The Perfect Guide: Best Building Activities for Your Team
Friday, March 10, 2023
For a team to be effective and productive, they need to work well together. Good, strong teams make the workplace a happier environment. When done correctly, team building can improve job satisfaction and make the group feel more connected and like a tight-knit group rather than merely a bunch of coworkers.
Sometimes, introducing team building activities doesn’t always go over well with the employees. A lot of people may think they are boring or ineffective. Some might feel that they are a waste of time that could better be spent elsewhere. However, that’s because they haven’t tried the right types of team building activities.
Below, we’ll be looking at the biggest benefits that can come from team building activities, as well as a wide array of various types of exercises that you could introduce to your team. While these are geared toward businesses, for the most part, you will find that the fun team building activities are beneficial for any sort of group that needs to work together in or out of the workplace.
What Are Team Building Activities?
These activities and exercises are meant to help build stronger connections between employees. The goal is to help enable improved teamwork and to create strong, lasting bonds.
The team building games might focus on improving communication, collaboration, motivation, team values, conflict resolution, sharing skills, or simply getting to know each other better for example. Going through a shared experience with a team really can help to bring people together. Quality team building is one of the most important things you can do for your company and your employees.
Biggest Benefits of Team Building Activities
Proper team building will help to enhance the bonds amongst the group. It helps them feel more comfortable and confident when working together. They learn to trust those around them, which is a huge part of having an effective team. Before we get into the different team building activities, though, let’s get a deeper look at the benefits that can be had.
Team building activities can help a company increase productivity by showing employees the benefits of working together to reach a common goal. The stronger the connection the team feels toward one another the more effort they will put into achieving the goals in front of them. The increased focus, along with better communication, discussed later, can help to increase overall productivity.
Activities that help teams learn to work well together often require good communication. Team building can help individuals in a group learn to better understand and communicate with one another. As team members start to develop relationships outside of the standard office setting, their conversations tend to flow more naturally.
It also helps to foster more open communication when there are questions or issues. This leads to fewer misunderstandings between team members and managers.
A lot of times, people end up getting stuck in a rut in their jobs. They come in and do essentially the same thing each day. This can deplete a person’s creativity before too long. Team building activities can help to change that. They can learn to see work situations from the perspectives of their coworkers, not just their own. It can help to encourage outside-the-box thinking and see work problems through the lens of coworkers.
How well do the coworkers know one another? Do they simply sit in adjacent cubicles or offices and never communicate beyond that? Are you putting together a new team, or are you trying to collaborate with a different department?
When people don’t really know one another, you have to expect that trust will be limited. There is far more to team success than just doing the job placed in front of them. They need to feel safe around their coworkers. They need to trust them.
Of course, trust is one of those things that takes time to build. Implementing these activities will help people to become more familiar with their coworkers, and it will start to help them build more of a relationship.
Discovers Strengths and Weaknesses
Managers will find that these team building exercises can be illuminating when it comes to learning more about their employees. They can more easily see where certain strengths and weaknesses lie. This can help them to determine what other training could be beneficial, and it may help them when they are building out teams later. The activities can also reveal which employees work best together.
Along the same lines as the last benefit, you may find that using team building activities for work can help you to better identify those employees who have leadership qualities. You might see that some of the employees are geared toward leadership roles, which you might not see in a regular work setting.
Even the best job in the world can become boring or draining after a while. Doing the same thing day after day becomes tedious. Introducing fun activities can help to make the day more enjoyable, and it can help to boost morale.
Creating a positive work environment is important for the overall success of any business. Fun team building activities are just one way to help bring more happiness and positivity to the workplace.
Good team building exercises can help to promote positive reinforcement across the department and the rest of the company. Of course, you need to be sure you can get people on board with these types of activities if you want them to be truly effective.
Getting People On Board with Team Building Activities
There needs to be some “buy-in” for the team building exercises to work. Below are a few tips that can help you get people more excited about the prospect of team building activities.
