Everyone has experienced that warm, fuzzy feeling of togetherness and warmth that festivals seem to unfailingly evoke within us. Team building activities in organizations serve the same purpose – they increase team bonding and help bring people together.
Modern businesses have become global and dispersed. They are accommodating greater diversity and adjusting themselves to technological innovations. All of this has made collaboration and teamwork more complex and difficult.
Irrespective of the post or pre-pandemic era, effective collaboration and teamwork are pivotal for business success. Organizations must promote team building to foster a shared mindset and cohesion among team members.
- Team-building activities| Quick Overview
- Benefits of team building activities
- 7 Team Building Activities For Small Groups
- 7 Team Building Activities For Large Groups
- 7 Team Building Activities For remote employees
- 7 Team Building Activities For inside the office
- 7 Team Building Activities For outside the office
- Final Words
Team Building Activities| Quick Overview
Team-building activities are undertaken to motivate employees to work together, build on their strengths, and overcome weaknesses.
According to one study, team-building activities equips employees with the skills to work productively and cohesively as a team, contributing to organizational success. Team building activities include offsite team visits, birthday celebrations, lunches, etc.
However, it can not be a one-off effort for team building to be successful. It should be an ongoing activity that is part of company culture. It should also be pursued with a clear purpose.
Benefits of Team Building Activities
The benefits that accrue to organizations from team-building activities include:
- Increased productivity
- Boost to innovation
- Improved employee morale
- Identification of strengths and weaknesses
- Building a leadership pipeline
- Greater collaboration
- Enhanced employee engagement with remote employees
7 Team Building Activities For Small Groups
Small teams are required to work closely making it important for team members to understand each other well. Seven team-building activities for small groups to enhance cohesiveness include
- Blind Retriever. Divide the group into two/three teams. One member of each team is blindfolded. Then the other team members guide their blindfolded colleague to a hidden object with verbal directions.
- Perfect Square. All the team members are first blindfolded. They then stand in a circle, facing inwards, holding a rope. The rope is then laid on the ground. The team then moves the rope to form a perfect square. The participants assign a team leader who guides the others using voice instructions.
- Egg Drop. The group is divided into smaller teams with one raw egg each, some cardboard, duct tape, and plastic straws. Every team then works together to devise a scheme to keep the raw egg from breaking when dropped from a height.
- Two Truths, One Lie. This team-building exercise gets participants to learn interesting things about each other. In this fun game, participants tell three interesting facts about themselves. Of the three things, one is a lie. The others need to identify the lie.
- Pair Up. In this game, the names of well-known pairs are written down on sticky notes and stuck to the backs of the participants. Each person then asks questions to identify the name written on his/her back. The first two people to identify their names correctly and pair up win the game.
- Spectrum Mapping. This game enables people to express opinions on a range of subjects. In this game, topics are first identified on which employees share their opinions. Each team member then writes down their opinion on a piece of paper. The opinions expressed are then arranged based on similarity.
- Team Debates. For this game, select topics for debates. Divide the group into pairs. Each pair member is then required to speak for and against the topic. The other team members then pick the winner of the pair.
7 Team Building Activities For Large Groups
- Field day. Field-day activities include tug of war, soccer billiards, sack races, etc. Field day is a cost-effective way of engaging people and helping them develop work-related skills.
- Castaways. Set up several mental puzzles and physical obstacles in a suitable large outdoor area. Divide the group into teams. Each team must work its way through the puzzles and challenges. The fastest team to get through wins.
- Scavenger Hunt. Items are hidden in a defined location. Teams are given clues to the location of the items. The teams use clues to locate the items. The first team to locate all the items wins.
- Office Trivia. Prepare a list of trivia questions related to the workplace. Team members are then required to guess answers to the trivia questions. The team/individual with the maximum score wins.
- Community Service. Team-building games need not always comprise fun team-building activities. Engaging as a team in community service, such as a beach clean-up, also increases team bonding.
- Murder Mystery. Here the team is expected to enact a murder mystery. Decide on a suitable theme, for example, Sherlock Holmes. Narrate the murder mystery. Provide the teams with props and costumes and ask them to enact the murder mystery. The best enactment wins.
