Team building exercises are an essential tool for companies to build cohesion and morale in their workforce. We take you through effective team building events that you can run easily with your team.
According to Forbes, the most successful team building events focus on trust to mitigate conflict, reinforce communication, and increase collaboration. These attributes develop a more productive office environment as everyone is able to utilize one another’s personal strengths.
Having a team operating on the same frequency is vital at the negotiation table. A team not on the same page can “unwittingly undermine” negotiation strategies, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Picking the right team building events
Employing the right exercises to build morale for your team is essential. The best team building exercises are engaging, educational, and enjoyable. You probably don’t want your employees groaning over another cliched team building event, so looking to fun and innovative team building exercises with a novel focus is a safe bet with effective outcomes.
Investment in professional growth is of utmost importance to employees, so combining team building with skills training in the form of negotiation training workshops to be undertaken as a group is also a worthwhile choice to foster team spirit.
Team building that deals with stress
Escape rooms are great ways to challenge your employees to quickly problem solve and negotiate a stressful situation as team players. One such example is Escape from Werewolf Village, provided by SCRAP Entertainment, which is used at several top corporate team building events. This exercise is, as evidenced by the name, a playful one. However, the exercise encompasses stress-related situations vital to team building.
Escape rooms can help your team deal with stress together. The game has a time limit, there is a common goal in place (escape), and teams must learn to communicate, negotiate, and adapt to succeed together. Leaders can showcase their communication and negotiation skills, and team members can take problem-solving training to the next level in this practical activity.
One of the best aspects of this team building activity is it can be set up at your office or other rented space. This exercise is an excellent choice for large teams, departments, or even entire offices.
Team building that emphasises inclusion
If you have ever worked in an office, you have likely seen the cliques hovering around certain areas of the department floor. Like a corporate Game of Thrones, cliques can be useful, but cliques can also be destructive to your team’s ability to operate at optimal levels.
A scavenger hunt is perfect for emphasizing inclusion and captures the true meaning of teamwork. This object-finding activity allows you to mix and match employees from other departments, floors, or even off-site offices.
Scavenger hunts can be fun and exciting, recapturing childhood creativity to win the task as a team. Brainstorm unique, quirky scavenger hunt items that can be related to your business. For example, Apple may have a tech theme for their scavenger hunt.
A scavenger hunt allows project management skills to take shape and leaders to emerge, from which powerful negotiations and communication skills can arise. This exercise is also great for companies with a small budget, and for blossoming startups. All you need is an afternoon, a pen, paper, and the enthusiasm to empower teams prior to the hunt.
Team building that encourages community
The concept of team building has traditionally revolved around games. However, using a team building event to give back is equally powerful, according to a recent Forbes article.
This new method of team building is being used by big corporate entities such as Coca Cola. Such corporations have pulled their teams away from the office to clean parks and plant trees. Giving back could be a team building gem many companies overlook.
Philanthropy through team building is a fantastic way to enhance collaboration while doing something good. Positive change not only takes place for those you are serving but also within your company. According to a recent Inc. article, many CEOs celebrate the positive aspects giving back adds to their company culture.
Building homes for veterans, volunteering at homeless shelters, and training and mentoring students are all wonderful ways to harness a company culture of giving. Teams from different departments can take two days each year to employ this charitable team building exercise.
Team building that inspires innovation
The Egg Drop is a traditional team building exercise that never really goes out of fashion. It is an exercise especially exciting for any tech company or engineering department. It certainly promotes teamwork and emphasizes the importance of negotiation, while enhancing problem-solving skills to keep the egg safe upon impact.
If you are not familiar with Egg Drop, it is an exercise in which teams build safety contraptions around an egg so it doesn’t crack when dropped. The supplies available are to be universal among the teams, and using odds and ends around the office can be equally fun. Negotiating which materials to use in which way is a great way to get technical minds ticking and working together.
Egg Drop is a great collaborative event for offices of different sizes. You can have departments face off in an Egg Drop challenge, or simply create teams out of the 10 people you have at your innovative startup. The time allotted to build the egg safe contraption can be hours or days, and the event could be complemented with a company barbeque.
Team building that brings everyone together
You probably have seen a few flash mobs strutting their highly choreographed stuff on YouTube. You may have even thought it looked like fun. Well, you can take your corporate flash mob from the boardroom to the street with this creative team building exercise.
Termed as a “Flash Team,” your employees train in flash mob dancing, practice their moves, and work in unison in order to perform live on the street. You can even enlist the help of a professional choreographer for the training to make your flash mob debut a success.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller may be slightly overused at this point, but there are plenty of other harmonious tunes you and your Flash Team can get down to. With an emphasis on collaboration and the ability to succeed in a completely new and challenging skill together, TeamBonding’s Flash Teams program is also another innovative approach to team building.
Team building that also teaches
While team building games are a useful way to boost team spirit while enhancing skills, learning together in a more formal setting is another worthwhile way for teams to collaborate and learn together. Taking a skills course together, such as a workshop in negotiations, means your employees can consolidate their knowledge and get the most out of their training.
Attending as a team means your employees have the chance to share notes and continue the discussion beyond the classroom. Also, your employees can benefit from directly learning negotiation theory and practical skills for professional and personal life situations. Of course, negotiation skills should come in handy in the next team building event when putting forward their case for the best Egg Drop design, for example.
From the traditional to the unique and quirky, there is a team building exercise or event to suit different companies, departments, teams, and individuals. Discovering these collaborative and communicative events and exercises can be as exciting as the activities themselves.
Ensuring there is a defined objective for each exercise and coupling this goal with fun is a powerful way to enhance the skills and success of your team, and your business.
About the Author
A skilled content creator and editor, Dona Krause’s easy-reading, approachable pieces help bring important business and negotiation skill-building content to new audiences in an accessible way.