Rewards and Recognition
People like to be recognized for the things they do, and they certainly like rewards. Therefore, you should provide some sort of rewards or prizes for the activities. The “winners” can receive some sort of gift from corporate, for example. Maybe there are corporate gift baskets or corporate promotional gifts often reserved for clients.
These could be the prizes the teams compete for. On the other hand, you might want to have some other sorts of rewards, such as gift cards.
Why should you reward the employees? For a lot of people, it is going to provide that extra incentive they need. They will benefit from the activities, of course, but “in the moment” they are trying to succeed for the reward.
Lead by Example
Leaders at a company should always try to model good behavior. If you are a manager and you expect your employees to engage in these team building activities, you need to be prepared to do the same thing. When managers and leaders get in on the team building games, employees see that you are willing to “walk the walk”, so to speak.
You show them that you’re all in the trenches together, and you are all working toward common goals whether it’s a team building activity or a project in the workplace. The employees start to see leaders as contributors, not merely authority figures. This can actually help to build employee loyalty toward the company. Employees will be more likely to go above and beyond for the rest of the team.
Respect the Team’s Time
Here is one of the areas where a lot of companies have problems with team building activities. They know that these exercises have value, but they don’t always know how and when to implement them.
If you are going to have outside activities that are mandatory, people are going to need to be paid for their time. You also need to account for the fact that people have lives outside of work. They have other things to do that have to take precedence over a night in an escape room with coworkers, for example.
Even the best ideas and truly fun activities will go over like a lead balloon if you don’t consider the employee's needs. Ideally, activities can be done in the workplace, or online, and the employees will somehow be compensated for their time if it’s outside of work hours.
Additionally, you want to make sure that the activities chosen are truly fun. It shouldn’t be a chore. The bulk of this guide is going to be all about different types of activities you can try.
If there are certain activities that not everyone can attend, don’t punish the people who can’t go. Listen to them and try to reschedule if possible (and if it’s multiple people who can’t show up).
Make Sure People Are Heard
During the activities, the more outspoken employees are the ones who are likely to take charge and be the voice for the team. While that’s great, and they could be good leaders, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, people just talk to hear their own voices, even if they don’t have good ideas or the best interests of the teams in mind. Managers need to watch for this, and they need to make sure that everyone has a voice on the team, not just those who are the most vocal.
Remember: Not Everyone Will Be Comfortable With All Activities
One of the things you have to remember when choosing and developing different team building activities is that not everyone will want to participate for one reason or another. They may not feel comfortable with games that require them to be too close to their coworkers or to touch them, such as in the old trust fall exercises. You need to respect those boundaries.
You never want to make someone feel as though they are required to engage in these activities to keep their job. Encourage them to join in on the fun, but don’t mandate that they do anything that is going to make them feel uncomfortable and that is outside of their job description.
Try to work with your team to come up with alternative activities that may be more appealing to everyone in the group. Throughout this article, we’ll be discussing many different types of options. Find and choose those that are going to work best for your team.
Team Building Activities Help People Get to Know Each Other
Whether you have a lot of new employees or people who have been working together for several years, they may not truly know each other very well. However, you can remedy this with the right types of exercises.
The team building activities in this section are geared toward helping people get to learn more about one another, which is one of the first and most important steps in developing and strengthening trust. Even teams that have been together for a while and who think they know one another could benefit from these exercises, so don’t ignore them.
You will find that many of these exercises tend to work quite well whether the people are in the office with one another or not. If you have some remote workers, these exercises can be a good option when it comes to virtual team building activities.
Three Questions, Three Minutes
This activity will help your team members get to know more about one another in a relatively short period. It’s also easy enough that you can do it right in the office or over Zoom if you have remote workers.
Start by having the team members all write down three basic questions that would apply to anyone in the office. This might include things like “Where did you grow up?”, “What’s your favorite food”, or “What do you like to do on the weekends?” The point is that they should be questions that just about anyone could answer. Make sure your group knows enough not to ask inappropriate questions.
