Team building activities are a great way to bring your employees closer than ever. Let’s take a look at how these activities can transform your team into an A-team.
“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
~ Reid Hoffman
Teamwork is critical. It allows employees to get to know each other, combine their strengths and get work done faster. It forms the building blocks of any business and plays a huge role in its success or failure.
How Important is Teamwork?
This is the first question you should ask if you want to build a successful business. The owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team, George Shinn appropriately said, “There is no such thing as a self-made man (or woman). You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” Only when individual forces combine, can you achieve greater results, which were never possible on your own.
Teamwork plays a crucial role in any organization both big or small. When employees with common interests, goals, ambitions, and attitudes come together, a team is formed. This team then strives to put in the best effort to solve problems.
Each member of the team is expected to put in equal efforts, get along with each other and achieve the goals set by the organization in a timely manner. Individual goals are secondary when a team is involved. In order for a team to be effective, it’s important that every team member is focused on a collective goal.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~Andrew Carnegie
About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.. Employees understand the value of teamwork and how it can make or break their chances of growth. This is why 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.
It is easy to form teams, assign tasks, and expect results. However, that is not how things work out most of the time. Teams need to be constantly motivated; they need to develop an emotional bond, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, help each other in times of needs, collaborate and communicate with each other effectively. This is where team building comes in.
We know. You are starting to imagine Steve Carell’s role in the office and his team building antics.
For your team building efforts not turning into team breaking, you first need to understand:
- What team building actually means, and,
- How effective it can be to bring your team closer if done correctly.
WHAT IS TEAM BUILDING?
Team building can be defined as: comprising of the group of activities, strategies, and tactics used to enhance social relations between team members and motivate them to perform better.
When teams are formed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, members are expected to get along and understand their roles and responsibilities.
However, without routine checkups, acknowledgment for good work and motivational exercises, teams are bound to fall apart and disengage. Team building activities are, therefore, a must to make sure teams are getting along well, team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and are motivated to perform their absolute best.
WHY TEAM BUILDING?
According to a survey, 70% of US employees are not engaged at work. Team building activities ensure personal as well as professional developments of team members and encourage engagement. It has been shown that companies with more engaged employees earn 2.5x more revenues than those with low engagement levels!
Bottomline, it’s essential for every organization to engage in some sort of team building activities as they result in a multitude of benefits.
Here are just a few of those awesome team building benefits:
Team Building Benefit 1: Increase in Employee Morale
Team building activities can be a fun and interactive way to boost employee morale. Winning fun games and activities that require team effort can increase motivation which can translate into everyday work. Engaging in fun activities also allows team members to open up to each other and their seniors, which can foster new creative ideas and opinions.
Team Building Benefit 2: Improves Team Communication
One of the primary reasons behind team building activities is to foster open and clear communication amongst team members. By getting people out of their workplace setting, organizations can break down their communication barriers and help employees converse casually. Taking team members to a picnic or the latest movie can start the conversation flowing in no time. This will eventually strengthen their work relationships and overall efficiency.
Team Building Benefit 3: Builds Trust Among Employees
Imagine a team building activity in which the team is divided into pairs, where one partner is blindfolded, and the other partner has to guide him/her through a path full of obstacles. These kinds of games and activities can be extremely useful in building a sense of trust and support amongst employees and can result in better interpersonal relations back at the desk. When employees can trust and count on each other, they operate with a sense of freedom which often leads to better results.
Team building activities based on improving trust can be extremely important for newly-formed teams or cross-functional departments who don’t get the chance to connect with each other often and form meaningful relationships.
Team Building Benefit 4: Helps Teammates to Know Each Other Better
Team building activities can help employees socialize and get to know each other better. Making friends and acquaintances in the workplace can go a long way to increase productivity, improve morale and enhance collaboration in the workplace. Team building activities help team members know a person outside the office environment, which often results in a more natural and human relationship. You also get know about each other’s strengths and shortcomings better, which is critical information for improved team behavior.
Team Building Benefit 5: Resolves Conflicts
A team can comprise of members with different attitudes and personalities. Small conflicts or disagreements are common when working in a team. However, maintaining team harmony is a must for teams working collaboratively and gives them a sense of trust. Conflicts amongst team members can be a productivity killer. These problems can turn into a nightmare for managers and can affect the company’s bottom line if not handled correctly. In fact, according to a study by CPP Inc. U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict, which amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours or the equivalent of 385 million working days.
Team building activities can indirectly force team members to get along with each other in a non-workplace environment. Here are some of the ways team building activities resolve conflict:
- Teams learn how to communicating problems and issues with one another
- Understand each other’s point of view
- Get to know each other on a more personal level
- Reduces the chances of future conflicts
Team Building Benefit 6: Increases Collaboration
Collaboration is at the heart of teamwork. It’s what teamwork is all about… getting work done together, and helping each other out when needed. When you have a collaborative work environment, employees feel more secure and content.
