People connect through shared experiences and there is no better experience to share than working together to help others. Team building activities are typically structured to encourage participants to interact with each other in an open and cooperative environment. Employees are asked to solve problems together and overcome challenges to enhance communication. With traditional team building this is sometimes achieved by playing games and completing puzzles which are intended to be fun and lighthearted. With charity team building, however, the team dynamics are achieved by completing projects such as building bikes or creating toys for kids. The same principles of team building apply because openness, communication, and cooperation are necessary to be able to successfully complete a project. Many people find this more effective because the challenges involved in building a simple toy wagon can more closely simulate the real-life workplace than any games can.
Companies often look for useful takeaways from team building activities which employees can apply back at the office. With traditional team building workshops most of the ideas work well for a few months at best. Eventually the novelty can wear off and employees fall back to the same culture of exclusivity and indifference until the next team building. With charity team building, however, the takeaway is more tangible. The beneficiary organization or charity will always remember the cooperation of the employees through the toys and items they received. Even more tangible is the relationship that the company creates with the receiving organization. Employees are able to create a strong connection within the work environment and also with the community outside of the office.
A service-oriented team building workshop is best conducted during the holidays when people are looking for ways to participate in activities that spread holiday cheer. Holiday team building workshops provide employees with a chance to interact closely with each other outside of the office environment and enjoy the holidays together. In addition, they are able to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit of giving by using the holiday team building activities to create things that others can enjoy and appreciate for a long time. This creates a terrific win-win-win for the individuals in the workshop, the company sponsoring the activity, and the receiving organization. The positive feeling of being connected and appreciated will go a long way in creating confidence and trust among employees which they will bring to the office environment long after the holidays are gone.