When you think of “team-building activities” you likely picture trust falls, cheesy motivational speeches and forced participation in boring office games.
While developing teamwork and improving office camaraderie is important, the team will only improve if its members actually enjoy the activities. If everyone’s miserable, no one is going to take anything away from the exercise.
Instead of trying to bring everyone together through trust falls, try injecting a bit more fun into your activities. Not only will they bring your team members closer together, but they may even help them to work more efficiently as a unit as well.
Here are just a few examples of fun activities that can bring your teams together:
Escape rooms are increasingly popular attractions these days.
The scenarios presented by the rooms vary from one location to the next, but the goal remains the same: The team within the escape room has to work together to get out before an hour is up. Send your team into the room and they’ll have fun while learning to work together to solve a problem.
Lip Sync Battles
You’ve likely seen at least a few of these on TV. If you somehow missed them, though, the premise is pretty simple.
Two individuals (or teams) lip sync to songs and try to get the highest score based on accuracy and performance style. It can be silly at times, but lip sync battles are a lot of fun. Offer up some prizes and have teams within the office compete against each other to help bring everyone closer together.
Trivia nights are a lot of fun.
You can channel this and use it to bring your teams together by hosting office trivia nights. There are several ways you can set your trivia nights up, with questions ranging from general knowledge to genre questions or even trivia sessions that relate directly to your company. Just be careful not to force the company line too hard or your night of fun trivia might fall flat.
This option is especially beneficial if you work in a creative industry.
Using short story prompts, bring your team together and have them craft a story together a few lines at a time. When it comes time to make the story, either have each team member write his or her contributions down or have an audio recording app or device in the room so that the entire story is recorded. If everyone enjoyed making the story, you can even have copies of the completed story printed up as a chapbook or other keepsake.
Want to give your team a better idea of how the “other half” lives?
Organize swap events where a few members from one department spend time doing the job of another department. This not only gives employees an idea of how difficult other jobs within the organization can be, but it also lets employees get to know each other who might otherwise never work together. You may even find your different departments working better together as a result.
Meetings are a sometimes unfortunate necessity of business, and it’s hard to think of them as a team-building activity.
If you take your meeting offsite and take care of business in the party room of a local restaurant then things can change, though. The more relaxed atmosphere will give employees a chance to get to know each other, and it may even raise morale and help you shed the monotony that’s often associated with meetings.
Even if you don’t take your employees out for dinner before a meeting, you can still use meeting time to bring everyone a little closer together as a team.
Bring a few basic icebreaker activities with you and use them to get things started. Use the activities to introduce people who might not work together much. Don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on your icebreakers, but don’t rush through them and make them feel like just one more thing to get through either.
The more effort you put into trying to bring your team together, the more cohesion your team will have as a whole. Don’t be afraid to try and make things fun, since that will help to bring your team together faster than anything else.