Even though collaboration is a critical part of any organization culture, 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough. Team building activities aimed to improve collaboration can bring people closer, help build skills for discourse and learn how to work towards solving a problem together.
There are a multitude of various fun activities that can help bond teams like group tent building competitions, playing sports, or participating in a charity drive at a homeless shelter to name a few. These activities are bound to bring the team together and help members engage with one another.
Team Building Benefit 6: Increases Creativity
Taking out the entire team from time-to-time can help ease workplace pressure and get employees out of the rut. By breaking the routine day to day activities for a fun-filled day at the park, employees can get a much-needed breather. This recharge often results in an increase in creative ideas and problem-solving between co-workers. Going out with teammates and facing new challenges can help employees attain new perspective and outlook.
Employees spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, sitting next to each other. Team building activities make sure that employees get to know each other well, learn to trust and count on each other, and are motivated to get the job done together. Let’s take a look at some awesome team building activities that will supercharge your employee’s morale, enhance relationships and come together as a cohesive group to help you achieve your company’s goals.
THE BEST 25 TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES:
Below are few of our favorite team building activities will bring your team closer than ever.
1. The Egg Drop
One of our favorite team building exercise is the egg drop. In this activity the team is divided into two groups, and each group is asked to build an egg package to save an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. Each team is provided with various tools and materials needed to make the egg package. The process of creating an egg package encourages employees to get creative and problem solve together. It’s a fun, messy activity that teaches important workplace traits like teamwork, communication, and creativity.
2. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts, a classic team building exercise, are a fun and engaging way to promote cooperation and creative thinking. Depending on the size of the company or the department, employees are divided into smaller groups and are asked to look for a list of things hidden in a certain area. Often clues, lead to more clues and activities to get to the end. The team that completes the scavenger hunt first is the winner. Scavenger hunts encourage team bonding and are a good way to teach time management to employees.
Blindfolded team building games can be a great way to promote trust and clear communication amongst employees. There are many types of blindfold team building activities like blindfold tent building, racing, low tightrope walking, etc. which requires a team effort. This team building exercise is usually played in a group of two. One person is blindfolded and is instructed by their partner to follow a certain set of directions to help them win the competition. Blindfold challenges are a great way to build communication, especially active listening. The also can be a lot of fun!
4. Paper Plane
We bet you have made and flown paper planes as a kid. This team building exercise is super fun, engaging and requires only a piece of paper. It can be done individually or as teams. Employees are asked to make a paper plane from an A4 sheet and are challenged to a race. The plane that travels the farthest wins. This team building exercise encourages creativity, as the design of the paper plane plays a significant role in its flight. Instead of distance, you can even have a “best-designed paper plane” contest and have everyone vote for the winner.
This team building activity is based on the picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai which comprises of 30 sequential pictures. The team is divided into groups and each group has to piece together a narrative from the set of the images that are handed out to them. Participants can only look at the image provided to them and must hide it from anyone else. Without looking at each other’s images, the group must put the images in sequence. The group that completes the story the earliest wins. This team building game is a great way to instill problem-solving skills and teamwork.
6. Charity Drive
Helping out the community is one of the best ways to come together as a single unit and work towards a greater cause. According to a study, corporate social responsibility is the third most important driver of employee engagement overall. Volunteering at old-age homes, building homeless shelters or tents, mentoring at nearby schools are some of the things you can encourage your teams to do together. This will not only bring the team together emotionally but will also help boost employee morale, while making a positive impact on the society and community.
7. Hobby Clubs
Hobby clubs are an excellent way to bring together like-minded people. The organization can provide the financial support for these clubs and encourage people to spend few hours a week spending time on hobbies they care about. Book clubs, photography clubs, cooking classes, painting classes, etc. are few examples. These activities give employees a chance to engage in conversations, which don’t involve work and unwind.
8. Toxic Waste
Teams are provided with just two ropes and are required to transport a bucket of ‘Toxic Waste’ (some balls in a bucket) and return it to the safe zone without tipping over the contents. It is a great problem solving and teamwork exercise your next team building session should have.
9. Lunch Dates
Another classic team building activity, lunch dates that can be organized by team leaders or management. Take your team to a fancy restaurant or have a barbeque in the local park. Team members are bound to converse over food and get to know each other better. You can even allow your employees to bring their family members for a more casual get-together. Lunch dates encourage communication and bonding which translates into increased productivity at work.
10. Office Trivia
Compile a list of office related questions like, “how many desks are in the office?”, “how many people are in HR department?”, “what brand are the computers?”, or “how many floors are there in the office building?” and test your employee’s knowledge. This team building exercise tests how observant your employees are.
