Why team-building activities are important
Maybe when you were in elementary school and your class had to work together to solve a puzzle. Or at camp when your bunk was tasked with completing a group scavenger hunt or catching each other in trust falls. While they tend to get a bad rap—picture some mandatory HR event where everyone looks miserable and no one wants to go along for the ride—the right kinds of team-building exercises can bring people closer together, help teams work more effectively, and identify gaps and strengths in individual members.
At the base level, team building allows people to get to know each other—their interests, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they communicate, among other things. Team-building activities also build camaraderie and trust—one of the most important aspects of a successful team.
This can be a particularly useful learning experience for teams that struggle with teamwork, are overly competitive, or lack unity and confidence as a result of a bad manager or hard times. In fact, taking 20 minutes out of the first half of your next group meeting can be enough to spark innovation and teamwork. The key is that everyone has to contribute to the success of the project. Ask your team: What was your strategy to solve it? Who did what? Why did you make the decisions you did?
Allowing everyone to think through their process might highlight unique perspectives or strengths in each individual—or at least lead to an eye-opening conversation. Have everyone sit in a circle. Anyone can start the count off or say a at any time, the goal being to count from one to However, if two people jump in at the same time to say athe count starts over.
This game requires team members not only to be cognizant of the group dynamic, but to work together—with limited communication—to get to the end. There are different variations you can take on this to encourage your team to express appreciation for one another.
The key is to make these brainstorming sessions less about day-to-day accomplishments and more about bigger team goals. Maybe you want to outline your KPIs for the rest of the quarter. Maybe you want to hash out some new ideas for an upcoming campaign. This can be a great way to get your team to brag a bit about their accomplishments, and to encourage them to stay updated on what everyone else is working on. You can do this on a small scale, too.
These activities are great for longer meetings, or if you want to spend an afternoon or a few hours away from your desk. Have everyone on your team fill out a personality test here are some of our favoritesthen get together and discuss. Another option? And there are some many great, office-friendly options out there!
There are also non-tabletop games like Celebrity or He Up available on iOS and Android that require nothing but a phone or a pen and paper. It may feel silly to pull out some games in the middle of the office, but you may be surprised to find that doing so loosens your team up and forces them to work together in different and creative ways. Maybe you set one up for employees to uncover X of facts or artifacts by the end of the day together.
Or divide the group into multiple teams and see who finishes first. However you choose to do it and whatever you choose for them to find, this will definitely encourage team members to work together on something far removed from their usual work and team of people. This is a camp favorite, but also a fun way to have team members come together to solve a problem.
Have everyone squish together in a circle and grab hands with people not directly next to them. You can make it even more challenging by not allowing people to talk or putting a time limit on it. It requires a bit of leg room to crawl over each other not to mention an office culture where people feel comfortable holding hands—tread carefully with this onebut if you feel up to it it can make for a fun puzzle. Set a timer, and have people line up in various orders say, by height, birthday, or company tenure—without saying a word.
Your team will learn a bit about each other while overcoming an unusual challenge. Your team is probably full of unspoken talent—use those strengths as a way to bring everyone together. Your employee will practice mentoring and giving presentations, and your team will learn something new and exciting about their peers. Hack days are big in the tech and engineering sphere, but they can be beneficial for just about any team. If you can, have multiple departments if not the whole company participate and require employees to work with people on different teams.
The point is to have people think Looking for fun during the work day the box by creating something that requires a new set of skills or way of thinking. It creates a bit of healthy competition, while encouraging employees to spend time together and bond over a common hobby. If you live in a city that offers them some options here and hereyou can find an assortment of escape-the-room challenges, including a submarine, jail cell, or even an office how ironic!
CourseHorse and Groupon are great places to find these kinds of opportunities, for cheap. A lot more interactive than cooking classes, improv classes can teach you a lot of valuable skills for the workplace—including how to communicate with others and overcome various challenges as a team.
History of fun at work day
Plus, they force you to get out of your comfort zone and have a laugh with your colleagues. You can check out sites like CourseHorse for options, or do a quick Google search to find the best comedy cellars near your office. If your team is passionate about a certain cause or initiative, consider taking the day to do some community service.
Grab a book related to your field and have everyone read it over a few weeks. Then, set aside some time to sit and chat about it over snacks!
Check out our best re if you need inspiration. If your team is full of athletes, this could be the perfect option for bonding outside the office. Plenty of cities offer opportunities to play things like skeeball, bocce, or cornhole. If you want your efforts to go toward a cause, consider ing up to run or walk a 5K for charity together.
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Check out some of our favorites. Try a Compliment Circle There are different variations you can take on this to encourage your team to express appreciation for one another. Whatever your goal, try organizing your conversation using one of these suggestions: An idea board: The simplest form of brainstorming. Give everyone an agenda ahead of time, and have them come to the meeting with three to five ideas.
Ways to celebrate in the office
Talk through them, and have people contribute additional thoughts, questions, or concerns. Fist to five : Have everyone brainstorm solutions to a problem, then go through them one by one by holding up a fist or a of fingers up to five. Then, have everyone state their case as to why they chose the fingers they did. Went well, went OK, could have done better: At The Muse, we use this process for quarterly retrospectives and project post-mortems.
25 ways to have fun at work
Once all the ideas are on the table talk through them and come up with potential solutions to the problem areas. Team-Building Activities to Do During the Workday These activities are great for longer meetings, or if you want to spend an afternoon or a few hours away from your desk. Share Your Personality Have everyone on your team fill out a personality test here are some of our favoritesthen get together and discuss. Do a Silent Line-Up Set a timer, and have people line up in various orders say, by height, birthday, or company tenure—without saying a word.
Host a Lunch and Learn Your team is probably full of unspoken talent—use those strengths as a way to bring everyone together.
Celebrate national fun at work day
Have a Hack Day Hack days are big in the tech and engineering sphere, but they can be beneficial for just about any team. Take an Improv Class A lot more interactive than cooking classes, improv classes can teach you a lot of valuable skills for the workplace—including how to communicate with others and overcome various challenges as a team. Volunteer If your team is passionate about a certain cause or initiative, consider taking the day to do some community service. Start a Book Club Grab a book related to your field and have everyone read it over a few weeks. Form an Intramural League If your team is full of athletes, this could be the perfect option for bonding outside the office.