Mention the words ‘team building’ to your coworkers, and you may not get the positive response you were hoping for. The words conjure up ideas of hazardous mountain treks, getting dirty in muddy fields, and embarrassing games that lead to moments of awkwardness rather than a time of bonding.
Team building is supposed to build morale and not break spirits. It is meant to unite a team and not tear it apart. The day should be memorable for positive reasons, and not a disaster that everybody would sooner forget.
So, when planning your next team building day, choose your activities carefully. You may be enthusiastic about your blindfold trust games, but your coworkers may not be. To help you create the perfect day, here are some ideas you might find useful.
These games are meant to break the ice between co-workers, and not bring up an icy wall of defense. You want your colleagues to talk to each other, collaborate, share something about themselves and have fun in the process.
One great game guaranteed to get people talking and laughing is ‘Truth and Lies.’ Everybody writes down three things about themselves. Put all the statements in a hat, and then pick one out at random. Choose three people, including the one who wrote the truth, and they each have to convince the rest of the group the statement is about them. A fun game, and the perfect opportunity to learn more about each other.
A successful icebreaker will set the day up for success and not a dismal failure.
2. Team Games
When it comes to team games, you need to avoid embarrassment. We all had the dread of being picked last for teams at school, so make it a random event by drawing people’s names out of a hat.
Think carefully about your coworkers. Not everybody is sporty, so don’t plan your own Olympic games. Bubble soccer and bumper ball games are great alternatives to traditional sports and can be played without being competitive.
Games don’t need to be active, so mix them up with a few quizzes or a gentle scavenger hunt. Whatever you choose, find ideas that will allow everybody to participate while showcasing their strengths.
3. Problem Solving
We aren’t talking about problem-solving games here, though they can be fun. Rather, use part of your team building day to reflect on the issues people have at work. This needs to be done safely, so remind your coworkers not to get personal towards people they have a grievance with. In small groups, problem solve the issues raised before presenting a solution. A problem shared is a problem halved, so your team will benefit from the perspective of others.
4. Have a Shared Meal
People don’t need to take part in activities to find out more about each other. Sitting down together for a good meal, especially after a busy day of activities, is a great way to unwind and talk naturally. Find a venue where your team can relax, and let this be the perfect end of the day.