8 Great Ideas for Team Building Activities
Fun team building activities are the holy grail for HR mavens and middle managers. How do you stimulate teamwork and get your employees to embrace each other. Literally and figuratively.
Companies need team building activities. Good ones can improve communication by building trust and familiarity. Morale gets improved by bringing team members closer together. And co-workers can learn to discern strengths and weaknesses in a fun, low-stress environment. When you are planning meetings and conferences for the medical sector, a high-stress industry, it always helps to have team building activities that take the edge off.
So managers and bosses can benefit from learning about fun team building activities. The key concept is this: show, don’t tell. Rather than lecture everyone about the necessity of teamwork, instill your teams with the spirit of cooperation by chasing them with zombies or handing them invisible instruments.
Team building can seem pretty passe to some people, so creative ideas can be hard to come by. No one wants to do another trust fall. Check out this list of eight fun team building activities and your employees will thank you.
Creating a Communal Mural
The creativity sparked by painting or drawing as a team can be a boon to employee bonding. Bring your team together and provide them with brushes, paint and canvases. Let everyone paint as a team and string all the pictures together to create a coherent mural. Painting together encourages creativity and then mashing it up at the end helps promote compromise.
When you combine a traditionally solitary activity with teamwork, it can help to bust through limited thinking and encourage the team to come together under one shared idea.
The team that meditates together, succeeds together. Stress is a killer of motivation and morale. Studies show that deep breathing and mindfulness exercises can reduce stress and improve concentration. That can have benefits for team performance.
Bring in a mindfulness teacher that can run a group meditation session. There may be team members that are less than enthused about exploring this area, but that is an opportunity for everyone to learn how to be open-minded. It is a win-win.
Running From Zombies
Zombies are taking over pop culture these days. From anchoring extremely popular comic book shows to infesting reboots of classic literature, these fictional creatures have an enduring appeal. For team building, what could be better than sprinting down a city street, escaping from staggering makeup-clad actors?
Or you could keep it in-house and enlist the most recent intern to play the “zombie” in a locked conference room and challenge team members with hidden clues and puzzles to escape.
Break Out the Air Band Instruments
Who doesn’t like letting loose with some air guitar and air drums? This team building activity is pretty simple: just line up a couple volunteer judges, a music source and an impromptu stage and you can start rocking and rolling.
How else are you going to get all the team members to let their hair down? Sure, it may seem a bit silly at first, but never underestimate the power of music to bring people together.
Escape The Room
One room full of hidden clues. Your team. 60 minutes to work together and escape. Sounds like the ultimate fun team building activity, right? These games are getting more and more popular throughout the country. You can bring your team to one of many escape the room companies off-site or create your own “trapped in a room” scenario in a spare conference room.
Team Up Online
Your parents said video games were childish, right? Well, the genre has evolved since Mario first saved the Princess. Online role playing games can be a great way for teams to build camaraderie in a safe environment. They are especially valuable for team bonding with members who work in faraway offices or telecommute from home.
And you don’t need to delve in swords and sorcery epics or inappropriate games in order to get the benefits. From Minecraft to Portal, there are loads of options to get your team online and engaged with each other.
The Old Reliable
Ah, the scavenger hunt. This has been a team building staple since elementary school. Sending teams out on fun (and legal) adventures to gather random items can produce plenty of bonding and team strengthening habits. Communication, compromise, group creativity, just to name a few.
You can outsource your hunt to companies that will do all the work or you can organize your own in-office scavenger hunt. Just be sure to mark the CEO’s office off-limits!
Show & Tell & Brand
Think back to your elementary school days. Show and tell was one of the most exciting days of the week. Kids got to bring in pieces of their home lives and share it with their friends and classmates.
Here is how you update it for the office environment: Each team member brings in one item from home. The team has 10 minutes to come up with a product name, branding strategy and marketing plan for the item.
Without fun team building activities, your group or department can end up with poor communication and functioning as a bunch of individuals instead of a creative engine running on all cylinders. At your next meeting, consider using one or all of these team building ideas. In today’s economy, diversity of experience and ideas is essential to run a business that can pivot to new markets and new technologies. Building a solid team is one of the first steps to becoming that agile, future-focused company.