When your staff works together like a well-oiled machine, they are bound to be more productive and efficient in helping you realize your goals. Staff team building activities can help you achieve that. Not to mention that your employees will probably be happier, and your office would be a fun workplace.
But team building for staff is not an easy as it sounds. There are loads of team building activities for employees that you can carry out, but knowing which ones will actually develop long-lasting bonds can be complicated. You need to be careful that you pick those staff team building activities that are really suitable for your employees. If not, there is good chance that the mention of team building will elicit a few groans. No one wins in this scenario.
Most often than not, office team building activities are planned without any real thought behind them. As can be expected, there is no real benefit from this, not for the employees, nor for the organization. If the team building activities that you choose fall flat, not only will you look bad in front of the team, there is a chance that you could lose their respect too. As a leader, you don’t want this to happen.
You must understand what kind of hurdles or problems your team is facing before you decide which team building activities for employees you want them to take part in. As mentioned before not all activities will be looked upon kindly by your team.
For example, if your team is facing problem-solving issues having them undergo an activity that improves communication won’t do the trick. Something like ‘Escape the Room’ would be a better option. There is a great facility in Atlanta that offers ‘Escape the Room’ as an employee team building exercise that you can look into. Its quest room is quite impressive, and your employees would have a hell of a time there.
Try and analyze your team and see what problems they face. There is a myriad of team building activities for employees that address a broad range of subjects. We will look to discuss some of them and their benefits below.
Office Team Building Activities
For employee team building to be effective, you need to carefully consider what your team lacks and plan for activities that can help your team directly. Don’t go for activities that don’t offer any benefits. As discussed above, they don’t really help anyone.
Some office team building activities that you can try include:
1. Escape the Room
Escape the Room is a great concept that builds collaboration and improves problem solving within the team. The Paranoia Quest Room in Atlanta offers some great themed office team building activities. If you’re a resident of Atlanta, we can’t recommend it highly enough.
This fun and interactive activity, requires team members to work together to escape a room or a set of rooms within the allotted time. The team needs to use its collective observation and problem solving skills to escape. The quest room is riddled with clues, puzzles, and codes that teams have to crack. Escape the Room is one of those games that can do wonders for team building.
2. Plane Crash Survival
If you’re not in Atlanta, and the Paranoia Quest Room is not an option for you, we recommend Plane Crash Survival for improving collaboration and the problem solving skills of your employees.
The premise is that your group has been through a plane crash. There is a deserted island nearby and a lifeboat that can only accommodate each member and any one item that they want to take with them. It’s all about survival and makes for an interesting study to see how the team works together to come up with something that will ensure their survival for the longest period of time.
3. Back-to-Back Drawing
This basic team building exercise is great for building communication within your employees.
You will need to divide your group into pairs. Each pair must sit with backs to each other. One person from each pair gets a picture while the other gets a pencil and paper.
The partner holding the picture will give out drawing instructions based on what he sees. His partner must try to draw the picture. Once they are done, compare the pictures to see how they did. Try and guide them at the end about how they communicated with each other and how each partner interpreted them.
4. Egg Drop
As far as executive team building activities are concerned, the egg drop is one of those that can do wonders for collective problem solving and teamwork.
For this activity, you will need a large area, preferably a parking lot, some place that you won’t mind getting dirty. You will also need a carton of eggs, and some crafting materials like rubber bands, paper, clips, plastic sheets, etc. and some tarp.
Now divide your employees into teams. The objective of the exercise is for each team to work together and come up with a way to protect the egg while it is dropped from a height. The team whose egg survives is declared the winner. If there is a tie, you can increase the height till one egg cracks.
5. Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt is a favorite team building activity among many managers for the simple reason that it is fun to set up and fun for the participants playing.
You will have to set up a course with a series of clues to guide the teams towards the ultimate objective. The clues can be as hard or as easy as you’d like. You can be innovative in your approach and even use technology to make the game more enjoyable. Figuring out the clues together will improve the communication skills and team working capability of your employees as each team tries to come out on top of each other.
If you feel like there are trust issues within your team, Minefield is a team building trust activity that you can try. Pick a big open space and arrange your minefield. The mines can be anything that can be viewed as obstacles, something like tables, chairs, boxes, etc.; anything big enough to trip someone up. The mines should be arranged in a way that there is room for just one person to pass through them at a time.
You will need to divide your employees into pairs. Blindfold one person from a team and put them on the starting point of the minefield. The partner stays outside of the minefield and must guide his or her blindfolded mate to the finish line all the while ensuring that they do not trip up on any of the mines.
7. Salt and Pepper
This popular pen and paper game is one of the better office team building activities to improve communication. The best thing about it is that all your employees get to participate and play with each other.
You’ll need a pen, some papers, and tape. You will also need an incredible vocabulary for word pairs like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, lock and key, rubber and road, etc. Write down each word (not pair) on a different piece of paper and tape them on the backs of each participant. Now ask them to intermingle.
The rules are simple. Anyone can talk to each other but ask only yes or no questions. Each participant must figure out what is written on their backs by talking to others. Once they know what it is, they must find their pair to complete the game.
8. Blind Square or Triangle
You will need a long looped rope (the length depends on the number of participants) and some blindfolds for this team building exercise. Blindfold your employees and make them take hold of the looped rope. Start off by having them stand in a circle while holding the rope. Now ask them to form a square by talking to each other and making group decisions.
The objective of this exercise is to promote communication and enable employees to work together for a common goal. Once the team reaches an agreement as to having made the square, remove their blindfolds to see where they stand. You can vary the exercise by having your employees make different shapes like a triangle or something else.
9. Human Spring
The human spring is a completely out-of-the-box but fun team building activity. It may not be for everyone, but it does have its benefits.
How it works is that your team members start by standing face to face in pairs. They must bend their elbows with their palms facing outside so that their palms touch the palms of the participant that they are facing. Now they must start leaning on each other as they move their feet back slowly. As each member moves their feet further and further back, they start relying on their partner for support. After a little while, each member would be entirely reliant on their partners to stay up.
The human spring is perfect for trust building between team members. Also, the close physical proximity of the exercise is bound to make people feel more comfortable with each other.
10. Office Trivia
One of the simplest but most effective team building activities is office trivia. Office trivia is just like ordinary trivia except that the topic of the trivia is the office.
All you need to do is come up with a few trivia questions like, what does the right kitchen cupboard contain or whose desk has a picture of the cat with a Santa Clause hat on, etc. Make the questions fun and you’ll see just how popular this game can be and how well it works for team building.