Team building. When people hear that phrase, they often roll their eyes. It’s like “forced family fun” - but in the workplace. Eek.
That said, team building does have its place, whether you’re trying to build a new team or strengthen an existing one. The trick, though, is finding activities your team won’t hate.
To help you get started, here are six fun ideas:
1. Scavenger hunt
This one’s a classic and fairly easy to organize. You can keep it indoors or take it to the streets, but either way, split your team into even smaller groups and have them seek out items based on riddles or clues.
The benefit: This is a fun activity that encourages people to work together as a team, particularly if riddles or clues are involved.
2. What makes you tick
For this activity, have your team get together and take a personality quiz. (The DISC personality test is a popular one.) Then, once the results are in, walk through the different personality types and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. If time and budget permit, you can even have someone who specializes in that area come in and discuss/explain.
The benefit: There’s extreme power in knowing what other people respond well to; how they work and what motivates them. If you can shed light on that within your team, chances are, you’ll all be able to work better together.
3. Egg drop
You may have done this one in your middle school science class - but it’s good for team building too! Split your team into smaller groups and have each group build a contraption that can keep an egg in tact after a pretty high fall (you can choose the height). You can either provide the materials or have your groups design them from scratch.
The benefit: This activity encourages creativity and teamwork. It’s also an interesting way to see how different people think. (You’ll be surprised at what people come up with!)
4. Salt and pepper
For this activity, come up with various pairs - salt and pepper, burgers and fries, Hansel and Gretel, etc. Then, write those individual terms (salt, for example) on a piece of paper and tape one piece of paper to each person’s back. Make sure they can’t see it though! They’ll then have to walk around and ask yes or no questions to find out what they are. Then once they’ve done that, they’ll have to ask even more yes or no questions to find their matching pair.
The benefit: This one’s all about learning to ask the right questions. It challenges people’s communication skills - and that can sometimes be a good thing!
5. Escape room
You’ve likely heard of escape rooms, and not only are they fun with friends, but they’re great for coworkers (and team building) as well. If you’re not as familiar with the logistics, here’s how it works: A group of people are locked in a room, usually for an hour. During that hour, they have to find hidden objects and solve various riddles in order to get out. (You’d be surprised at how many groups DON’T make it out within the hour - it’s tough!)
The benefit: Escape rooms are a fun and yet challenging way for your team members to work together. Plus, they’re already organized, so that’s one less thing you have to take care of.
6. Just for fun
Who says team building HAS to be an exercise or activity? It can just be a fun outing as well! Go-kart racing, laser tag, a painting class - all of those are fun activities that can bring your team members closer.
The benefit: Activities like these are designed more for relationship building. Sure, they may not be thoughtful or intellectually stimulating, but they’re FUN - and they help people connect on a more personal level.
If you are in the process of building up a new team - let’s say you have a lot of recent hires - you’ll want to get those employees up to speed (and comfortable!) quickly. For several tips on that, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Onboarding New Staff!