Use some empty space and fill it up with obstacles or ”mines” like office chairs, desks, balloons, water bottles, etc. Divide your team into pairs where one is blindfolded. The sighted person must guide their partner to the end of the room without touching the mines. This type of team building activity builds trust and improves communication between team members.
12. Back-to-Back Drawing
Teams are divided into pairs, with each pair sitting with their backs touching. One person is given a shape and the other a sheet and a pen. The person holding the image must give verbal instructions to their partner as to how to draw the image without telling them what the image or shape is. This team building activity focuses on listening and collaborating skills of employees. The pair with the best image replica wins.
Frostbite is a scenario-based challenge in which a team of 4-5 is asked to build a tent shelter in the Artic to protect themselves from freezing weather. However, the team leader has frostbite in his/her hands and is unable to help while the rest of the team is suffering from snow blindness and thus, can’t see. The team which builds the tent the quickest wins. It’s an interesting team building activity which tests leadership and collaborative skills of the team.
14. Memory Wall
Team members are asked to write some work related subjects on a whiteboard or post-its, then have everyone pick one and share a memory related to that topic. These topics can include “my favorite coworker”, “my first day at the office,” “presentation day,” etc. The memory wall team building activity is a great way to bond over positive memories and helps develop deeper work relationships.
Who wouldn’t love a great paintball session? Divide your team into two groups or have a paintball competition between teams from different departments. Paintball is a popular team building activity as it requires a combination of teamwork, strategy, and leadership. During the competition, a paintball team develops communication skills, careful planning, decision making, and collaboration.
16. Salt and Pepper
Take a piece of paper for each employee and write a pair of things (ex: salt on one piece and pepper on another). Tape one piece of paper on the back of the employee, making sure they can’t see it. When the game starts, employees then must walk around asking yes or no questions in order to find out the word taped to their backs. Once they figure that out, they need to find their other pair. When they find each other, have them sit down and find three things they have in common, while the rest of the employees continue the game.
Divide your teams into smaller groups, pick a food category (pizza, anyone?) and challenge the team to come up with a delicious dish in time. Have team leaders judge the culinary challenge and announce winners. Making food together requires teamwork and creativity and can turn out be a delicious team building activity for everyone!
Everyone likes board games! Organize a board game tournament and set prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Board games can include a game of Jenga, Codenames or cards.
19. Two Truths and a Lie
This interesting team building activity, requires every team member to write down two truths and a lie about themselves on a piece of paper and not reveal it to anyone. After that, allow team members to have 15-minutes to question each other about their truths and lies, trying to guess one from another. After the questioning period, vote as a group on each member’s truths and lie. Points are awarded for guessing correctly or hiding your own lie. This exercise encourages better interaction and communication and helps to get to know your co-workers better.
20. Karaoke Night
What better way to break the ice between teammates than a laughter-filled karaoke night. Karaoke can be a great way to loosen up a bit and reduce stress after a long office day. Who knows who you share your favorite song with!
Go-karting is an engaging team building activity that can get the adrenaline pumping. It is an amazing way for employees to interact with one another over a fun race. Friendly races are bound to leave everyone content. Make sure to double check safety.
22. Build the Tower
Team members are grouped and are asked to build the tallest tower with the given supplies. These supplies can include uncooked spaghetti or playing cards. This will encourage team bonding and creativity as the team tries to build a tower that stands on its own with limited resources.
Although viewed as an individual sport, bowling can act as a great conversation starter or relationship builder. Divide your team into two groups and have a bowling competition. What better way to spend an evening than bowling?
If you don’t mind some overnight fun, camping can turn out to be a great relationship builder. Team members can develop great relations overnight while talking, singing and having a good time immersed in nature. It is a great way to build memories together and enhance camaraderie.
25. Pokemon-Go Competition
The internet craze, Pokemon-Go can be a great way to get your team outside the office for 15-minutes a day and do some Pokemon catching. This not only helps your employees take a quick mental break, but also stimulates team bonding and a healthy competition as to who catches the most Pokemons. Fun, right?!
ITS TIME TO GET THE TEAM TOGETHER
Team building doesn’t have to be hard. It’s supposed to be a fun way for employees to get to know each other and have a great time. These activities subtly strengthen employee relations which results in greater output at work. When employees are at peace with one another, know each other well, and there’s harmony in the workplace, business is bound to excel!
Let’s recap. Team building activities will help to:
- Bring your team closer
- Encourage creativity
- Improve communication and collaboration
- Build a sense of trust amongst team members
- Improve employee morale and confidence
- Ease conflicts
Now it’s time for you to start considering team building exercises as an important part of your organizational curriculum. Take the lead and encourage team building activities from time to time to bring your employees, teams, and departments closer.
It’s no secret that in order for your business to succeed, you need your teams to do well together and team building is surely the way to go!
What do you think about team building? Do you have any favorite team building exercises we haven’t mentioned? Share your ideas below!
These are some of the best team building activities one can find. Pin it for future reference!