Team building has a negative stigma attached to it. But it isn’t all human pyramids and trust falls.
Building camaraderie amongst team members and helping employees get to know each other better can have a positive effect on your culture. Team building encourages collaboration and puts people at ease when they show up for work every day since they feel a stronger connection to their coworkers.
So, how do you get your team excited about team building? We’ve put together a collection of some team building activities that will be surefire hits with your organization, including some new twists on old favourites and some brand new suggestions you might not have thought of.
Let’s take a look.
Most people find it hard to talk about themselves, but a well-crafted icebreaker can be a great tool to get conversation flowing and encourage employees to learn more about their teammates.
Start off your next team building session by having everyone go around the room, introduce themselves, and then share an icebreaking fact. The best icebreakers reveal fun, humanizing facts about people, and help large groups find common ground.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What was your first job?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- What was the last thing you tweeted/shared on social?
- What’s your favourite TV show / movie / band?
- Where did you grow up?
Parties and Special Events
You don’t need to wait for the holidays to throw a team party. It’s important for your team to be able to relate to each other in a non-work related setting, so that they can get to know their teammates as real people and not just coworkers.
Try to make a point of celebrating team victories, both large and small. Maybe after shipping a new project, treat your team to a congratulatory pizza. Great food goes a long way. Scheduling lunches and after-work get togethers can also be a perfect opportunity for your employees to strike up social connections with the people that they work with every day.
Volunteering and Community Work
There are few things that can unite a team better than working towards a common purpose. When that purpose is virtuous and community-focused, the effect is tenfold.
Ask your team about charities and organizations that are important to them, and then make a point of organizing days to volunteer and give back to the community. Not only will you be bringing your team closer together, but you’ll be doing something positive for external parties as well.
Skill Building and Artistic Activities
Offsites for personal development can be enriching experiences, but learning a completely new skill is even better. Taking your team away from their day-to-day hustle to try their hand at a completely unrelated skill can be a fun and humbling way for your team to learn together.
Try taking your team to learn crocheting or painting—artistic pursuits can be an incredible powerful tool for opening minds and getting people thinking outside the box. It also helps remind your employees that, while some people may be particularly gifted at certain work skills, they still have a lot to learn elsewhere.
Maybe your team will discover new strengths or passions, or maybe, at the very least, they’ll realize that no one is born a master of their discipline. Mastery takes hard work, dedication, and practice, and nothing will drive that point home more than diving head-first into a new skill.
Ongoing Office Fun
Keeping things interesting around the office doesn't need to be time consuming or expensive. There are some simple and cost-effective ways that you can keep things interesting around the office and give your employees the opportunity to lighten their day and get to know their teammates better.
Here are some fun ideas:
Start a twinning board: It's not uncommon to show up in the morning only to find that one of your coworkers is wearing the same outfit as you. Take a picture together and bring light to the humour by adding it to a digital or physical twinning board.
Create a “Guess the Baby” photo board: Have people in your department bring in pictures of themselves as infants and take turns guessing who is who. Even if it isn't a challenge, looking at babies will make most people smile.
Set out a ‘Treat Yourself’ jar: Setting up a communal treat jar is a great way to provide a pick-me-up for your employees at the 2:00pm slump and it also creates opportunities for social interaction. Encourage everyone to take turns bringing in their favourite candy to help create a gathering place in the office where people can exchange their favourite sweets and learn new things about their coworkers.
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