Building your very best team

RedBalloon For Business

Every organisation aspires to build high-performing teams. Because when you manage to assemble a group of smart, committed people who work effectively together, great things can happen. Processes flow. Ideas emerge. Things get done, and get done well.

Just as a sporting team is victorious when everything comes together seamlessly from first kick to final goal, solid teamwork is the foundation for success in business. So what makes a standout team – one that, through a shared vision, can thrive under pressure and work with agility to create consistently great outcomes?

The Australian Institute of Management believes success comes down to having a collaborative group that’s greater than the sum of its parts: “Managers that develop an engaged and focused team who communicate freely, resolve conflicts quickly, and trust one another implicitly will create unparalleled value for their organisations.”

Trust – the cornerstone of every good relationship

Trusting one another implicitly. Trust often takes time, and getting to this point requires real connection between people. In fact, human connection has been shown to be the greatest indicator to wellbeing. The World Economic Forum has just released its findings after the longest-ever study into human happiness. It declared that the secret of a long and healthy life lies in forging and maintaining good, close relationships with other people.

And this is where we come in. At RedBalloon, we’ve been facilitating positive connection between co-workers for over 20 years. Bringing people together to have fun, draw them out of themselves, get to know each other – and build trust.

The potential implicit in human association constantly fascinates and inspires us. How can we tap into this idea of creating better relationships, to deliver harmonious and positive outcomes in Australian and New Zealand workplaces? Because happiness, of course, isn’t just confined to home life. We spend so much time at work that we need to ensure we feel fulfilled and valued there, too. With our depth of experience in this area, we think we’ve got a few answers. Fundamentally, this is the area where we ‘show up’ as a business ourselves.

Creating stories to create something much bigger

So, motivating and levelling up teams to connect and be their best is the goal. But how to achieve it? At RedBalloon, we’ve always known that a shared experience or memory can spark so many things. Ultimately, it creates a story that can be told over and over again. Stories over stuff – it’s our credo for good reason.

We’ve long maintained that the team that plays together, stays together. Research backs this up; in 2021 the Harvard Business Review found “When it comes to building extraordinary workplaces and high-performing teams… three psychological needs are essential: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.” It’s this last one that a shared RedBalloon experience can give you. We bring people together so that they actually relate to each other. You can have a CEO rubbing shoulders (or trapeze harness) with the most junior staffer. They share a laugh. They talk. They have fun.

RedBalloon has a wide and very eclectic range of team-building experiences. Whether you’re comparing hula hooping techniques with your area manager or whipping up a linguine with your PA, you can be sure that a shared experience or common story, helps you to get to really get to know someone – fast. Not just their ‘work persona’ – we all have those – but the real person. What makes them laugh? How do they react to certain types of situations? What are they like, outside their comfort zone? Yes, there may be some awkward moments, but these types of experiences are great levellers.

The Why of elevated engagement

While team bonding guarantees a great time, it has a deeper purpose for employers. Getting to know someone better, sharing a story, and building trust all lead to a form of ‘social fitness’, which refers to the strength and quality of our relationships.

When staff feel they are on a level with someone, it means they’re much more likely to be honest with them. More willing to speak the truth and to take risks. To give frank and genuine feedback. And – importantly – to challenge people to greatness.

Linked to this, a concept that really resonates with us is ‘Radical Candor’, which is explained in the bestselling book of the same name by former Apple and Google exec Kim Malone Scott. Basically, it means being able to give feedback that incorporates both praise and criticism – saying what you think, while actually caring about the person you’re saying it to. It’s a framework that allows “caring personally while challenging directly.” And it leads to people performing at their best.

When you have a team who know and respect each other, who are able to have fun together, to let their guard down and most importantly trust and be honest with one another – that’s the sweet spot from which the real building can begin.

At RedBalloon, we’re proud to help make it happen.

The five key traits of high-performing teams:

(Source: Forbes, Jan 2021)


Clear communication

Defined roles and responsibilities

Engaged leadership

Collective goals

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