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Team-Building and Alignment Activities

by Bill Reynolds

Teamwork is a crucial factor in any company’s measurable success. Healthy, working relationships among staff members can help boost overall productivity, profits and morale. Staff development meetings typically offer co-workers the opportunity to learn more about each other and to get on the same page regarding company goals and expectations, and such meetings often involve various team-building activities and games. If you’re looking to improve your staff’s ability to work effectively as a team, you have countless staff alignment exercises to choose from.

Speed Networking

Have your ten or more participants leave their belongings at their seats and meet at the center of the room. Tell them you will ring a bell every few minutes, and that when you do, they are to individually pair up with a random partner. For the next few minutes, they must engage that partner in conversation, asking questions and sharing interesting facts about themselves. When you ring the bell again, they are to repeat this process with a new partner. After explaining the rules, ring your bell to start the activity. Repeat the cycle until everyone has talked with multiple partners. This activity is a way to get your staff members working together and getting more familiar with each other.

Pictionary Game

Write random words or phrases on separate slips of paper. Crumple them up and place them in a bowl. Then, split your staff into groups of five or six, doing your best to place staff members together with co-workers they don’t often work with. Hand out pads and pencils to each group and have each pick their first “drawer.” The drawer from each group will pick a crumpled slip of paper from the bowl. Each drawer will have two minutes to – through abstract illustrations -- get the rest of the group to guess the target word. When time is up, the process repeats with a new drawer. This game will have your staff members working together to solve problems on a tight deadline while getting more familiar with each other.

Pack Up Your Troubles

After handing out pencils and slips of paper to each of your staff members, instruct them to anonymously write down a basic difficulty or concern they’re having at work. An example could be: “There’s never any toner in the copy machine.” Make sure nobody writes down interpersonal issues. When everyone is done writing, collect the slips of paper into a bowl. Have the group split off into smaller groups of three. Instruct each one to draw three slips of paper from the bowl. Groups will then brainstorm and write down solutions to their chosen problems. When everyone is done, have the groups take turns sharing their problems and solutions with the rest of the staff. This exercise will have your staff members working together to solve work-related problems. An added benefit of this activity is the potential for solving office issues you didn’t even know you had.

Sharing Values

Instruct each member of your staff write down what he or she considers the three most important values to your organization, examples of which could include honesty, commitment and perseverance. Then, split your staff into groups of five. Have your staff members share their three values with the rest of their group. Ask each group to agree on its “top three” values, based on each group member’s input. Next, give each group drawing materials and a large sheet of blank poster paper. Have each group create a poster to visually represent its three chosen values. Groups will share and explain their posters with the rest of the staff. This exercise emphasizes teamwork, staff alignment and work ethic.

About the Author

Bill Reynolds holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Rowan University. He has written hundreds of articles for print and online media, drawing inspiration from a wide range of professional experiences. As part of the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, he has been nominated for the James Kirkwood Prize for Creative Writing.

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