A recent cover of ESPN magazine featured the clenched fist of a hand bejeweled in the championship rings of four different major league sports. The caption read: “America’s most dominant sports city. Welcome to Boston: Four teams, seven titles, ten years, do the math.” Boston sports teams have dominated for the past decade, winning hundreds of games and bringing home championship titles. No doubt, Boston’s winning ways can be attributed to many factors, not the least of which has been the inclusion of team building experiences in their training regimen.
The Associated reported that the Bruins went on a team building trip to Great Diamond Island, off the coast of Maine. The team spent several days together, sharing experiences, and forming bonds with new players. Likewise, the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots have all made similar trips, or participated as a team in local charitable events, volunteering, or even hosting fundraisers. The coaches and trainers of these teams long ago realized that the value of these experiences translate to success, because the team members walk away with a better understanding of how each other work.
The ultimate purpose of team building exercises of any type is to assist teams in becoming a cohesive unit of individuals that can effectively and efficiently work together to complete tasks. As the modern workplace continues to grow and change, it is becoming more and more of a common practice for organizations today to hold team building events at either the department level or company level at least once a year. The added value of incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into these experiences is that everyone involved has something to gain.
Beyond the effects felt in your community, CSR team building can benefit your business. In the wake of corporate scandals, business investors have become much more attuned to the various social impact aspects associated with the companies they get involved with, and make evaluations more carefully considering them. The recession has played a large part in shifting the focus of many companies, making them more likely to concentrate on those aspects of CSR that help them as much as they help society. The present economic situation has shown us that the purely profit-motivated business model hasn’t worked. Many observers believe it is not the business of business to become involved in society, but the facts speak for themselves.
Companies with high CSR standards are able to clearly demonstrate a strong sense of awareness and responsibility to investors, employees, customers, and the public at large, and are able to enhance their corporate reputation through their good works. Considering all that, it’s no wonder more and more companies are jumping on the CSR team building bandwagon. When the difference between being a successful company and a mediocre one comes down to investing a bit of time in your employees and the community, many businesses are realizing that the path to winning is clear cut.