While team building activities may look like games, well-designed events are shown to boost employee morale, enhance engagement and encourage teamwork in the workplace. These activities have a number of benefits including improved communication, motivation, creativity, problem solving, and they create trust.
Some employees have strong interpersonal skills and develop business relationships independently while others may need some help connecting with colleagues. One of the many benefits of team building activities is encouraging professional relationship building through a positive and open-minded company culture. Team building activities are also fun and help increase employee enthusiasm.
Team building activities may include games, meetings or events designed to motivate employees to get to know one another, develop respect, build communication and also show your employees appreciation. Team building activities can easily be integrated into regular team meetings or hosted as a stand-alone event.
Here are a few activity ideas designed to improve communication that can be used during in-person gatherings, virtual meetings, and even a combination of both, to get you started.
Icebreaker – Start your team meetings with a fun icebreaker. Pick a theme question and give everyone a chance to answer it before the meeting starts such as, “Who is your favorite athlete of all time?” “If you won the lottery, where is the first place you would travel to?” “Tell us the name of your first pet.” “Name a celebrity you’d like to have dinner with.” Opening questions should be fun, help everyone learn a little something about each other, and create conversation.
Year Book – Create a company year book. Ask team members to submit one, two or even three of their favorite pictures from the past year with a description. Designate a committee to compile a company year book using a presentation program like PowerPoint. Share it virtually or in person at a meeting.
Then & Now – Like the year book, this requires your team to share photos. Childhood pictures, high school or college, sports teams, weddings…anything from the past that is fun to share. Give your team a chance to speak about their pictures and interject anecdotes.
Show & Tell – Before a meeting, have your team members bring something from home and share details with the group. Just like those days from elementary school, people enjoy learning about each other’s interests. This can be part of several meetings, with one or two employees presenting, or at one gathering where everyone has a chance to present.
Achievement Sharing – Have each team member share their proudest personal achievement with the group.
No Smiling – Before starting the meeting, tell your team that they are not allowed to laugh or smile. See how long it takes for someone to break the rule!
There are a lot of great free team building activity ideas available from a multitude of on-line resources that also target problem-solving, creative thinking and team bonding. You may even have a few ideas of your own. Keep in mind that these exercises are a fantastic way to help your employees improve vital skills and develop a deeper commitment to their jobs.