Ah, team building, two words that make your colleagues roll their eyes and escape the office in no time. And it’s true, lousily done team building activities can be quite boring. However, some team-building exercises promote fellowship and improve the team’s communication and collaboration skills, while having fun.
There are various types of team-building exercises. Some last a couple of minutes, leaving team members asking for more, others may last up to a couple of hours and still feel like only 10 minutes passed. Furthermore, there are indoor, office activities and outdoor ones. Last but not least, there are team-building events such as after-office activities and weekend team getaways. But most important are the team building activities your team will love.
1. Campfire stories
To be honest, almost everybody loves telling and listening to interesting stories. This type of activity improves team bonding and inspires storytelling which can lead to success. It is an ideal ice breaker for teams that have been existing for a while as well as for the newcomers to fit in the team.
Campfire stories are an activity meant for 6 to 20 people and the estimated duration is 45 to 60 minutes. The main objective is encouraging participants to share and talk about common experiences. At the office, topics are usually related to work, but any team can use this activity. To start an exercise, create a set of trigger words that will “trigger” the story. For example, it can be the “first day at work” or “partnership”. Each participant chooses his own “trigger word” and shares the experience with the team. Other team members write down words that remind them of similar experiences and by the end of the exercise, together they create a “wall of words” on the whiteboard.
2. Game of possibilities
The truth is, shorter activities and games are always much more popular than longer ones. The reason behind that may be the lack of time and interest in long exercises. But short team building activates are as beneficial as the longer.
For this activity, you need to provide various objects. It’s meant for one or multiple smaller groups and lasts only 5 to 6 minutes. Give an object to one member of each team. One by one they have to go in front of the group and demonstrate or act out the use of that object without speaking. The rest of the teammates must guess the object. The demonstrations should be original and perhaps even comical. This activity is intended to inspire creativity and innovation within individuals.
3. The minefield
Trust is one of the most problematic aspects of groups. You can’t expect people to trust each other very minute the team is formed. That’s when team-building exercises step in. They are ideal for building trust step by step.
The activity requires an even number of participants between 4 and 10 and open space. Put various objects like cones, bottles, and balls around the open space. Ask your participants to pair up and one of them to put a blindfold on. The other must guide the blindfolded teammate, through the previously made route, without stepping on the objects, using only his voice, while the blindfolded person mustn’t speak at all. This activity is amazing for improving trust, effective listening, and communication.
Let’s face it, finding team building activities for larger groups is quite hard, if not almost impossible. The keyword here is almost. You work in a company where each department has at least 30 employees, and your task is to organize a team-building event where everyone will be included. When organizing a team-building event, you must take into consideration the number of participants, and according to that, space where you will conduct such an event. Considering the complexity of the activity, you might need to hire someone to help you. In cases like these, you may want to get professional event marketing to promote your team building event and to help you create a communication strategy.
Since you have a team of professionals by your side, you’re ready to organize this event for large groups. It’s played like a scavenger hunt, but the only thing different is the use of technology. Participants are “glued” to their phones anyway so it won’t be a problem to peruse them to use GPS or some other cool app for this activity. Ask them to do tasks around the city such as taking a picture with the postman or finding a book at the library. To promote team spirit and competitiveness, offer prizes for the winners. Both, winning and losing have positive impacts on team cohesion, so you don’t have to worry much about big disagreements.
5. Team getaways
Weekend team getaways are not a new concept. They exist for a long time in the form of seminars and conferences, but only recently they started including team building activities. These activities are meant for building team spirit and working on the actual tasks together as a team while relaxing in a beautiful nature far away from the office.
There are different activities depending on the number of people in the team. For example, smaller teams up to 10 to 12 members, kayaking or rafting is an ideal occupation during the weekend. Besides doing something good for the team, team members have a chance to get to know each other better on a personal level. This may help them understand the way each person thinks, works and functions in daily life. Besides kayaking, teams can indulge in rock climbing, cave exploring or city sightseeing. They can learn something new while bonding with their colleagues and promoting team spirit.
Even though organizing team building activities and persuading your colleagues to actively take part in them is hard, there is a solution called interesting team-building exercises. To organize a successful team building event, you may need help from the experts, but everything else is up to you. Depending on whether the team members are more of an indoor or outdoor type of person, different exercises can be set up. Don’t forget that you’re trying to help them become a team every company has dreamed of.