15 Team Building Exercises That Your Team Will Enjoy

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When many business executives think of team building, they picture their employees playing games on company hours and money. Some even think that all the hype around team building is overrated. However, one wouldn’t think so if they understood what team building is all about and how it can benefit a business.

What is team building?

The simple definition for the term ‘team building’ is a process through which one can turn a group of individuals into a cohesive team. If their employees previously worked as individuals each contributing to the company’s goals independent of each other, they will begin to work cooperatively and interdependently. This will get the company to its goals much faster.

What are the benefits of team building?

Businesses that haven’t invested in team building for their employees ought to consider the following benefits of doing so.

1. It helps to improve communication

The activities in team building exercises encourage open communication amongst participating employees as well as between management and employees. The activities will help break barriers. This will help to improve office relationships which will translate into better results for the company. It’s easier to find solutions to problems and workplace issues when everyone feels comfortable to communicate openly.

2. It will help to boost performance

Many companies invest in team building to help boost the performance of their teams. This is made possible through team members increasing their understanding of each other. Team building activities help team members understand each other’s strengths, interests and weaknesses. This makes them work better together.

3. It motivates employees

No matter how committed employees are to their work, they can become bogged down by the monotony and stress of daily tasks. Team building offers the company the opportunity to get out of the workplace setting and experience new things. They can become physically active and have fun. This will motivate employees. They will bring this energy to their work.

4. It fosters collaboration and creativity

Team building helps employees to become more comfortable around each other. They are better able to share ideas and express their opinions. Getting outside and experiencing new and fun activities will also work to ignite a creative spark in your team. Organizations will see increased collaboration and creativity as a result of this time away from the desks.

5. It will help employees develop problem-solving skills

Problems occur often in workplaces. Whether it is a problem dealing with a client or an internal office issue, solutions must be found if the business is to move forward and accomplish its goals. Team building activities can help employees think more strategically and rationally. They will be better able to find effective solutions for problems they face at work.

Team building exercises that your team will enjoy

With a better understanding of what team building is and its importance, here are some ideas for team building exercises that employees are sure to enjoy.

1. Create a common book

Objective: Inspires pride in employees for being part of a team. It also encourage creativity, teamwork, self-expression and helps employees get to know each other better.

Tools needed: Large blank scrapbook or journal, pens, marketers, glues, scrap paper or magazines, decorative tapes, glues and other scrapbooking materials.

Number of participants: As many as work in the company

Time: about 30 minutes

Facilitators should place the scrapbook in a common area. They can include prompts in the scrapbook to get creative juices flowing. Participants should be asked to create pages representing who they are in the scrapbook. This will create a scrapbook that features the people who keep your business going. It should be kept sagely as part of the history of the company.

2. Code of conduct

Objective: This activity helps to establish group values and build mutual trust amongst team members.

Tools needed: White board and white board marker

Number of participants: 10 to 30

Time: 30 minutes

Facilitators should write the words ‘Pleasant’ and ‘Meaningful’ on the whiteboard. The group should shout out what they think would make the workshop more pleasant or meaningful to them. Responses should be recorded on the board as a mind map. Participants should go through each suggestion and discuss how they can implement the idea for the workshop. These ideas will become the code of conduct for the remainder of the team building workshop.

3. Possibilities

Objective: Inspire individual creativity and innovation

Tools needed: Random objects

Number of participants: Divide participants in small groups of about 5

Time: About 30 minutes

Facilitators should give a random object to one person in each of the groups. Someone from the group has to demonstrate to the rest of the group how to use the product without speaking. The demonstrations must be original and even wacky.

4. Three truths and one lie

Objective: Inspires creativity and helps team members get to know each other

Tools needed: Pens and paper

Number of participants: As many as are in attendance

Time: Approximately 30 minutes

Facilitators should supply each player with four sheets of paper. Players should write three truths and a lie on each piece of paper. The lie should be believable and the tone professional. Players should then read their lists out lout in random order. Other participants should guess which statement is a lie and which is truth.

5. Campfire stories

Objective: It is a form of training. It helps participants share as well as establish experiences they have in common.

