Podcast: How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges
June 3, 2024
Podcast: Building Thriving Teams through Games and Play (with Alexandra Suchman)
June 17, 2024
Podcast: How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges
June 3, 2024
Podcast: Building Thriving Teams through Games and Play (with Alexandra Suchman)
June 17, 2024

The Difference Between Team Bonding, Team Building, and Team Development

Did you know that team bonding, team building, and team development are not just different terms for the same thing? They each have their own definitions and goals, and all three are important.

Team Bonding: All About Having Fun

Team bonding refers to fun programs involving networking or rapport building. Common goals of team bonding are to have a good time, show appreciation for employees, or celebrate. These activities may not connect to a workplace goal or skill at all. For the most part, team bonding should be optional; make sure everyone knows they’re welcome but not obligated to join. And remember that not everyone enjoys the same types of games and activities, so try to have different types of activities that might appeal to different people.

A few examples of team bonding activities:

  • Going out to lunch or dinner
  • Attending a sports game or concert together
  • Anniversary, birthday, or retirement parties
  • Game nights
  • Team volunteering

Team Building: A Chance for Growth

Team building is a chance for growth, reflection, and potentially ongoing learning. There should be a specific goal for these activities, like building trust, improving communication, stronger team collaboration, etc. You may want to plan some follow up to keep the concepts alive for your team. And consider having an outside facilitator come in to lead the activity, so leadership can participate as part of the group.

A few examples of team building activities:

  • Breaking into groups to discuss topics
  • Accessibility training
  • Taking an assessment like CliftonStrengths®, DiSC, or Working Genius

Team Development: Going Deeper

Team development is a deep dive focused on behavior change and team performance. The goal is to create behavioral or organizational change. This could be a multiphase activity, and it should be designed around long-term targeted goals.

A few examples of team development activities:

  • Leadership training series
  • Creating organizational values
  • Team retreats
  • Internal book clubs

Activity Planning for Bonding, Building, and Development

Wondering whether to plan for bonding, building, or development and which activities to choose? Here are some questions to guide you.

  • What’s your goal for the activity?
  • What’s the timeframe for the activity?
  • Will you do any follow up?
  • What are you doing already for bonding, building, and development? Are you missing any of those three areas?
  • What’s your budget?
  • What are your employees interested in? (consider surveys or focus groups to find out)

If you’re looking for a facilitator for your team bonding, team building, or team development activities, reach out to Purple Ink! We’d be happy to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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