The first problem is assuming a team can be built. The very word “built” assumes a mechanical process, steps to follow, instructions and structure. Important, but not what gets a person out of bed every day excited to see their fellow colleagues. Teams that are productive, effective and engaged are happy. Most would argue you can’t please everyone and you certainly can’t force happiness. But you can create the conditions that bring about individual, internal happiness.
According to Eva Ritvo, M.D. and Vice Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Miami, the brain is both complex and yet simple to map when it comes to happiness. The neurochemical drivers of happiness are identified through a “Happiness Trifecta”. Dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are the body’s cocktail for a good time. Any activity that naturally increases the production of these neurochemicals will cause a boost in mood.
Sometimes the best advice is to get your team together regularly outside the normal work environment and get them involved in new physical activities that serve others. There is no shortage of agencies and non-profits in need of volunteers with strong arms and feet. As people work side-by-side bonds can be built organically. The ultimate reward for your team will be multiple brains soaked in happiness which will spill out back at work in ways no one could artificially engineer.
What out-of-the-box altruistic team activity can you schedule in the last quarter of 2014?