Then, pair people and give them three minutes to ask each of their questions and to have the other person answer. After those three minutes are up, the pairs switch to other people and you repeat the exercise.
Once everyone has been paired together, everyone will have a lot more knowledge about one another. It doesn’t take long to do, and it can be fun. Also, it’s an exercise that you can repeat every once in a while since there are countless possible questions to ask.
You will also find that an exercise like this often serves as an icebreaker between employees. They will start to feel more comfortable speaking to one another. They might even find that they have a few things in common, which can help to foster a friendship.
The Whatever Collage
Here’s a creative exercise that is going to help people get to know one another better. You will want to start with a large, blank poster board. Ask your employees to each cut images out of magazines, printouts from the Internet, some small plastic tokens from a game they like, etc. that best represent them and the things they enjoy.
Once everyone has at least two or three cutouts, everyone will take turns pasting their images to the collage while talking a little bit about each of the images they chose. They can talk about why they picked it, why it is important, and what it means to them. It can be as normal or as weird as they want it to be.
By the end, everyone will have a bit more knowledge about their employees. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to create one of these collages and then hang it somewhere like the breakroom. It’s a fun group experience. When you bring in new employees, they can also participate. You can add to the posterboard as time goes by.
The Best and the Worst
Here’s a fun activity that doesn’t take too long and can give even more insight into the team members. Have everyone write down the one best thing and one worst thing they want to know about their coworkers.
For example, they might want to know the “best gift they ever received” and the “worst experience they had while standing in a line”. Then separate those questions into a best and worst pile. Pick one from each pile and pose those questions to the group.
You could do all of the questions and answers in a single session if you have the time available. Of course, this could take a while if you have a lot of people on the team.
Another option is to spread it out over several meetings if that works better for you. If you are going to spread it out, have everyone answer one worst and best question toward the end of a meeting, and then pick the next questions for the following meeting. Give everyone some time to think about it. This is simple to do, and the questions should last for several meetings since you are only answering two questions during the meeting.
Show and Tell
Here’s an activity that is going to take a lot of us back to childhood. Did your school have show and tell when you were a kid? This activity wasn’t just a way to waste time for you and your teachers. It wasn’t there so you could show off your favorite Ninja Turtle or new video game either. It’s one of the team building activities for kids that helps them get to learn more about one another.
Now that you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on show and tell. It can still be a lot of fun. During the weekly meeting, or perhaps during the last fifteen minutes each Friday, you can hold a show and tell in the office.
Employees who want to can talk about something that they like and are enjoying currently in their lives. It might be a new show they are watching with their spouse, a book they are reading, the fact that they are building a computer with their kid… whatever. The point of the exercise is to take a glimpse into your coworkers’ lives to learn more about them.
It's a lot of fun, too. Let anyone who wants to participate get a turn. If someone doesn’t want to get up there and talk, though, don’t force them. The longer they watch their coworkers, though, the more eager they will be to share, in most cases.
Here’s a fun and popular team building activity that will require some good communication on everyone’s part. You will first want to write down some popular pairs that most people are going to know. Below is a list to get you started:
• Salt and pepper
• King and queen
• Day and night
• Mario and Luigi
• Sun and moon
• Peanut butter and jelly
• Knife and fork
These are just a few examples. You can find other pairs that go together that perhaps apply more directly to your field that would work better. You will then separate the pairs and write each word on a piece of paper. Then, stick one piece of paper to the back of each player.
Set a 30-minute time limit and ask the players to start asking questions to identify the word on their back. Of course, they need to stick to basic questions, or perhaps just yes and no questions—they can’t outright ask what the word on their back is.
Once they identify it, they need to find their match. For example, the king would need to find the queen and the sun would have to find the moon. The first pair that finds their match is the winner.
This type of game will help with communication and creative thinking, as well as problem-solving. Keep in mind that you will want to have an even number of people to play this game.
