How To Plan Team Building Activities
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Team building is an integral part of any successful workplace. Whether it’s organizing a sports day, having a picnic, or going for a drink with your colleagues, these activities are great ways to boost employee morale and productivity.
It can also be quite expensive to plan such events, so most employers don’t do them very often. However, you don’t need too much money to have some fun!
If you’re looking to increase team spirit at work, we’ve put together this guide for you. From ideas like telling jokes, doing creative exercises, or giving away prizes, there's almost certainly something in here that you can use without asking permission first.
We've also included some tips and tricks on how to plan more efficient team-building days as well as what to say when asked why they're being organized.
A one-on-one challenge is when only you and another person are involved in the activity. This can be for a few minutes, or it can be longer depending on how many people participate in the activity.
A one-on-one challenge can be anything from talking about something that mattered to you recently, to asking someone to do something outside of work with you.
These types of activities are great ways to boost team morale and friendship levels! If anyone else wants to join your friend during their break, then they must agree to do what you ask as an invitee.
To make this activity more meaningful, you could talk about something that affected you both (for example, if your friends asked you to do something risky, then discuss why you decided to do such a thing). Or maybe something funny happened between you two yesterday, so use that as your topic.
Team eating challenges
A team-building activity that is becoming increasingly popular is team eating. This is typically done as a lunchtime event where each participant gets a plate of food with enough supplies for several people.
Then everyone gathers around one table or area and eats together as a group. The number of people at the table is irrelevant, this can be one person, two people, eight people, or even twenty-four people!
Team eating isn't just about sharing your cheese pizza, it can be anything really! Almost any type of food will do, except maybe fish, because then you would have to clean all the bones out. Ha!
The key part of team eating is figuring out how many people there are so they get enough food. Most places have an allotted amount of calories for individuals, which makes sense, but what about groups?
That depends on the size of the group, of course! Luckily, most restaurants offer online coupons and/or app discounts, so checking those is easy.
Team puzzle challenges
A team challenge is when one group of people works together as a unit to complete an activity, but individuals are also given time to talk or interact with others. This gives everyone in the group individual focus while at the same time creating strong bonds among them.
Teambuilding activities that include puzzles like word searches, crossword puzzles, and matching pictures and descriptions are great ways to facilitate teamwork. These types of games can be done anywhere – even if there’s only enough space for a table-style setting.
You don’t have to use words in these games, which some groups may find limiting. You can instead use illustrations, shapes, or patterns instead!
These types of activities are easy to do, especially if you are able to get a few other people involved. The best way to motivate someone to participate in a team-building activity is by asking about how they would feel after participating.
A leaderboard challenge is when one individual or a group of individuals are given an assignment that can’t be completed alone, but needs to be done together as a team. The team members work independently on their assignments before gathering at a designated time to compare their work and discuss how to make it better together.
The most common type of leaderboard challenge comes in the form of completing something as fast as possible. For example, there may be a set amount of money for shopping or a number of items for someone to buy. You have to complete the task as quickly as you can without spending more than the allowed budget, and then talk about what strategies worked and didn’t while sharing your winnings!
Another popular kind of leaderboard activity is called “What if?” This is typically done with a question like “what if we did this outside?” Or maybe “what if we left today early and made lunch tomorrow?” The rest of the team picks a topic and debates whether the idea would work. Sometimes people agree to do the experiment and sometimes they don’t, but no matter what everyone leaves feeling inspired by the ideas shared.
Some groups add a new member to the team during a leaderboard challenge. This could be because someone volunteered to help out or because someone got assigned to another person or position and now has to learn from them.
Team trivia challenges
A great way to bring some fun into the workplace is to have team trivia nights! Companies that hold their own internal quiz night are very popular these days.
Team trivia can be anything from learning about sports teams to finding out what animal would make a good roommate if you lived with someone for a year. It’s not just for students either, it can be for professionals who are looking to connect with others in the area.
Hosting your own event is easy enough, but making sure everyone knows how to participate is another story.
That’s where having a group chat comes in handy. You can use free apps like Slack or Google Hangouts to create this. Make sure to include all of the necessary participants so they know who is being asked which question.
Another way to do team building is by offering prizes for individual or group achievements. This can be done at any time, not just during an event, and doesn’t need to cost anything extra.
Prizes can be educational (like books) or fun (like movie passes). The best prize lists are always crowd-favorite topics so don’t shy away from giving them!
Making a list of all the things you want and then picking out one winner per category is your best bet if there are too many submissions. Make sure to have someone else verify that it was their entry before declaring a winner.
Team awards ceremonies
A team-building activity that is becoming increasingly popular is having group members bring something special they care about, and celebrating this with their colleagues.
Team Awards Ceremonies are typically structured as someone (usually the leader of the organization) asking if anyone would like to give out an award. Then, each person nominates a colleague for it. The recipient gets to choose whether or not they want to accept the award, and if they do then what category they want to be given.
They can even invite some of their friends or family along to watch if they wanted! This is a great way to boost teamwork skills and relationships. For example, you could have everyone nominate their own teammate who has done excellent work in the past six months, and whoever comes away with the most coveted prize will be given the People’s Choice Award!
There are many ways to organize a team event, so don’t feel limited by these tips. Try differentiating between professional and casual events to see which ones fit your needs better.
Fun and relaxation
A fun day away or team-building event is a great way to boost morale, create new relationships, and have some well-needed downtime. These types of activities are typically open to the public so if you’re looking for a place to host your next gathering, check out local gyms, museums, zoos, and recreational parks.
Many companies offer free team-building events designed to strengthen bonds and improve communication skills. This is especially helpful in an ever more connected world where productivity can sometimes feel like a fleeting thing.
For example, attending a sports match together can help people develop their teamwork skills by discussing strategies and talking about what each person should do next. Or organizing a trip to the zoo could focus on discussion topics such as how animals influence human psychology and how we perceive others based on their behaviors.
We spend a lot of our time at work interacting with colleagues, so giving this group the opportunity to chat, motivate, and challenge themselves is worth its weight in gold. Given that workplace tensions often rise during times of transition (such as when a manager steps down), these exercises can keep animosity under control.