One little known fact about team building activities, is that used in the right way will build trust throughout the team. This is down to the group experiencing an activity that makes them feel uncomfortable, and so they are forced to rely on each other both for direction and support.
The phrase sorting the men out from the boys, does spring to mind in this kind of activity. What often happens is that unlikely heroes emerge to take on greater responsibility for the team, and contribute good, useful ideas.
The advantages of having trust in a team, can not be overstated in the workplace. With trust comes reliance and obligation from the trustee. Therefore, if they are asked to perform a task, they will not only perform it but perform it well. They will tend to have a greater interest in the team, and the larger world of the company as a whole. The better this understanding, the better they can apply themselves to a task, and have a greater understanding of why they are being asked to do it. They will become a team player.
The other advantage of promoting trust through a shared experience, is that it can address issues with a team such as personality conflicts, as all the people that are involved in the conflict are more exposed and forced to work together. Though in some cases this can have a detrimental effect on the team, in other cases it can go a long way to resolving the issue.
Good teams are greater than the sum of their parts, and a good team building activities will fine tune the team, promote a bond and become more than just a group of people with a job to do. It will also discover future leaders of the team, and promote trust and morale.