If you really think about it, your day is split up into thirds. You spent eight hours at work, eight hours at home, then (hopefully) eight hours sleeping.
You might never have looked at your time like this. But doesn’t this prove that your corporate team members are a pretty substantial part of your life?
As one-third of your everyday life, your team members can make a huge impact. So strengthening your collective problem-solving and communication skills is key for both your professional and personal success.
Okay, I get that team-building activities can sometimes feel like a kids’ summer camp game. But there’s a lot more merit to them than we adults give them credit for!
After all, a team is only as strong as its weakest team member, right? It must be true if it’s in a saying.
But if that old adage didn’t convince you, hopefully, the rest of this article will. Keep reading below to find out what team-building can do and why it’s important for every team to experience.
See Related: How to Make Meetings Fun
What is a team-building event?
A team-building event is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Team members gather in an event setting to foster stronger bonds and break the ice with one another.
The ultimate goal of a team-building event is to cultivate communication and collaboration between employees. A workday can sometimes feel like a chore.
But when you’re working with team members you trust, your professional experience will be greatly enhanced. Team-building games are meant to accomplish just that.
Outside of the office, these events give the corporate group a chance to connect. With creative exercises and activities, team members will work together and translate this dynamic into their professional strategy.
Typically, team-building events are held for businesses that have experienced a recent milestone. This might be a merger, product launch, or a new round of funding.
But other times, team-building events are called for out of necessity. Big or small groups of people do not always get along.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. But at a corporate company, those personal feelings must be put aside.
There is a bigger objective at hand. If everyone can work as a team, then everyone will have a far better experience.
So, if you’re looking for a fun way to get your team together, look no further. This article is chock-full of great team-building exercises.
Fostering collaboration will do far more for your team than you can anticipate. So get out the marshmallows and gather around the campfire for some team bonding.
Sometimes, getting out of the office is just what you need. Besides, a bit of fresh air can help break up the workday.
Scavenger hunts are a fun way of bringing everyone together as a team. Participants can work as a whole group to complete the hunt.
Or, participants can pair off and compete against one another. Either way, getting colleagues to play is a great ice breaker.
Corporate settings demand a particular sensibility. You know, button-ups, small smiles, and emails that say “let’s circle back.”
But a team-building activity such as this allows team members to let their guard down. No more saving personal conversations for the water cooler only.
While playing and problem-solving, teams can get to know one another. These interactions also teach employees how to enact active listening.
Additionally, if you set a time limit, you can challenge employees’ time management skills. That way, the game involves skills that can translate to how employees work together.
The hunt itself doesn’t need to be work-related. It certainly can be.
But the point of this team-building exercise is for team members to get to know one another. Finding objects in a park seems like such a simple thing.
But it can foster teamwork like no office setting can. And it’s a great way to break barriers by getting employees to think outside the box.
Some activities require more planning and creative thinking. But if you don’t have that kind of time, that’s okay too.
Having a field day is a great option. It involves some planning but doesn’t require that you facilitate games so strictly.
Field day events can include kickball or a three-legged race. Just think of any fun game ideas you might see at a fair or outdoor event.
Even make it a barbeque to create a full afternoon out of it. This way, employees get to feel more relaxed in a social setting.
At work, we tend to travel only from room to room. But gathering at a local park can be a more freeing way to foster person-to-person connection.
On paper, a field day might not seem like much. But don’t underestimate the power of getting your team members out in the sun and out of their comfort zone.
Everybody needs to eat. So why not treat everyone to a midday outing?
As simple as it seems, these outings can form the building blocks for personal and workplace relationships. And lunch isn’t nearly as physical as kickball or a three-legged race.
While no teams are involved in eating lunch, the team itself will get the chance to bond. Breaking bread is a great way to get to know your colleagues.
It might be as simple as learning their food preferences to start. But then that turns into a conversation about their family and their role within the company.
There are a number of ways a group conversation can go. So help team members exchange ideas over food while making for a fun and easy activity that the entire group can enjoy.
These team-building games can easily be facilitated at the office. And they’ll be sure to test team members’ critical and creative thinking.
Board games are a fun activity that most associate with friends and family. And that’s what makes it a great activity for coworkers.
