Instant Team Building Activities Your Employees Will Actually Enjoy
Mon, 05/19/2014 - 2:31pm | by Jessica Watts
In the business world, no single employee can do everything on his own. He either doesn't have all the skills necessary, or he doesn't have enough time. A strong team, therefore, is the core of any successful company. To strengthen the bond between your workers without inviting groans and eye rolls, give these out-of-the-box activities a try.
1. Go on a field trip together.
Whether your employees hit a museum, see a movie or take a tour, field trips encourage your employees to break out of the confines of their business roles. They give everyone a chance to talk and share their preferences and interests, which helps workers see each other not just as more bees in the same business beehive, but as true individuals with dreams, aspirations and unique talents. The trips also can provide great learning experiences, exposing your workers to first-hand knowledge on different topics.
2. Have a game day.
All too often, workers don't gel as a team because they are consciously or subconsciously too preoccupied with maintaining their professional persona, coming off as untrustworthy and fake. Games, be it sports or classics like Monopoly, offer a safe, familiar environment in which your employees can let down their guard. As they have fun, they learn to talk to each other and get used to working together under low pressure. This builds a foundation for communicating well and supporting each other on the job. They also learn to roll with the punches. In business, you don't win every time, and your workers need to know how to be good sports and keep trying even when your company takes a hit.
Volunteering is an amazing opportunity for your workers to reach out and get involved in helping others, all while discretely marketing your business. It's also a good way for you to show your employees that everyone can make a difference and contribute, an attitude that can carry over into the business environment. Not only that, but according to United Health Group, workers who volunteer manage stress better, develop their people skills, are more engaged and feel healthier, all of which can contribute to consistent teamwork.
4. Do improvisation.
As the Washington Improv Theater points out, including some improvisation in your team building activities has a lot to offer those on your business team. By interacting out scenes on the fly, your workers learn to think fast and be creative, skills that are critical when your company has a problem to fix, must meet a deadline or needs to do something different to engage customers. It gets everyone involved and playing off each other, exactly what they need to be doing on the business floor.
Most team building activities fail to achieve their intended purpose because they awkwardly force people to do things together they wouldn't otherwise do. Playing games, getting out into the community, visiting different organizations or locations and performing unscripted scenes are more reminiscent of the way people really interact and, therefore, are more effective at bringing your workers together. Try one or all of these strategies and watch your employees grow!
Jeremy S is always looking for ways to make his work team stronger. He then likes to share what has worked for him on business blogs.