Let’s Be Happy: An Exercise in Positivity
Positivity is important in the workplace, and that often gets forgotten along the way. Good teams know how to appreciate one another, and they want their colleagues to be happy. They do better when everyone is feeling good.
It’s a simple exercise, and it could be done online or in person. Just ask the team members to talk about one or two things that have made them happy recently. It doesn’t have to be something major. Maybe they finished reading a great book and they want to tell everyone about it. Maybe their spouse just got a promotion, or perhaps their child said their first word.
The goal is to hold onto those little pieces of happiness, lift them up, and share them with the team. Let your coworkers know more about you by knowing what makes you happy and what you are striving for in life.
This might sound simple—and it is—but it works. Knowing what others hold dear provides you with a deeper connection. Sure, you might know that Ken had the second-highest number of sales last quarter, but you’ll remember that Ken couldn’t stop smiling when he told everyone about his daughter’s dance recital.
Red Light, Green Light
The goal of this exercise is to encourage listening skills and to have a bit of fun. Have your team members scattered in a room and designate one person as the leader to shout orders to the team.
Now, these orders are simple, at least in the beginning. Green means go and red means stop.
The leader shouts out green and red to make people walk and stop. Have them randomly shout those words for a minute or two, then halt the game. Let everyone know that now, they need to do the opposite. When red is shouted, they have to walk, when green is shouted, they have to stop. Whenever people get it wrong, they are eliminated.
Follow that pattern for a few minutes, stop the game, and add a new color and a new action.
You can repeat this until you start to whittle away the survivors. When there is only one person left standing, they win the game. Make sure they win an actual prize, such as one of the unique corporate gifts the company usually gives out to clients.
It’s easy, it gets people up and moving, and it can be a lot of fun even for a group of adults.
This game isn’t just for dinner parties in 1980s sitcoms anymore. You will find that it works nicely with teams that are learning to communicate better with one another. Along the same lines, you will find that Pictionary can work just as well for communication building. Depending on the size of your team, you might need to have multiple games going at the same time.
Two Truths and a Lie
This is a classic game often played by groups who are getting to know one another whether they are students, new potential friends, or coworkers. Even friends who have known one another for years can play the game and still surprise one another.
You will take turns going around the room. One person will speak two truths and a lie about themselves. The other people in the group then try to guess which of those statements is a lie. This helps you to learn more about people in the group.
Of course, this needs to be done correctly. The lie that’s told still needs to be something that probably could’ve happened for this game to work. The lie shouldn’t be “I used to be President of the United States”, for example. You want people to doubt what is real and what is untrue.
The Cliff Clavin
If the name Cliff Clavin and the words “It’s a little-known fact” are unfamiliar to you, then you’ve probably never watched Cheers. Cliff was a character on the show who was filled with random bits of knowledge, his little-known facts (even when they weren’t facts), that he would whip out from time to time.
For this team building activity, you can go around the room and ask everyone for a little-known fact about themselves that they are willing to share.This fact could be anything, but it’s better when it’s something that most other people could never guess. It’s a good way to learn some of the weirder and more interesting things about coworkers.
The goal of the story improv exercise is to tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end that makes sense according to the logic of the story world. This works well with between three and six people, and it’s simple to start… but difficult to finish properly in the beginning.
The team should sit in a circle. One person starts a story with just one or two sentences, which is then picked up by the person on their left for another sentence or two, and so on until you have an entire story or until the time limit runs out. Typically, you will want to set the time limit for 15 to 30 minutes. You don’t want there to be so little time nothing can get done, but you don’t want there to be too much time where you overthink.
This is improv and it should move along at a quick pace. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a great story, but it needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. You might want them to share the story, or at least the gist of the story, with other teams at the end.
The more often you use this exercise, the better your team will get. However, if you have multiple teams doing this, make sure you switch up the groups so everyone gets to work with one another.
Why is this a good team building activity? It helps people learn to listen and collaborate to come up with a story that works. The activity also gets people talking and feeling more comfortable with one another.