Tools: Sticky notes, pens

Number of participants: 6 to 20

Time: Approximately 45 minutes

Facilitators should list words to kick-start the storytelling session. These may include ‘first day’, ‘accomplishment’, ‘partnership’ and many more. The words should be written on sticky notes and participants allowed to pick the trigger word of their choice. They will be required to tell a story whose theme is related to the keyword.

6. Winner/loser

Objective: Learning how to approach negative situations

Tools: None

Number of participants: Two or more people

Time: 5 to 6 minutes

Participants should pair up. Partner A shares a negative event that occurred in their life with Partner B. This can be personal or work-related. The partners should discuss the problem and focus only on the positive aspects. The roles are then switched.

7. What’s on your desk?

Objective: Inspires creativity and innovation

Tools: Random objects, writing materials, timer

Participants: Two or more people

Time: 10-20 minutes

Each member is required to come with a random object from their desk. They should create a logo, slogan and marketing plan based on the object. A timer is set to limit the time and for each presentation. All participants will then discuss the presentation and whether the person was successful or not.

8. Mingle

Objective: Improves productivity

Tools: None

Number of participants: two or more

Time: 2 to 5 minutes

This can be done before a meeting. Individuals should walk around and share with other team members what they hope to bring to the meeting. The goal is to share information with as many people as possible. A prize may be given to the person that shares with the most people.

9. Memory wall

Objective: Helps to build comradery amongst employees

Tools: Sheets of paper, tape and markers

Number of participants: Two or more

Time: About 60 minutes

Each participant should be supplied with paper, tape and markers to write down positive memories from working together in the company. They should then draw pictures representing their most precious memories. These will be taped on the memory wall.

10. Scavenger hunt

Objective: Encourages breaking down of office cliques and fostering new relationships across different social circles and departments.

Tools: Pen and paper

Number of participants: Small groups of about 5 participants

Time: More than 1 hour

Each group will be provided with a list of goofy tasks to carry out. These may include tasks such as taking a selfie with a random stranger. Groups are required to complete tasks within a specified timeframe. The group that completes all its tasks within the timeframe wins.

11. Low-tech social networking

Objective: Can help team members to get to know each other. Can be used as an ice breaker.

Tools: Whiteboard, markers, index cards, tape

Participants: Two or more

Time: Approximately 60 minutes

Each participant should be provided with index cards, tape and markers of different colors. Participants are required to create an avatar on an index card which will act as their profile picture on the low-tech network. They should also add their names and positions in the company on the card.

The avatars should be stuck to the whiteboard and each participant should draw a line to avatar cards of the people they already know. They should also specify how they know them, i.e. lunch buddies, carpool together or worked on a project together.

12. A magazine story

Objective: Fosters creativity and can help to inspire employees

Tools: Writing materials, markers

Number of participants: Small groups of about 5 participants

Time: Approximate 90 minutes

Each group is required to create a magazine cover story about the company or a project you’re currently working on. These don’t have to be a full story. A headline with images, quotes and sidebars is enough. Each team should present their cover to the whole group. The best magazine cover voted by the group wins.

13. Human knot

Objective: Encourage good communication and teamwork

Tools: None

Number of participants: 8 to 20 people

Time: 15 to 30 minutes

Everyone should stand in a circle shoulder to shoulder. Instruct players to grab a random hand in the circle, then to grab another random hand without letting go of the first hand. Set a time limit in which the group should untangle themselves without breaking the chain to form a circle.

14. Office trivia

Objective: Improve team bonding and encourage participation

Tools: Index cards, pens

Number of participants: Two or more

Time: 60 minutes

Facilitators should come up with trivia questions that are related to the workplace. These may include questions such as ‘how many work in the IT department?’, ‘How many steps do you need to go up to get to the office?’

The questions should be written on index cards. The group should be asked questions in random order. Answers should be shouted out loud. The participant or team that gets the most answers right wins.

  1. Perfect square

Objective: Builds strong leadership and communication skills

Tools: A rope and blindfolds

Number of participants: 5 to 20 people

Time: 15 to 30 minutes

Facilitators should have teams stand in a circle holding a piece of rope with both hands. Everyone should be blindfolded. The rope should be set on the floor and the group walk a short distance away from the circle. They should then be asked to come back and try to form a square using the rope while their blindfolds are still on. A time limit should be set for this.

These are just a few ideas that businesses can use to get started at building a cohesive team that will take the company to a whole new level.