Teambuilding is a stressful exercise for any manager. While thousands of management experts tell people about the importance of team building, most employees view it as a pointless waste of time. The attitudes expressed by the people in Dilbert mirror the attitudes of the actual employees. Team-building exercises prevent people from doing their jobs. This means that a good manager has to be sneaky and find ways to make it fun. Companies like AT&T and others, despite their poor record on things like net neutrality, have found ways to do this.
Engage in Competitive Games
One great way to build teams is to put people on actual teams and pit the teams against each other. Some managers try to relate this to the job. Note that this strategy only works for people who are naturally team players. Strong individualists will not improve their performance this way.
Show employees what they can get out of it
Employees are motivated by self-interest. This is true even for team players, but the only way to reach the strong individualist is to let him or her know that he or she has something to gain from engaging in activities that strengthen the team. Never, ever pitch this as a team strengthening activity. This will not impress the strong individualist.
Many sales positions like to make over-the-top promises, especially to new employees. Sometimes they even discourage negativity. While extreme negativity is not helpful, it is not useful to expect everyone to be positive all the time. Life does not work that way. No one should get upset if the team falls short of expectations on occasion. There are times when it is not the fault of the employees, although upper management tends to look at things this way. The manager in the middle has to balance expectations with reality.