If your team has difficulty working together, it’s an issue you need to address quickly. When there is tension in the office, it’s hard to do any productive work, and the company will have trouble reaching its organisational goals. While you can’t control whether employees like each other or not, you can take steps to improve morale and help employees work together despite their differences.
This is where team-building comes into play. If you've never heard of this, The Balance defines the term as 'the process of turning a group of individual employees into a cohesive team, a group of people organised to work together interdependently and cooperatively to meet the needs of their customers by accomplishing their purpose and goals'. Simply put, it refers to various activities undertaken to motivate team members and increase the overall performance of the team.
The activities can help increase motivation and productivity, foster problem solving, boost morale, encourage creativity and improve communication. They can also help to reduce stress and tension at your office and improve employee relationships. It becomes apparent that everything from small ice breakers to office-wide activities can have a positive impact on your business.
Now, let’s take a look at the best team-building activities you can try with your team.
Who doesn’t love paintball? Some people might enjoy it more than others, but it’s a great, physical team-building exercise. Some might say it’s just rolling around and getting shot with paint, but it’s actually a great way of building trust and commitment while creating a strong team ethic. If you have never tried it, this is the perfect opportunity. You just need to convince the rest of the team members.
Duration: Can take up to 2 or 4 hours
What it requires: Equal number of people to form 2 groups or against each other
2. Egg Drop
It’s a classic game that can be engaging, but messy. For this, you will need to split the group into 2-3 teams of reasonable size. The task is to build a contraption that can keep the egg intact from a 2-4 storey drop. Tools that can be provided include newspapers, straws, tape, plastic, balloons, and rubber bands. Give the teams 30 min-1hour to create the device. After this time, each team will take turns dropping their contraptions from the 2nd storey while everyone else stays at the bottom level to observe - and make sure there is no cheating.
Duration: Takes up to 1-2 hours
What it requires: Lots of eggs
3. Tied Up in Knots
The aim of this activity is for a team to try and get out of a human knot and begins with the group standing in a circle facing each other. Everyone reaches in with their right hand to shake the hand of someone else in the circle. Keeping their right hands clasped, then everyone reaches in with their left hand and shakes the hands of a different member of the circle. Without letting go of either hand, the group tries to ‘unknot’ themselves. It might seem crazy, but after a few seconds, they’ll realise that by stepping over, ducking under and turning around, they will be able to unfold mess they have created.
Duration: As long as it takes to get out of the human knot
What it requires: Great deal of communication and teamwork
4. Talking in Circles
Place everyone in a circle around a long piece of string that is tied at its end to form a circle. Now the team must create shapes with the string: a square, a triangle, a figure eight, a rectangle, etc. Repeat the game but with everyone’s eye shut. Despite the difficulty this activity can be quite fun because you get to laugh at your own mistakes – and each others, of course. Also, you get to find out who’s more likely to cheat by keeping their eyes open.
Duration: It stops when the team members get tired
What it requires: A lot of communication and teamwork
5. Pizza Making
Pizza making acts as a great ice-breaker. It’s perfect for new team members because it allows them to work together and get to know each other over a light-hearted activity. The participants can decide who brings the ingredients and divide the costs. If you want, you can invite your boss to help out! Besides, who doesn’t love pizza?
Duration: 15 to 20 minutes
What it requires: A chef apron and an oven to make pizza
Zorbing is an adventure sport that involves you rolling downhill in a transparent plastic ball. These ‘hamster balls’ can be really fun and a great idea for a corporate day out, especially in summer. Even though it looks dangerous, zorbing is the exact opposite. There is land zorbing, zorb fighting, zorb football, rollerball zorbing and water zorbing. Your team will just need to pick.
Duration: Varies depending on the chosen zorbing activity
What it requires: A team of any size willing to try out zorbing activities
7. The Trust Fall
Most people are familiar with the trust fall. This requires a volunteer standing on a platform with his/her back turned towards a group of co-workers. Some people like this activity but some others don’t because it involves lots of physical contact with co-workers. Apart from this, there is also the possibility of getting injured, but if anything like that happens, you will be able to tell whether you can trust your colleagues or not.
Duration: It lasts as long as there are volunteers for the fall…and the catch
What it requires: A volunteer who has put a lot of trust in his/her colleagues
8. Two Truths and a Lie
Have each member introduce themselves by stating their name plus two truths about themselves and one lie. After each person makes their statements, allow for a quick open conversation where everyone questions each other about their statements. The idea is to convince the other members that your lie is actually a truth while guessing the truths/lies of the others. After the questions, vote as a group on each member’s statements. Points are awarded for each lie guessed correctly or for tricking other members with your own lie. This activity is great because it helps you find out how much you know about your colleagues and vice versa.
Duration: 30-60 minutes to complete
What it requires: Lots of group interaction and communication
9. Helium Stick
It’s a quick game that great as an ice-breaker or short coffee break. You will need to form two lines facing each other and lay a long, thin rod across the group’s index fingers. The goal is to lower the stick to the ground while keeping everyone’s fingers touching the stick. The challenge is to keep the rod still and prevent it from going up. The upwards pressure of everyone’s fingers causes the stick to go up instead of down. Once everyone relaxes they can easily lower the stick to the ground.
Duration: Up to 10 minutes
What it requires: A leader to coordinate the team
10. Mini Olympic Games
If you are thinking about organising a corporate group event, an excellent idea is to hold your own Olympic Games. It should give you an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, test your physical abilities, teamwork and ability to motivate other members of your team. There are many indoor and outdoor activities you can choose for your Olympic Games. Here are a couple of ideas:
Indoor games - paper plane folding and throwing, hoopla, basketball, obstacle course, simple gymnastics displays, etc.
Outdoor games - running or swimming races, high jump and/or long jump, rhythmic gymnastics, garden tarts, etc.
Duration: Can range from 1.5 to 4 hours, depending on the team’s preference
What it requires: Enthusiasm and teamwork
Since it’s impossible to control everything, there are always going to be problems within your team. However, if you want to improve your company culture, creative activities and exercises like the ones listed in this article, can encourage participation and positivity, steer your team in the right direction and away from conflict. A productive team is a happy team and colleagues should always try to get on with each other.
So, what do you say? Would you consider participating in any team-building activities? Which one(s) do you want to try out? Let us know in the comments section below!