If you’ve never played the game before, you are in for a lot of fun with your team. This is a fantastic party game, but it can translate to a work setting quite well. Essentially, this is a social deduction game that becomes more fun when you continue playing with the same group of people. You get to know them better, including their playstyle and “tells” which might give provide more insight into them.
Let’s look at the basics below to get an idea of how the game works. You should have at least seven players, and the way the game is played will depend on the role you are given at the beginning. You will be a doctor, villager, seer, or werewolf (there will be at least two werewolves in most games). There is also a moderator to make sure the game goes smoothly.
Those who are werewolves will “kill” the villagers during the nighttime hunting phase. This happens in secret and the villagers don’t know who the werewolves are. If the werewolves outnumber the villagers, the game is over.
The villagers' job is to determine who the werewolves are during the day cycle. The werewolves will try to change the vote to ensure they aren’t discovered. The essence of the game is based on deception and trying to deduce who the werewolf is. It takes communication to figure out what’s happening and who the werewolves happen to be. You learn more about the traits of those you are working with in a fun and interesting way.
You can buy the game online, and you can find a range of free resources and tools to help you get started. You could also play on Brightful online, which has all of the rules ready to go and the game set up. You can play on Zoom, too.
Here’s a simple way to learn more about one another and build the team. It’s similar to show and tell, but rather than bringing in interesting items, each member of the team will share a skill with the others.
This skill could be directly related to the work they do, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be just about anything that is considered a skill… whether it’s useful or not. Again, the goal here is to learn more about your coworkers.
Maybe you know how to tie sailor knots or maybe you know how to set up an indoor herb garden. Allow those who want to share a skill to do so. This could take place of the show and tell or other exercises you are doing for the week. It could be a presentation, a video they’ve made, etc.
Of course, before someone hops up in front of everyone else to share their skill, make sure that they run it by you first. You don’t want someone to share a skill that others might find inappropriate for the workplace, as that’s going to cause problems.
A murder mystery event could take place at work, an employee’s home, or at a hotel/retreat. The option you choose will depend on the amount of time you have available for the event and how much you want to spend.
Keep in mind that these types of events tend to take a lot of preparation, but they can be well worth it. You could hire others to handle the event for you, buy a preplanned murder mystery box with what you need, or create it from scratch. October tends to be a good time of year for this type of workplace team building event.
The first thing you will want to do is choose the theme of your murder mystery party. The theme you choose will often depend on the group you have. It might be something classic like Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie, something more modern like Knives Out, or you might want to delve into the weird. How fun would it be to have a mystery that is themed after shows like Supernatural, Scooby-Doo, or Buffy?
You will want to know how many people are going to attend and then assign everyone a character to play, letting them know what knowledge they have regarding the mystery in question. Encourage people to get into character, stay in character, and wear costumes.
Again, you will want to have prizes for the person or small team that figures out the mystery and clears things up. This type of team building activity is great for getting people to mingle and learn how to improve communication while following specific types of instructions.
Scavenger hunt team-building activities are a lot of fun. They can be a great way for coworkers to spend some time together outside of the office bonding and exploring as a group. The advent of phones with cameras in everyone’s pockets has made these hunts a lot easier, too.
You can separate the team into smaller groups and then assign them certain items they need to photograph for the hunt. The beauty of the scavenger hunt is that it can include just about anything. You could go big, or you could go small. If you want to keep things a bit smaller and inside of the building, make it an office scavenger hunt.
When you are coming up with ideas for items, locations, activities, etc. that they should take pictures of, make sure you think about your city and neighborhood. What is it that makes your city or town special? Are you the home of a national landmark? A famous beach or hotel? Have some of those “big” elements included, as well as some smaller, simpler things like a photo of a bird on a lawn or a red car made before the year 2010.
You could even have an A-Z scavenger hunt. In this case, the team has to take a photo of something that starts with every letter of the alphabet from, well, A to Z.
