our everyday life

Innovative Team-Building Ideas for Building Relationships

by Melody Dawn, studioD

Team-building activities are a valuable tool for fostering relationships. They help to build trust, to teach individuals to be more responsive, to increase production and to help groups to stay focused on business objectives and responsibilities. When you use team-building activities, your employees get to know each other, learn how to use different methods of communication and to work together to solve problems effectively.


Icebreakers help employees relax and get to know the other people they work with. These types of activities encourage all members of the group to talk and to give their input, and they create a positive atmosphere for fun. One innovative method is to divide employees into groups of four or five. Tell them to pretend they are stuck on a deserted island and that they must choose five things for the group to bring with them. Allow the team to work for 30 minutes and then have each group tell what they chose and why. This activity encourages the group to think together to solve a problem. Instead of normal introductions, have employees communicate with one another through writing. They can share cell numbers and text or simply write on paper. This helps encourage different ways of communication.


Role-playing activities allow employees to exchange places with one another and act out situations that can arise during a normal workday. This can include current conflicts or ones the employees would like to address. One way to carry this out would be to allow managers and employees to swap places. This activity is useful when an employee doesn't understand what someone's role involves. For example, hand out cards with a job title and description to each person in the room. Spend time allowing each person to act out how they view the job title in front of everyone else. Others can guess which job the person is acting.

Simulation Games

Simulation games allow employees to act out a situation that would happen outside of work. This will help teams learn to work together to accomplish a goal together. Divide your employees into groups of four and five and provide them with a collection of building blocks. Ask each team to build a structure that is a specific height and width. What they build is entirely up to the group, but they all must work together to do it. Choose the best structure and provide small gifts including candy, coffee shop gift cards or company logo gifts.

Virtual Activities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in four Americans currently work from home at least part of the time. With these statistics, there is a growing need to create teams and cohesion with telecommuters. Second Life is an online team-building activity that allows workers to create an avatar that is a close replica of the way they look in real life. Workers also enter interests and dislikes to make their avatar more lifelike. Once the avatar is completed, the worker is placed with 10 other participants on an island. The goal is to work together to perform each task until all members are successful.


About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images