Five Simple But Brilliant Team Building Activities
Author: Russell SmithJuly 4, 2012
Looking for some business advice? Here’s ours: Team Building is one of the best investments you can make
Team building is one of the cornerstones of a successful working dynamic, and time put into ensuring staff can get on and work together well is an invaluable investment.
The benefits of team building activities are numerous and include better communication, development of natural team roles and better colleague relationships. All these benefits come together to help improve business operations, reduce conflict, and increase workplace efficiency.
However, organising team building activities can present management with a problem. Some workers are will be unable to attend scheduled team building events outside of work — such as the ever popular whitewater rafting — thus, they can become outsiders while others build stronger connections. Others may be less willing to join in with such team building activities, for health or personal reasons, and some workers may even see such activities as a waste of time.
For team building activities to be effective, you need the whole team to actively participate without protest, which may be difficult but not impossible. In this blog, we’ve put together a list of five simple but brilliant team building activities that you can easily undertake at the office.
Build Trust With the Mine Field Exercise
For this trust building exercise, you’ll need an open floor space, blindfolds, and landmines. Of course, if you don’t have real landmines, some pieces of paper with the word “mine” written on them will do — please do not use actual landmines.
Place your mines around the open space, along with a series of items, such as pencils, bottles, or hats strewn among them. Now split your participants into teams of two. Each will take a turn to be blindfolded and enter the minefield, while the other uses verbal guidance to steer them through the mines and collect the items.
If you want to bring in a competitive element, you can always time your teams to see who can collect items the fastest. Although this isn’t completely necessary.
Get People Talking With a Friday Afternoon Quiz
Friday afternoon quizzes are a staple in many offices and for good reason. An easy to operate and enjoyable team building activity, Friday quizzes get your team talking and wind down the week in a fun and relaxed way.
Encourage team members to get involved by getting them to set themes and by changing the quiz master every week. Include topical, work-related, and general knowledge questions. This allows team members who don’t usually talk — perhaps because the have little in common — to communicate and bond over a universal office experience.
Work as a Team to Solve the Human Knot
This team building activity is a bit of a brain teaser and requires strong teamwork to complete. Recommended for teams of 10 or more, begin with everyone standing in a circle facing inwards. Participants should then raise their right hand and join hands with another person in front of them. They should then do the same with their left, connecting with a different person. You are ready to begin once all hands are connected.
Important note: Always ensure that nobody is holding hands with somebody directly next to them, or the challenge with not work.
From this point on, the challenge is to find a way of untangling your team without having anyone’s hands disconnect. This requires patience, thought, and teamwork to complete, and it is an enjoyable yet beneficial team building activity.
Discover Your Team’s Natural Roles With an Egg Drop Contest
It’s a simple game, but an incredibly telling one. Split your workers into teams and instruct them to build a container out of supplies they can find in the office that will allow an egg to survive a drop from a second-story window.
While this may seem like just a bit of fun, it actually helps you work out who the thinkers are, who steps up as a leader, who takes orders and who is, for want of a better word, lazy. You may experience conflicting ideas, which can also help with conflict resolution, as well as discovering potential rifts between workers and who the peace-makers are.
Have Team Members Communicate to Beat the Clock
A lighthearted and often hilarious way of helping team members learn to communicate, this is a team building activity which requires nothing more than cling-film and a stopwatch. Set up teams of between 4 and 8 people, depending on the number of participants. If you have 8 participants, you’ll need two teams of four, but if you have twenty, you can split everyone up into larger teams.
Teams are then wrapped together with cling-film and challenged the set a time racing from one side of the room to the other. Each team has a go, and then once the best times are set, teams are challenged to beat said times. The key here is communication, as team members have to coordinate their movements to move smoothly and beat their opponents.