One of the potential downsides to this type of exercise is that some teams might have just one or two people that do any of the work. Therefore, you might want to require that each person has a photo on their phone of whatever items are on the list, or that each of the photos also includes all of the people on the team.
Come up with some good prizes that can be used for the winners, such as luxury corporate gifts.
Words of Appreciation
It’s nice to hear that someone appreciates you and the things you do. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t get this encouragement either at home or in the workplace. Instead, they are only told about all of the things they’ve done that are wrong. It’s time to change all of that with this simple, but effective, team building activity.
Have the team members go around the room and say something nice and positive about the person to their right. Then have people mingle and move around the room and do it again.
People will appreciate hearing positive things about themselves, their work, etc., and this will make them feel better about themselves (if maybe a little self-conscious at first). When people feel better about themselves, they are more likely to do well in the workplace and at home. They put in more effort and are more productive.
Let’s Talk Art
Here is a fun game that is played in pairs. It’s simple and the results can be humorous until the team gets better at communicating things quickly and accurately.
Have one person sit with a blank piece of paper and a pencil. The other team member is provided a picture of an object or a word. They then need to describe that image or word without saying exactly what the image is and provide those clues to the person who is doing the drawing.
It’s generally a good idea to put a time limit on this for the description. Maybe five minutes at most. Then, they can look at the drawing and the image to see how close they were. As people get to know one another better and they improve at communicating, you’ll find that the drawings tend to become more accurate, and less time is needed.
The Brighter Side of Life
We all have things in our lives that we wish could’ve gone better. Bad things happen and we’re often left with disappointment. However, hanging onto that isn’t good for us. In this exercise, split the team into pairs. They will take turns talking about something negative that happened to them relatively recently.
The goal is then to have their partner help them look at something positive that came from that negative experience. Then, switch and do the same for the partner. The goal of this is to help people see that even through negativity, there can be positive things to come from it. It also shows people that their teammates are on their side and will help them see the good in things.
One to 20
Here’s a fast and simple activity that’s a little more difficult than you might realize at first. It will help with bonding, though.
Have the team gather and one person will start the count off by saying “One”. Now, anyone else can say the following number at any time. The goal is to count from one to 20.
However, the tricky part is that if two or more people speak at once, they will have to start over. The game requires team members to be aware of what everyone else is doing. They need to pay attention to the person who said the last number and the body language of the others in the group. They need to work together to get to 20. It’s simple, but it can take a few rounds before people start to get in tune with one another.
The Human Knot
This is a game that requires touching. Namely, it requires holding hands and being near your coworkers. Given the pandemic, not everyone is going to be on board with this type of activity even now. Of course, even before the pandemic, a lot of people just didn’t like the idea of touching one another.
That’s okay. Never make anyone participate in this or any other activity that makes them uncomfortable.
For those who do want to try this exercise, which is all about communication and teamwork, it’s nice and simple.
You will gather everyone into a circle and have them grab hands with people who are not directly on either side of them. They want to create a knot of people. From there, the goal is for the tangled team to get unknotted without breaking the chain and releasing hands.
It requires some room to play this game because there is likely to be quite a bit of twisting and turning. If you have a team that’s good at this exercise, you can do some things that will help to add more of a challenge to it. You could not allow them to speak, or you could add a time limit.
Go to an Escape Room
Escape rooms have continued to grow in popularity amongst friends who are just out to have fun and with teams looking for exercises that truly challenge their employees. These can be demanding, as they require that everyone works together and thinks proactively to escape the room.
While you could put on an escape room of your own in the workplace if you would like, it tends to be easier to work with some professionals. There are options for one-night events and weekend excursions. In some cases, they might come to you to create an escape room experience. The cost will vary depending on the location, length, number of people, etc.
To keep things on the cheaper side, you might want to go virtual. There are some options for escape rooms that could make great remote team building activities. However, they do tend to be more fun when they are in person.
