Team building and problem-solving activities may conjure images of reluctant co-workers playing games, but they are key ways to develop important skills that improve the overall strength of your entire team. When it comes to activities that can authentically, entertainingly promote teamwork among your employees, you have plenty of options. Here are some of the most popular team building and problem-solving activities that your team will not just love doing, but will learn in the process.
Why team building activities are important
Team building activities are important for the following reasons:
- Build a stronger group of employees: Team-building activities allow your employees to learn each other’s talents and interests outside of a work setting. In doing so, your employees may learn to better trust and respect one another.
- Respect employee diversity: Many workplaces are filled with employees from different backgrounds. Team-building activities – especially those centered on differences between employees – can help your employees feel included and illuminate their common cultural experiences and interests.
- Free flow of ideas: When your team members know each other better, they may feel less hesitant to share ideas with each other and throughout the office freely. As more ideas are shared in your workspace, you may find that some suggestions prove especially useful for streamlining your business affairs.
- Enhanced productivity: Poor communications can lead to issues with work being completed properly and efficiently. Team-building activities can lead to enhanced communication and stronger relationships in the office, in turn, driving your company’s productivity.
- Employee stability: Employee turnover can prove challenging for a small business. Not only do you have to hire somebody new when an employee leaves, but you also have to spend money to do so. Plus, clients and customers devoted to your departing employee may follow them as they leave. Team-building activities can connect your employees with one another in ways that boost employee morale and, as a result, minimize turnover.
Useful team building activities to help engage employees
1. A Shrinking Vessel
This team-building activity is designed to help your employees bond while teaching them about adaptability, a vital component of business innovation. Simply take a rope or string and lay it out in a shape into which all your team members can fit. Over the course of 10 to 15 minutes, you can then adjust the rope to decrease the floor space available to your employees. It will be up to your team members to collaborate to figure out how they can all stay safely within the shrinking space.
2. Egg Drop
For this team-building activity, your employees can only use available office supplies and tools to create a protective case for a raw egg strong enough to protect it from a 10-foot drop. As your employees work together to build an appropriate protective container for your egg, they will see each other’s strengths and thought processes in ways they might not during a meeting or a conference call. Just be sure to have appropriate cleanup tools on hand for the yolky eggshell mess that this game generates, or maybe take the test to the parking lot for easier cleanup.
3. Create It, Solve It
Problem-solving is a crucial component of team-building. What better way to combine both activities than by having your team members create a problem-solving game of their own? With Creative It, Solve It, groups of four or five team members can take the time to devise a new problem-solving game for your office and write up a thorough description of why this game would benefit your company. As a bonus, you can have your team play the winning game on your next team-building day.
4. Two Truths and a Lie
Office-appropriate versions of Two Truths and a Lie have been used successfully as team-building exercises for decades. Using Two Truths as a Lie for team-building comes with the distinct advantage of your team members likely already knowing how to play, so you don’t spend time teaching the rules. There’s just one variation for the team-building version: Instead of every person present making their own guess, your team members have to discuss the likeliest correct answers among themselves and unanimously agree upon them.
5. A scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a freer and more flexible way for your employees to bond. The overall objective is to get your colleagues working together to complete the hunt as quickly as possible – whichever group finds everything first wins. This team-building game can take a few forms: for starters, you can hold your scavenger hunt either inside or outside. Additionally, you can choose any items for your team to find.
6. Stranded/Office Survival
In this game, your team members will pretend that they’re trapped in your office and need to get out without using doors or windows in any fashion. Your colleagues will have 30 minutes to decide which items in the office they will use to survive their time trapped there, and then they will rank these items by importance. In doing so, they will learn vital communication and decision-making skills that can boost your office’s workflow.
7. Take the show on the road
You don’t have to stay in the office to make team-building happen. Bringing your team to the bowling alley or a nearby escape room can open the door to bonding and collaboration opportunities that don’t come as easily in traditional office settings. Plus, at many destinations, you might want to take your team, you can have a team photo taken to hang up in your office and remind your employees of their newly formed bonds.
The ideas listed here are just starting points when it comes to team-building activity suggestions. If you can think of other ways to drive your team members to interact, collaborate, and grow more comfortable with each other, then as long as these methods preserve your employees’ safety and make them feel respected, you can give them a try, too.