The success of an organization is highly dependent on how quickly and in what ways do the employees of an organization connect with each other.
A quote that goes like this, “None of us is as smart as all of us”, defines teamwork in a simple and effective manner. This quote is from the famous book “The One Minute Manager“, written by management expert, Ken Blanchard. The value of teamwork in the workplace as well as for the employees cannot be doubted at all. Teamwork has been in the limelight for many years keeping employee-focused initiatives always in concern.
But before we discuss the different team-building games or exercises, it is important to note the worth of them. It is essential to understand why businesses nowadays need to perform them. The advantages of investing the resources like money as well as time for teambuilding can never be ignored.
Benefits of doing team building exercises for a company :
# These team-building activities symbolize the effort to bring each other together, and forward. It facilitates both collaborations among employees, as well as motivation in the work environment.
Since many heads, as well as hands, are contributing to the entire process, thus this aids in agile problem solving and decision making.
# The communication among employees becomes more responsive as well as meaningful. These team-building activities lead to stronger relationships among employees as they tend to understand each other emotionally. Also, they get to know about their personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
# The team-building exercises ensure that each of them is using creativity as well as some out-of-the-box thought process. Thus, this enables them to be refreshed as they are taken away from the regular job set-up. Their enthusiasm is regained and recharged which can effectively be seen in their work post-activities.
# The atmosphere is created to enhance the productivity of the employees through activities and exercises. The goal is to identify the problems, and thus eradicating those hurdles. And if there are no problems as such, then the goal is to improve the already existing work culture.
# These activities tend to make all of them more emotionally intelligent as they tend to understand the sentiments of others as much they can understand their own. Also, if one is emotionally connected with the surrounding, the work becomes fun.
Morning meetings can be really boring for the employees, but they don’t have to. Games can keep them on their toes, while the brain teasers can keep their eyes wide open. This is the best way to make your meetings productive. Interaction is already preferred over one-sided communication to bring in the productiveness of the group of employees.
# The most important part is the results that you can see in their performances after you have begun to perform such activities in your work environment. You will notice that the learning from such activities will definitely help them grow in their personal space as well as professional space. Eventually, it will give the best possible organizational performance.
Ultimate List of Team Building Exercises your Company should try
Game of Possibilities
It is a refreshing 5-minute team-building game. You need to give an object to each person in each group. Each of them in the group has to go one-by-one, and then demonstrate the use of the object to the group. The rest of the team will guess which object it is. It has to be noted that the demonstrator cannot speak, and has to act through actions only. You may have one or multiple groups. The objective of this exercise to inspire creativity and motivation.
Code of Conduct
This one is a simple, yet meaningful activity which aims at building mutual trust among employees and also establishing group values. It won’t take more than 30 minutes, and thus you can use the activity to set the tone of your event. On a board, write some positive words. And, then reinforce the words asking the group of their perspective about those words. Use a mind map to record their suggestions.
If they do not have the same perception of the idea, then discuss till you have a consensus from all the participants. Discuss each of the ideas, and then the ones which are mutually agreed upon make up the ‘Code of Conduct’ for the team. The team is responsible for holding this code throughout the workshop.
As a team, you should not only huddle over the values that you all share but also celebrate the differences. In today’s time, every organization is diverse in terms of culture. So celebrating the culture has an essence of its own. A day in a week can be reserved for the ‘culture celebration’.
In the cultural celebration, every group member would participate in the cultural experience involving some other team members.
In this way, the team members will be able to get to know each other and also understand their cultures as well.
The Barter Puzzle
This one may take you an hour or two but will definitely test the problem-solving and leadership skills of your employees. You should divide the entire team into 4 small groups with an equal number of participants. All the groups will be given a different jigsaw puzzle with the same level of difficulty. The main aim is to see which group will be able to complete it at the earliest.
But, there is a trick. Some of the pieces will be mixed with the other group’s jigsaw puzzles. It depends on the team to come up with a way to get the pieces to complete their puzzle. This may be done through compromising, trading, or even exchanging team members. All of the decisions must be taken as a group. It is a fun game but is a good way of learning as well.