Why are escape rooms such a good idea for team building activities? For starters, they are a lot of fun. This is the sort of thing that your team is not likely going to forget. You can choose from a wide range of different types of themes, as well. These rooms help to highlight certain strengths and weaknesses of the team, too. The team can learn how to help one another and how certain skills and strengths complement others.
The escape rooms are timed, too, so people are working on a deadline. They have the actual pressure that comes with potentially not being able to finish the game. The stakes might not be too high, but they still want to get out of the room for their own pride. It also allows for fast problem-solving and on-your-feet creative thinking since the types of problems you will face in an escape room aren’t the types of problems faced in most work situations.
Because you are going to be facing a time limit, it also means your team will have to work to delegate and improve time management skills. You will find that the natural leaders in the group are likely to shine here, even if they aren’t the smartest or most gifted in the group. They know how to take charge and delegate, and those are important elements of a leader.
Here’s something fun you could do if you have a large team. Split them into two or more groups and have each go through the same escape room. Whichever team did the best and got out fastest wins a prize.
These escape rooms are a lot of fun, and they will boost camaraderie amongst the team members whether the team is successful or not. It can be a good way to boost company morale, and it is certainly worth trying.
If you and your team have fun with the escape room, you might want to go to another in the future. Just make sure that the escape room is different when you go back. Otherwise, there won’t be any challenges other than remembering everything that happened the last time you were there.
Team Up for Trivia
Trivia can be a fun team exercise, as well. However, for it to work as a team builder in the workplace setting, you will likely want to have questions focused on your field and the type of work you do if you are going to be holding trivia events and tournaments. This can help to showcase the employees’ knowledge of the business.
For your team’s internal trivia games, you can always offer some of those corporate thank-you gifts as prizes. Of course, having trivia that is only about the company is bound to get boring after a while. Everyone is going to end up knowing the answers.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other places that might have trivia competitions and games, too, that are outside of the office. For example, there are often bars and cafés that have a trivia night. This could be a good way to do some team building if you have a few people from work that might want to attend.
Typically, these types of events have small teams of two to five people who can work together to answer a range of trivia questions. There are often prizes and bragging rights involved. Why not create a company work team for trivia? It could be a lot of fun, but it’s one of those extracurricular activities that shouldn’t be mandatory.
Build Teams with Sports
Of course, we can’t forget the importance of sports when it comes to building a strong team. After all, sports and teams go hand in hand. They are some of the best team building activities around, and it might be something you want to think about with your team.
Consider some of the different types of sports teams that you could start at your business, such as a bowling team or a softball team. Some of the other types of sports you can consider include basketball, volleyball, and golf.
You could get together and play against some other companies or you could play against other teams that develop within your company. You can practice, get team uniforms, go out after a game, etc. You can bond with your coworkers just like any other sports team bonds with one another.
Other Ways to Bond and Get Healthier
While team sports are great and have a host of benefits, not all companies are large enough to accommodate them. Also, some people just don’t like those types of sports and would do better with other options. For example, you might find that putting together a group at the company that jogs, walks, does yoga, hikes, etc. is more your speed.
Connect with others in the workplace who are interested in doing the same sort of thing. It can be a great way to bond and learn more about your coworkers.
You may even find some team obstacle courses in your area that can be a challenge to you and your team. These courses often require that people work together to get through them, and often to overcome certain fears. They might be worth looking into for your team.
The Egg Drop
Like show and tell, you might remember this from your school days, as well. That’s because it’s one of the tried and true ways to get people to collaborate and solve problems in a small group. The goal is simple. The team needs to build a freestanding structure that can support and cradle an egg so that it can drop from a height of seven feet without breaking.
Although the goal might be simple, the execution is not always so easy. The teams should have to use items that they find around the office to build their structure. This might include items like coffee stirrers, rubber bands, paper clips, etc. Or you could allow a $10 spending limit on certain crafting items to help keep the egg safe.