A board game forces teams to work on their communication. With participants creating a strategy as a group, it’s not all that different from what they do at the company.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get the ideas flowing at work. But something as simple as a game night can get coworkers to connect with their creativity again.
And you never know. Maybe game night will be a big hit and become an office tradition.
When teams play a puzzle, they are literally problem-solving. With big and little pieces alike, groups must configure them together to create a cohesive layout altogether.
It’s not unlike the teamwork that’s required of a company. But it gets employees to work in groups while ultimately having fun.
You can whip out a barter puzzle or find a different jigsaw puzzle that everyone will enjoy. But the main point of the puzzle will be enhancing participants’ communication.
Fun events such as these are meant to bridge the divide that might exist between team members. But be wary of the divide that may occur when choosing what puzzles to play!
Every company has a different culture to it. And playing work-related trivia can get everyone in on the deal.
Organizing a trivia game can be as simple as gathering a few sheets of paper. Write down questions about what Mark eats for lunch every day.
Or question a member of the team on what Sandra’s favorite catchphrase is. Team building activities such as these are also great conversation starters.
There may be one person who’s new to the office. But engaging in a trivia event will get them engaged with the rest of the group while learning about their fellow employees.
Bonus: 10 Tips For Meetings That Work In Person And Online (Hybrid Events)
Team-building activities are meant to cultivate trust between colleagues. And sometimes, trust requires a physical game that takes people out of their comfort zones.
Have the group create a tight circle between them. Then ask everyone to interlock hands with someone who is not next to them.
Participants play by trying to untangle themselves without breaking the chain. So a lot of creative thinking and problem-solving are involved.
Rather than splitting a group into teams, this team-building activity gets everyone on the same side. One team member will have to bend to accommodate the other.
And the team will ultimately benefit from these small sacrifices. There is a lot to be taken from this team-building activity.
In fact, it’s chock-full of metaphors galore. But hopefully, it can help bring your corporate team closer together. There truly is nothing a little corporate entertainment can’t fix when it comes to team building and bonding.
When in a bind, they only have one another to rely upon. And each person has the power to create lasting change when untangling a sticky situation.
This is one of those team-building activities that requires blind trust. No, literally.
Team members must form a perfect square while blindfolded. They start by standing in a circle while holding onto a rope.
Then, they lay the rope on the floor and take five steps back. With a blindfold now on, they must work together to form a square with the rope on the floor.
If there are a number of coworkers, consider splitting them up into teams. Then they can compete in the spirit of fun with each other.
But if you have one team only, that’s great too. If you can, try giving them a number of chances to get the square just right.
Each time, they will learn something new. So repeating the game will help them brainstorm new ideas on how to improve.
If you want to push your team way past their edge, try out a ropes course. As far as team-building activities go, this one is not for the faint of heart.
So make sure that all team members are fully on board with the plan. Once everyone consents, they can split up into teams and complete the course.
This exercise requires absolute trust. And it also takes personal guts to get yourself up in the air.
Not all teams will be up for this activity. And that’s totally fine.
But for those who are game, a ropes course can strengthen bonds like no other activity. Teams have to rely on one another to pull each other up, literally.
Or swing them across from one platform to another. If your coworkers all happen to have the daredevil gene in them, this could be the activity for you.
All for one and one for all
Working in teams doesn’t always come easy. Some people simply prefer to work independently but find themselves having to collaborate with others anyway.
For those who find that sentiment relatable, these team-building activities could be just the thing for you. After all, teams are inevitable.
We all rely on each other for one thing or another. And in a corporate setting, it’s often to get some important work done that’s for the betterment of all.
The work at hand is not about one individual. It is about the collective of individuals who make the magic happen.
And that magic can take time to cultivate and should not be purposefully rushed. But that is not to say it isn’t worth the hassle.
These activities are no quick-fix to any office debacle. They are simply suggestions on how you can enhance the professional rapport between you and your teams.
So always take your coworkers into consideration. They may have other suggestions for how to better communicate than you do.
And that’s all a part of the team-building process – making compromises and learning. So let go of your ego or encourage others to shed theirs.
We all have something to contribute if only we step up. So open yourself up to your colleagues, make your ideas known, and be ready to engage with theirs should they be willing to share as well.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular comedian for corporate events, magician, and virtual speaker.