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Wednesday, November 13th 2019

Nov 13, 2019

The Benefits of Team Building

Jessica Darke, Producer

The Arcana crew just returned from a successful and rigorous team-building workshop in Las Vegas.

According to Forbes and MIT's Human Resources lprogram, a team-building workshop must take place offsite and away from typical work triggers like computers, phones, and the four-walled, office.

Team building has been shown to increase the productivity and engagement level of employees. Furthermore, organizations with highly engaged employees earn 2x the net income of those companies with employees who just don't care about their teammates or the company. Team building breaks down typical work-stress barriers and invites employees to see each other as human beings, friends, and allies in a quest for the gloried victory of "I like my job."

Our 36-hour intensive included activities that taught the following lessons.

1. Communication: We sat around a large table, in hindsight very similar to our meeting room table and communicated to one another through the noise and commotion of the infamous, Lavo Brunch, I'd call it more of a "Day Club" than Bruch but hey, positioning is key. Not being able to hear each other, we communicated through pantomime, napkin note writing, and the loud whisper. All the while dressed in our Hawaiian themed attire. In addition to being a fun way to figure out what to wear, dressing similarly also queues to the outside: these people are together, they are a tribe, and reinforces the notion of team.

2. Collaboration: The goal: Gather 100 dollars. Without speaking to one another, or being too obvious about the mission, our team foot-shuffled, gathered, and picked-up over 100 dollars in singles. And no, we weren't at a strip club when this happened. Honest, it was not even dark out.

3. Betting on your colleagues: Knowing that you have the support and backing of your colleagues is incredibly important when relying on them to complete their tasks during high stakes project development. While in Vegas, we literally bet money on our teammates, psychologically reinforcing the close-knit and supportive nature of the team. All of us left winning more than we lost, a first of many Vegas trips.

Which brings us to our last lesson,

4. Trying new things: There is plenty of data on the benefit of trying new things, taking risks, and exploring the uncomfortable feeling of leaving boundaries. On this trip, each of us was able to note a "first." Some examples of firsts included: playing craps, eating octopus, visiting the Neon Museum, wearing cat ears, and taking a photo with performers on Fremont Street in Old Vegas. According to behavioral psychologist, Andrea Kuszewski, trying new things releases dopamine, creates new neurons, heightens awareness, and encourages growth and learning. All of which created great memories to be relived for weeks to come.

Team building encourages employee retention, engagement, and improves communication. Even better than all that, if done well, won't feel like a team-building at all.

Arcana Academy is an advertising agency based in Los Angeles, CA. Original illustration by Jay Josue, Arcana Academy designer and illustrator.

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