- Ongoing Tournament. Pick a game that interests the majority of the team. Chess is a possible pick and could even be played online. Decide the ties and the team members play at their convenience till a final winner emerges.
7 Team Building Activities For Remote Employees
- Spelling Bee. Draw up a list of words with progressively increasing difficulty. The participants will be required to spell the words. Keep eliminating people who spell incorrectly. The last person standing is the winner.
- Virtual Water cooler. This activity attempts to recreate the informality of talk around the office water cooler. Employees could be asked to discuss assigned topics or could be encouraged to talk on any random subject of their choice.
- Learning a New Skill. This activity is used to teach employees some new skills. The skill could be non-work related such as cooking, baking, cocktail/mocktail making, etc.
- Book Talks. The game improves employees’ communication skills. Employees pick a book of their choice that they have read. They then describe the book and try to get their colleagues interested in reading the book.
- Virtual Coffee Break. This activity creates an informal setting for interpersonal interactions among remote employees. Employees take a break from work with a virtual coffee break, pick up a mug of coffee and chat informally for 15 minutes.
- Fitness Challenges. Remote employees set up fitness challenges for each other. Someone takes on the challenge and posts updates to prove completion of the challenge. The person taking on and completing the maximum number of challenges wins.
- Personal User Manual. This involves describing how you like to work. This lets your colleagues know what makes you tick and lets people get to know each other personally.
7 Team Building Activities For Inside the Office
- Escape Room. Involves having to solve a series of challenges and problems. Create a storyline with a series of challenges that will need to be solved collectively as a team to finally lead to a grand prize.
- Communication Game. People stand in a line facing the same direction. The last person taps the person standing just ahead and performs the assigned mime actions. This person then repeats the same with the person ahead of him/her. If the person at the head of the line receives the same set of mime actions, communication is said to be effective.
Forbes study found that the effectiveness of remote work is beyond doubt.
- Shout Outs. Employees get to speak about an achievement of theirs and that of one of their colleagues. This helps boost positivity and mutual appreciation.
- Blind Drawing. People are divided into pairs. One member of the pair is given the name of an object. The person then describes the object, based on which the other person is to draw the object on a piece of paper.
- Minefield. Several soft objects are scattered on the floor in a large space such as the conference room. One of the teammates is blindfolded. The other teammates then guide the blindfolded teammate through the ‘minefield’ of scattered objects without touching any of them.
- Memory Wall. Distribute pens and sheets of paper to all the employees. Ask each to write about some pleasant memory they share with another person. Finally, ask them to read out what they have written. This increases team bonding and engagement.
An oft-cited Gallup survey on employee engagement highlights that, worldwide, only 13% of employees are ‘engaged’ in their work
- Birthday Line-up. Divide people into teams. The teams are then required to line up in order from youngest to oldest. The team to do it the fastest wins. This activity helps to get people to each other better.
7 Team Building Activities For Outside The Office
- Jogging Club. A fun way to get people to adopt fitness as a way of life. Also gets people of similar interests together.
- Office Beach Day. Arrange for everybody to meet up on the beach for a day of fun-filled activities. People get to meet in an informal setting and get to know each other better.
- Five-a-side Football. Divide the group into teams of five. Draw ties and organize a football tournament. The games can be shorter and played on a smaller field to allow for all fitness and skill levels.
- Surprise Picnic. An impromptu picnic in a public park is a great way to break the monotony of the week and get employees engaged. It adds novelty to the routine and is a means of relieving any pent-up stress.
- Ziplining. A great way to get the team outdoors and indulge in some adventure activities. Contact agencies that organize this activity, but ensure that all safety precautions are being taken.
- Team-building Offsite. An offsite is a proven way to build team bonding through shared experiences away from the office. People stay together, have fun, and get to know each other better.
- Charity. Take the team to an orphanage or animal rescue center and involve them in volunteer charity work. This builds community and camaraderie.
Getting people to work together, efficiently as a team has always been challenging. The challenge has become even more acute as teams become more global and also virtual/hybrid.
Team building helps work on a team’s weaknesses in a fun and engaging way to position it for success. So, start focussing on conducting team-building activities for better collaboration and communication