If you’ve ever had the privilege of managing a team, I’m sure you know the true value of teamwork and collaboration. As managers, it’s up to us to keep our team members on the same page—sometimes by force, sometimes through game changing team building events.
From an early age, we’ve all been taught to play well with others, to share the load, work together, and to celebrate whenever we accomplish something together as a team.
Surprisingly, there still isn’t much content and training material out there that teaches managers how to make their employees work together as teams.
Culture is one of the top factors tied to employee happiness. And peers? They’re the number one thing people love about their job, all according to our research.
As a result, it’s in your best interest to learn how to bridge the gap between the team, other departments, and the organization as a whole.
Activities That Focus on Pure Team Bonding and Communication Skills
Let’s start off with the team building exercises that can work wonders in terms of strengthening the camaraderie and communication among your employees.
While it’s true that the focus of any team-building activity is to improve team chemistry among employees and build a great team, I feel that you can potentially experience much faster results with the following exercises.
1. Scavenger Hunt
Is there a better way to break up the workday?
A scavenger hunt is a great way to get your employees moving and collaborating.
Depending on the available space, you can choose to do this indoors or outdoors.
Split everyone into smaller teams of three to five people. Hide miscellaneous objects around the facility and have the different groups find them.
The first group to find all or at least a certain number of objects wins.
2. Human Knot
Human Knot makes for a fun activity.
First, have your team form a circle. Have everyone put their right hands in the air and grab onto someone’s hand across the circle. Then tell them to link left hands with someone else across the circle.
See if they can untangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hand.
3. Blind Retriever
The goal of Blind Retriever is to guide a blindfolded person to a certain point or a hidden object.
The game is a great way to test how your employees work together under pressure and how well they respond to instructions.
To play, split your team into small groups, blindfolding one person on each team. The first team that can successfully direct their blindfolded colleague to a hidden object wins.
4. Group Juggle
Ask your team to form a circle.
Then, throw one employee a ball. From there, have them say their name and then throw the ball to the next person, who says their name, and so on.
To make things interesting (and challenging), keep introducing new balls into the circle.
5. Active Listener
Schedule what your entire team thinks is a routine meeting. Deliver a boring speech filled with jargon, but sprinkle random unrelated sentences in every so often.
In the end, quiz your employees to see who was listening.
You can turn this into a team vs. team thing.
6. Group Timeline
Have different teams sort themselves by height, age, how long they’ve been with the company, how many states they’ve been in, and other similar groupings.
The quickest team to do so wins.
The group timeline activity is a great way to test the sorting skills of your employees and how well they know each other.
7. Pair Up
Write a bunch of pairs on different pieces/sheets of paper (e.g., Thelma and Louise, salt and pepper, and Mario and Luigi).
Tape them to your employees’ backs. Have them walk around trying to figure out who they are—and find their complementary colleague.
Not only is this a fun way to get employees bonding, it can also serve as a nice way to break the ice for new hires—or new teams altogether.
8. Perfect Square
Get some rope—at least 5-meters long—and tie the ends together.
Place the rope on the ground and have four to eight people stand in a circle. Then blindfold them and ask them to take five steps back.
After that, tell everyone to turn the rope-loop into a perfect square.
The activity is a great way to see how well team members collaborate.
9. Office Trivia
Nothing beats a good ole session of office trivia.
By hosting office trivia, you can test how well the employees know inside-jokes, random facts about the office, and the history of your company.
The person to give the most number of correct answers, wins. To make things interesting, give the winner a bizarre prize. Random objects such as a stapler or a bag of paper clips work best.
10. Building Blocks
No, this has nothing to do with LEGOs.
Building blocks is a popular team-building card game for work.
It includes 101 questions that focus on forming deeper relationships and improving communication between team members.
Furthermore, the cards are split into six categories, including questions about personal things, the team, education, future decisions, hobbies, and random scenarios.