The Egg Drop
This might be a messy activity, but definitely a big high for collaboration as well as the engagement of the members. The main objective fulfilled through this team-building exercise is that it brings the members together on creative problem-solving. The aim of the exercise to be able to create a carrier (package) that is able to keep the whole uncooked egg stable by sustaining a 2-4 storey drop.
The materials are available for making this carrier include cello tape, plastics, balloons, elastic rubber bands, newspapers, straws. And, this entire exercise would last for at least 1 to 1.5 hours. The team that would be able to live through this freefall would be the winner. In case there is a tie, then increasing the height for the fall would serve as a tiebreaker.
The Mine Field
This game is about building trust, good communication and the ability to listen effectively. It is a great team-building game. You need to have an even number of people to play this game. This exercise can take up to 30 minutes. You need some handheld objects as well as a few blindfolds.
Find an open space – like a park or a parking lot. Place the objects (like cones, bottles, balls, etc) across the open space. Divide your teams into pairs, and in every pair, one of them would be asked to put on the blindfold. The other person has to lead the blindfolded teammate from one side of the space to the other without stepping on the hurdles. This has to be done only through verbal instructions, while the blindfolded teammate cannot speak at all. You may increase the difficulty of this exercise by creating some specific routes for the blindfolded teammate to walk upon.
Talking in Circles
It is a fun, but very challenging game. This team-building activity requires a lot of communication as well as coordination among the group members. Long pieces of string tied at the ends are used to form a circle in which the group members are asked to stand in. The members are then asked to create various shapes with the help of string – square, rectangle, triangle, figure 8 and many more.
If you are interested in increasing the difficulty of the exercise, you can ask the team members to be blindfolded and then do it again. And, if you make it further complex, then ask random members to mute at random times so that the communication becomes more difficult. This will test both the leadership skill as well as trust within a group.
This one is for the organizations who have been doing team-building exercises for a while now, as it would need the team members to be knowing each other already. It is an activity that is meant to establish and then re-live the memories that the team shares together. Every member would be sketching their memories shared with each of the members, and then place them on the wall. This wall would remain up throughout the event. You can have as many members as you want to, and the activity could last up to 90 minutes.
Give each member sheets of paper, tape, and markers. Ask each one of them to move around the room so as to instigate some memories as they think about the place. Give them around 15 minutes to write their memories. After they have listed some memories, ask them to sketch it out on different sheets of paper. And, then they can tape their drawings. The visual memory wall would create a positive environment in the workplace, as each one of them would be rendering each memory – as pairs, groups or the entire team.
This one encourages effective communication and listening. It is quite simple but gives away a lot of learning. It requires 2 players where one of them is given a picture of an object or a word. The player has to draw the image without using any words for the other player to guess.
There should be non-related words – like for flower, the player has the liberty to show it as two hearts put together to form petals or rain/water drops. This is the player’s own interpretation. In the end, it is exciting to see whether the 2 players are able to communicate and understand each other.
Divide your group into teams of 2 or more, as per your convenience. You need to create some goofy tasks for each team to do together. The tasks can include selfies with a stranger, pictures of a building, etc. Give the list to each team, and give them the deadline by which they have to complete all the tasks.
The team is able to complete the most tasks at the earliest wins. To increase the complexity, you may even create your own point system according to the difficulty of the tasks. This game encourages people, especially introverts, to be able to work with more people from other teams, departments or social circles.
Winner of Loser
This one will not take you more than 6 minutes. You can have two or more people in this one. This exercise is about letting the team members get comfortable with each other. The first person shares something negative about his or her life with the second person. This may be a personal story, or on the work front. Then, the first person discusses the same incident again but with a focus on positive aspects. And, then they switch roles. This makes both of them understand how to take out positives from the negatives of life.
Hence, these are few of the many team-building exercises which have become an absolute necessity for any organization nowadays. Your choice of team-building exercise depends on multiple factors like – the number of people involved in your organization, the resources you are comfortable in spending for team-building exercises (both time, and money).