Whichever teams have an egg that is safe and intact at the end of the experiment should win a prize of some sort. If they spend $10 on crafting items, you want to make sure that the item you provide as a prize is worth more than that. You also want prizes for everyone on the winning team.
Volunteering and providing community service can do wonders for your heart, your team, and your business. when you volunteer and do things for the community, you feel better. The same will be true for your employees. The team will also learn to work together to reach different types of goals. When you have a team that volunteers, it’s also good for your brand.
Let’s look at a few of the different types of volunteering you will want to consider.
The team could volunteer at a local organization. The type of charity/group could vary from a shelter for the homeless, an animal shelter, a nonprofit organization collecting items for battered women, etc. Your team could organize care packages that they then send out to the area homeless, kids in hospitals, the troops, and more.
Another way to help the community is by organizing a cleanup of an area that needs it. Maybe there is a lot of trash down by the river, or perhaps there’s a lot of graffiti in certain parts of the town. Organize a cleanup on the weekend or during work.
A few of the other options include collecting and donating pet food, doing a food or clothing drive, supporting local veterans, sponsoring a youth sports team, or growing a community garden.
Of course, you will also want to talk with your employees about the sorts of things that are important to them and the types of volunteering they might want to do. There are countless options. Try to find those that best match your company’s goals and values.
Dungeons, Dragons, and the Quest for Improved Teamwork
Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons? It’s more popular today than it has ever been, and with good reasons. Shows like Critical Role, Game of Thrones, The Witcher, etc. have helped to bring fantasy back to the mainstream.
However, this tabletop roleplaying game can do a lot more than transport your mind to another world. It can be one of the best group and team building experiences you ever have. It’s beneficial enough that it may be something you want to add as a weekly exercise. This will take an investment of time, but it is well worth it.
The game offers players the chance to take on different roles, each with their own strengths and limitations. The characters themselves have stats that determine how likely they are to succeed. They are presented with problems/quests/adventures, and they need to work together to overcome the obstacles put in place by the Dungeon Master who is running the game. It involves taking on the roles of those other characters and roleplaying with the others around the table.
You could play onsite, or you could do what so many others have done and head offsite to an employee’s home to play for longer. It’s a lot of fun and it’s well worth trying.
If you find that the idea of a tabletop roleplaying game is up your alley, but you don’t care for dragons, elves, and the like, there are other options. You can find games where you play hunters trying to track down vampires, werewolves, ghouls, and other beasts, games where you get to be the vampire or werewolf, games with cowboys, robots, eldritch horrors, and just about anything else you could possibly want or imagine.
This game, played with dice and your imagination, might seem silly from the outside, but once you’ve played, you can see the magic it offers. It can take total strangers and turn them into great friends and companions in a short period.
Team Excursions: A Weekend or Longer
Most of the activities and exercises discussed in the article above can be done right in the office. Others might require a special venue, such as a professional escape room. However, there are also other options for longer getaways that could work well to help bond some teams further.
These might be trips to a dude ranch, a weeklong camp in the woods with activities and obstacle courses, etc.
Of course, you have to remember that with these types of bigger adventures there tends to come a price tag, as well as a time investment. Not all companies will be able to afford a trip to the mountains or the river for their sales team, for example. However, for those companies with the funds, it may be worth checking out some of the options to see what types of trips and team building activities are available.
When you are choosing activities and excursions, you have to consider your budget, the time you can allot, and what you hope to get from your team.
Kids Tend to Get Things Right
You will notice that a lot of the options here are simple and are similar to games enjoyed by children. Do you know why that is? It’s because kids, for the most part, are good at meeting others, developing bonds, and working together to solve problems. They aren’t quite as wary and jaded as a lot of the adults around you.
Therefore, a lot of the team building activities are geared to help get your mind back to that time when things were just fun, and you could enjoy meeting new people.
Go through the article and find the options that you feel will work best for you and your team, but don’t be afraid to try some of the ones that are a bit “weirder” from your current perspective.