6 Fun Ideas to Help Your Team Bond
Posted on August 10, 2018 by Denny Leffel
No person is an island. This is especially true when it comes to completing tasks at work. While employees have their individual assignments, they won’t achieve your company’s mission and goals if they can’t work well as a team. Cohesive working relationships and effective team scheduling, however, don’t happen automatically.
Fortunately, team-building doesn’t have to be boring. Here are seven fun team bonding ideas designed to improve working relationships among team member
1. A Company or Staff Picnic
Company picnics represent a great way for new team members to get to know one another. They can bond in a relaxed atmosphere and engage in conversation and activities that are not focused exclusively on work. You can also schedule a picnic as a reward for successfully achieving a difficult goal. Employees can bring their own dishes, or the picnic can be a catered event. Include team building games such as scavenger hunts, badminton, and volleyball as part of the picnic fun.
2. The Speed Meeting Icebreaker
Much like speed dating, this icebreaker activity is designed to get a group of employees to know one another quickly and improve team communication. Line each team member in a row and have them count off by one and two. Ones will pair up with twos and introduce themselves. The teams will then have two minutes to learn as much as they can about each other. At the end of the exercise, team members will relate to the group a few facts they learned about their partners.
3. Lost at Sea
Is your team frustrated by not being able to solve a difficult problem? Is communication breaking down as a result? Lost at Sea is a fun team building activity that will help them analyze information and work together to make tough decisions. In this team building game, teams of four or five are shipwrecked and in lifeboats. They need to decide which among a list of items they need to survive. The lifeboat can only hold so much, so they must leave some items behind.
Teams present their findings and reasons for selecting the items on their lists. Have them compare their lists with one compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard to see how well they match.
This activity is designed to enhance communication and build trust. While the “mines” aren’t real, the leaders of teamed pairs must communicate clearly to get their partners safely through a “dangerous” debris field without touching any objects. Those being lead must listen carefully to and trust their partners so as not to get “blown up.” The mines can be everyday supplies such as kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and restaurant chairs and tables . At the end of the activity, have participants discuss the experience, focusing on how well leaders communicated instructions and the degree to which followers felt safe and secure.
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5. The Great Egg Drop
This is a messy team building activity, so consider whether it is feasible for your work environment. Teams of four or five receive a set of resources they’ll use to design and build structures to house an uncooked egg. Each team will then drop its egg container from at least 10 feet. The team with the structure that keeps the egg from breaking wins. In addition to eggs, you’ll need building materials such as newspaper, cardboard, rubber bands, straws, and tape. Allocate 30 minutes for construction, 15 to 30 minutes for the egg drop, and 15 to 30 minutes for cleanup and discussion.
6. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
This activity requires seamless collaboration to finish a complex task. Teams compete to see which one can build the tallest tower that remains standing for 5 seconds. The towers consist of a marshmallow perched on top of about 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti. You’ll also need to supply team members with string and masking tape to hold their towers together.
At the end of a team-bonding session, pass out Post-it notes, and have participants record their memories of the event. Encourage them to describe positive experiences they had working together on team-building activities. Also, have them include insights on how they will use what they learned to perform more effectively as a team in the future. Arrange the Post-it notes on a bulletin board under preselected topics (e.g., effective communication, team bonding, problem solving), and display it in a prominent place at work.
You can conduct these team building activities yourself or bring in an experienced facilitator. Keep in mind what you want your team to accomplish and how you want team performance to improve when deciding on activities. Selecting the right ones will not only boost employee morale and productivity but also enable you to achieve your company goals in record time. You might even improve your own team management skills in the process. To further help your team bond, download a communication app like Crew that allows them to engage with one another more. The Crew app is a communication app designed specifically for teams who don’t have ready access to effective communication technology on the job, and gives companies and frontline employees a new way to communicate, stay engaged and be more successful.