5 Activities that will Boost your Team’s Problem Solving Skills
Posted on August 9, 2018 by Danny Leffel
The attainment of goals within an organization doesn’t typically come without encountering problems along the way. In fact, if you have a leadership role in your business, it’s vital to recognize that your team’s ability to overcome obstacles is paramount to success.
However, in a recent study, business leaders cited problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities among the skills new entrants to the workforce lack. These skills are necessary for employees to perform their jobs.
To bridge the gap and improve problem-solving skills among team members, it’s a good idea to introduce a structured program revolving around team-building and problem-solving activities. Read on for five team-building activities that can help your employees solve problems.
1. Lost at Sea
The idea behind this fun problem-solving game involves getting your team together in a room and instructing them to imagine they’ve been lost at sea on a ship. They have no sailing experience and the crew perished due to a fire. The team members are unsure of their location and they’ve managed to save ten items, including a large container of fresh water, some rations, a map, and rope.
The team must then come to a collaborative decision wherein everybody ranks the salvaged items in order of importance. The whole team then agrees on the rankings. The lost at sea exercise excels at improving team communication and decision making, both of which are vital for solving problems.
2. Use What You Have
The aim of this fun, problem-solving game is to assess how well your team members can work together creatively to accomplish something with restricted resources. The typical tools for this game are dried spaghetti, masking tape, string, and a marshmallow.
The goal of the game is to split your team into smaller groups of equal size and ask them to use their limited supplies to build something. In this case, you want to see which group builds the tallest tower. This is a fun exercise that also serves as an excellent icebreaker for new employees.
Split your team into smaller groups of two members each and blindfold one member from each smaller group. Create an obstacle course of common items from your workplace in a large empty room. Instruct all group members without blindfolds to guide the blindfolded person in their groups around the obstacle course using only verbal instructions.
In most games, each group attempts to complete the obstacle course during their own specified times. However, if you want to increase the difficulty and you have a large enough space, make two or three groups attempt the obstacle course simultaneously. Minefield is a super fun game that tests collaboration, team communication, and creative problem-solving skills.
4. The Great Egg Drop
Split your team up into smaller groups of three or four members and give them an egg, masking tape, and some straws. The goal for each group is to build a structure that protects the egg from a drop of some designated height. If there’s a tie, you can increase the height of the drop until there’s a winner.
The egg drop game is not only excellent for creative problem solving and improved cooperation, it’s also a lot of fun. Just make sure you set the game up in a place that’s easy to clean!
5. Escape Room
Escape room games are growing in popularity across the United States especially in the workplace as a fun way to spend time together while creatively solving problems. Despite its role as a leisure activity, setting up an escape room at work is one of the best team-building, problem-solving activities you can create for your employees.
The idea is to gather your team in a room at a designated location and lock them inside. You can either choose an on-premise room or you can avail of the services of a number of companies that specialize in setting up escape room games. Some examples of escape room companies in the U.S. include Breakout, American Escape Rooms, and Real Escape Games.
The end goal is for your team to escape the locked room within a specified period of time. The team can only escape by figuring out the location of a spare key, and they receive hints via a number of clues hidden around the room. You can enhance the difficulty of this game by reducing the number of clues or reducing the time to escape.
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By letting your team members work through these five problem-solving activities, you can make sure they improve their abilities to overcome obstacles with collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The end result of better problem-solving skills is improved employee performance and the achievement of more business goals.
Also, you can further improve team communication and solve many common problems by using team communication and management software, such as the Crew App. The Crew is a communication app designed specifically for teams that don’t have ready access to effective communication technology on the job. Many problems tend to occur because workers don’t have access to easy and effective communication technology on the job.
Check out Crew and find out how this powerful app can boost your team’s problem-solving skills.