Many businesses depend on having strong teams to support and grow the company; sales, marketing and support are just some of the areas where teamwork is essential and contributes to the overall health of a company. Building a strong team from a group of diverse personalities can be a challenge for any company, but it’s worth the time and effort. Implementing fun team-building activities is one way to build teams and boost energy at the same time.
How to Choose Activities
It’s best to choose team-building activities that focus on areas of the company that need improvement; communication, mutual respect, listening and problem solving are some of the areas managers often target. Not all such activities are fun, so it’s important to check out several before choosing. Budget can also be a consideration – some activities are free and can be run by almost anyone while others are offered by companies that handle everything but also charge a substantial fee for doing so.
Easy Games with Little Preparation
It’s possible to run a team-building activity to without a lot of prior planning yet still reap plenty of benefits. Before implementing the activity it’s important to make sure that everybody knows the rules. Inspire an entire department by giving everybody a bonus when one employee excels; give time off with pay when a group meets all of its goals in a specific time period. Add simple activities at meetings, such as “Road Map,” where you let each group plan a trip using a specific set of resources and see how creative and cooperative they can be.
Activities that Take Some Planning
Some team building activities require props and planning to make them work, but those that participate in such games are likely to remember them for a long time. “Acid River” challenges team members to find a way to cross a river of acid using only carpet squares as safe spots. There are fewer pieces of carpet than team members, and nobody can reach the other side until the entire group has at least begun to cross. “Sneak-a-peek” is less physical and challenges teams to recreate a simple sculpture that’s only viewed by one member at a time and then described to the others.
Games for All Reasons
A scavenger hunt promotes team spirit, communication, compromise and cooperation. Each team must find and photograph items from a list in a limited amount of time. The team with the most items wins. The “Make-a-Shake” game is an icebreaker, and also builds connections that facilitate communication. In this game participants are broken into pairs and each pair must create a unique handshake within a specified time period. Next, create groups of four and have each one create a new handshake based on their first ones. Finally, have everybody get together to create a single handshake using elements from all the others.
- Inc.: How to Create Team-Building Exercises
- Team Building Portal: Road Map Game
- Team Building Portal: Sneak-a-Peek Game
- Atticus: Motivating Employees Through Games At Work
- University of Phoenix : 5 Team-building Activities that Actually Work
- Cal Poly Pomona: Acid River Exercise
- University of California, Berkeley: Team Building Toolkit (Pgs 4-5)
- The Big Book of Team Building Games: John Newstrom (Chap 2, Kindle Edition, no page numbers)
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