Are your employees or colleagues focused solely on personal achievements, or is everyone working toward shared goals? If your group feels less cohesive than you would like, it may be time to incorporate some team building activities into the weekly or monthly schedule. A team that works well together is more productive, happier, and more enjoyable to work with. If your group is in a rut or you just want to ensure that you avoid over-stressed employees, team building can be a great way to add renewed energy and focus to tasks. Team building activities are also a great way to make new team members feel welcome and part of the group.
Team building activities generally require communication, problem solving, planning, or trust and can work for small groups as well as large ones. The key is to make sure that it is an entertaining reprieve from the daily tasks, where everyone can get to know more about their coworkers’ individual strengths, interests, and skills. The goal of team building is to perform activities that are fun and challenging, while at the same time building teamwork skills. Here are some fresh ideas that are much more effective than trust falls.
- Lend a hand. Do some community service as a team. Pick an organization that accepts donations or needs people to volunteer their time and help out. Your group could sponsor a family over the holidays, collect canned goods for the local food bank, or help plant a community garden. This is a great way to help your community and get out of the office for a few hours.
- Walk the runway. Divide your group into several teams, which will each design and make an outfit using only objects provided from around the office, such as shredded paper and items from the recycling bin. Set a time limit and when the time is up, each group must send someone down the runway to model their creation. This activity requires collaboration within the teams and creativity at every step in order to be successful.
- Have a scavenger hunt. This can be a short game of finding items around the office or documenting the completion of activities outside the building. You can make this as easy or as hard as you like, and also control how long the hunt should last, and whether you want it to be tackled individually or in groups working together.
- Have a tournament. Get some fresh air and enjoy a friendly game of badminton, bean bag toss, or horseshoes. If your team prefers video games, hit the local arcade and see who excels at the pinball machine, skee-ball, or air hockey. Make your chosen game into a tournament by having several preliminary rounds, a semi-final, and a final game. Bowling can also be fun, especially during the colder months, whereas during the warmer months, a round of miniature golf can be a fun way to build comradery within your team, and the score cards will identify the best bowler or golfer on the team.
- Who knows the most workplace trivia? This is a wonderful team building game if you’re not able to spend 30 minutes or longer on an activity, or just want a quick icebreaker before a meeting. Workplace trivia is a fun one to try, where you ask questions based on the office and your team. “How many chairs are in the building?”, “What color is the soap dispenser?”, or “Who has the most pictures displayed in their office?” are examples of the types of questions you could ask. The trivia questions can be random, or job-specific, but it’s much more fun when everyone has an equal chance at guessing correctly.
- Play a Game. Drawing games are great at encouraging teamwork and these can be played using traditional Pictionary rules, or creating your own rules, such as having someone describe how to draw an item without telling them what the item is, or by having the artist wear a blindfold. In addition to drawing games, acting out charades, sculpting items out of Playdoh, or having a paper airplane competition are all budget-friendly ways to engage your team members and encourage team bonding.
- Do a social media challenge. This is the perfect team building activity to post on your business’ social media accounts. The next time a fun, safe social media challenge gains popularity, jump on the bandwagon. If your team has yet to attempt the Mannequin Challenge, where everyone is frozen in place and a video scans the room, go for it. It will require your team to work together to communicate what activities they want to be doing, plan their positions, and trust their colleagues to hold their positions.
Team building is important because it helps to motivate employees and also build trust among coworkers, which positively impacts productivity. The collaborative activities mentioned above are just a few that could help promote better teamwork in the workplace. Many team building activities can be done with just a few minutes taken out of the workday, while others will require more of a time commitment.
If having a happy, successful, driven team is important to you and your business, team building activities should not be over-looked. Need some help brainstorming ideas for your team? Contact us, and PMD Group can help!