, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition, which has been shown to boost productivity. By channelling that competitive spirit, teams are motivated to work together to achieve their goal. You’d be amazed how quickly colleagues will learn how to work together when there’s a little incentive to win on the table.
5. Helps to identify natural leaders within your team
If you’re running your own law firm, it’s always important to have a plan for who can take over the reins, either in the short term should you need to take some time off, or in the long term if you’re considering a succession plan for when you retire.
Team building activities are the perfect opportunity to identify team members with natural leadership skills. For example, you might see that certain team members encourage their peers and supervise the team-building task with confidence. Or perhaps they are adept at communicating with the team using clear and concise instructions, while also listening to alternative ideas. This insight into an employee’s personality may not have been revealed in a normal work setting, however it can be extremely valuable to you when it comes to succession planning.
For more on Succession Planning, you may be interested in watching our webinar, Practical Succession Planning on replay here which delves into strategies to give you the best options for exiting your law firm when the time comes. This webinar counts for one hour of CPD training under the Management and Professional Development category.
6. Improved communication and boosts morale.
Any solicitor will know that communication is essential when it comes to a positive client experience. But it is even more important for a legal team to be able to communicate effectively. Furthermore, people want to work in a friendly environment and good communication is the first step in achieving this. Team building activities are actually designed with a specific goal to improve communication. It’s a chance for people to feel comfortable and content in talking to their colleagues. According to a survey conducted by Team Building Hub, 63% of leaders felt team communication improved after participating in team building activities
Since team building often involves games and fun activities, it can be an effective way to boost employee morale. Completing a fun tasks outside of the workplace can help employees identify the common goals they share with their colleagues. So while improving the communication, a more positive work environment is created for employees, which leads to a happier workforce.
Team Building – worth the investment?
There are many more benefits to team building that we couldn’t even fit in here, so it’s certainly worth making the time and effort. With employee wellbeing remaining a top priority for businesses worldwide, investing in activities that will bring your team together will ultimately result in a happier, productive and united law firm. And the great news is that there’s a team building activity to suit everyone – it doesn’t have to involve zip lining across a ravine, it can be as simple as a casual table quiz or a murder mystery experience. Once everyone has the right attitude, it will have positive benefits your both the firm and your clients.
*The aim of our blog is to share valuable information and resources with our colleagues. Follow us on social so you get notified of our latest blogs.
To become a contributor to the blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.