Team building is considered a vital step in establishing a nurturing company culture. In fact, it has been proven time and again that team-building activities work towards the improvement not only of the employees but also the company.
In the previous decade, businesses started moving from competitive work environments to a more cooperative and collaborative work culture. As such, these companies and their staff have experienced countless benefits, including improved productivity, free-flowing creativity, and enhanced collaboration, motivation and communication.
But the key to achieving all these doesn’t lie in just throwing together some random tasks and calling it a day. You have to make sure that the activities you choose fit your company culture, align with your values, and can achieve the specific goal you set.
If this sounds a bit difficult for you, you can divide team-building activities into two categories: the smaller office icebreakers and more elaborate company outings.
To get you started, here are seven activities you can choose from to determine the best-suited team-building event for your company.
Not all team-building activities have to be done outside the office. In fact, there are simple-yet-enjoyable tasks you can have your team do to break the ice, improve the mood in the office, and keep your people from feeling burned out.
1. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
When it comes to building a solid team through activities, scavenger hunts always top the game. In fact, the fun and interactive problem-solving competition brings out the best in employees.
Make it more doable inside the office and more engaging by having your staff participate in a virtual scavenger hunt. With the help of mobile apps or computer software, you can ask the participants to snap photos, record videos, answer questions, scan QR codes, and share their progress in the hunt.
This activity should be done in real-time to facilitate interaction within the organization. You can also make it more competitive by posting updates on the leaderboard on a weekly or monthly basis, leading to the quarter’s final results.
2. The One-Word Game
Another office activity that can effectively break the ice during business hours is the One-Word Game.
To begin this activity, offer an initial context into the topic of a meeting to get everyone in the correct mindset during the discussion. Before convening, divide the team into smaller groups. Then, ask them to brainstorm and come up with one word that best describes a certain idea or context.
Remember, this should be done ahead of the meeting to give the participants some time to think. Doing so will allow them to get their head in the game and, ultimately, increase staff participation and engagement during the meeting.
3. Would You Rather…
This classic game commonly played during summer camps is actually a great office ice breaker. The next time you gather, have everyone take turns in asking and answering a question in the “would you rather” format.
Below are some examples of questions to help you get started:
- Would you rather live in the desert or in the North Pole?
- Would you rather never watch another show or movie again or never use social media?
- Would you rather go blind or lose your voice?
- Would you rather only be able to shout or to be able to whisper?
- Would you rather live without television or without music?
- Would you rather speak in riddles or speak in rhymes?
4. Two Truths and a Lie
Like “Would You Rather,” “Two Truths and a Lie” is also an excellent ice breaker that has been used in more casual settings. However, it is also effective as an office icebreaker as it allows the team to get to know more about each other.
To play, start by having all the participants think of three “facts” about themselves. As the game name implies, only two of these will be true, and the third one would be a lie.
The fun lies in having the other members of the group guess which is which. This not only reveals personal details about each person but also lets them know how others perceive them.
Company outings make sense for team building because these give employees opportunities to get to know their colleagues on a deeper level outside the office. In fact, such activities are often mistaken as the only option in building a team even though office icebreakers work, too.
When choosing a corporate team-building excursion, keep your corporate vision and goals in mind.
Below are some out-of-the-office activities that work best in building a solid team:
Volunteerism stirs a lot of emotions in a person, not to mention it allows the company to give back to the community. When organizing a company volunteering excursion, you encourage your team to feel united towards achieving a good cause while allowing them to get their mind off of work temporarily.
Research suggests that volunteering outside the office helps employees recover from work-induced mental exhaustion and helps them return to the office re-energized.
6. Sports Activities
Sports is another excellent activity to help employees get out of their cubicles and get moving. Besides the obvious health benefits, sports activities like softball, bowling, basketball, and volleyball offer a chance for employees to solidify their team spirit.
7. Dinner Out
Whether you’re marking the retirement of a long-time employee or celebrating a colleague’s birthday, breaking bread offers a chance for the team to step out of the office and have some good old social fun.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to take the team out. Lunches, picnics, dinners, and even trips to the local cafe can serve as a great way for co-workers to relax, unwind, and get to know each other better.
Avoid forcing team building into an office celebration, though. While enjoying everything the best fine dining steakhouse in town has to offer, never attempt to squeeze in more activities to build camaraderie. This might seem forced and end up becoming ineffective, at the very least.
Instead, allow them to just enjoy the chance to socialize and feel relaxed in an informal setting.
The Bottom Line
Team-building activities foster better workplace camaraderie and a friendly work culture.
If you’re genuinely concerned about the welfare of your employees, take them on a seaplane tour, treat them to a cup of coffee, and make sure that everyone is happy.
Mithu Agarwal is the Commercial Director at Seawings LLC, a trusted provider of commercial seaplane tours and charters in the UAE. The company offers aerial tours of the UAE, taking off from the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club through which you can discover the thrill of travelling by a seaplane. Whisking passengers to 1500 feet, the route soars past the iconic city skylines, offering sublime views of the country’s architectural marvels.