“Teamwork makes the dream work.” It’s a quote you’ve heard before, and today, we’ll review 5 team building exercises to get your office pumping out that sought-after ‘dreamwork.’
Your favorite color, best place to vacation, and top sports team? If you’ve been involved in teambuilding exercises before, chances are you’ve heard those questions countless times. Giving and receiving the same uninspired and generic answers as those questions invoke. In today's blog, we will explore five fun and engaging team-building exercises guaranteed to boost energy and excitement in your workplace. Unlike our previous example, these exercises aim to promote collaboration, boost morale, and strengthen the bond between your team members and their work. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, these exercises are suitable for all office sizes and will help create a positive and dynamic work environment. So, get ready to break the monotony with team-building exercises that your employees will love!
1. Finding Commonality
This exercise is excellent for building camaraderie with employees who may not have previously thought similarity existed. This exercise is beneficial when onboarding new employees to an already-established culture or delivering information to multiple departments.
To start, gather objects that pertain to or symbolize your workplace's fields, departments, or roles—for example, a laptop for an IT employee or a stethoscope for a healthcare professional. After gathering 3-5 objects, separate your team into groups of 3 or more employees. After laying out your group of objects, instruct the groups to take time amongst themselves to find commonality with your seemingly randomly selected objects. Ask the groups to agree upon one distinct category under which each object could fall. This exercise will evoke teamwork amongst groups and force employees of all backgrounds to find similarities in objects, which could correlate to finding commonality amongst themselves. Further promoting community in your workplace.
2. Code Of Conduct
Our next exercise is the ideal intro to any workshop or event your workplace hosts. Creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere is essential to thriving workshops or learning environments. This involves fostering a sense of openness, respect, and collaboration among all participants, regardless of their role or position. When everyone feels valued and encouraged to share their unique perspectives, it promotes a positive learning experience and enhances creativity and innovation.
For this exercise, set up a board with category words like “Meaningful,” “Uplifting,” “Fulfilling,” and “Educational,” among others. Ask each team member to write 2-3 ideas under a category. For example, if the category is “Uplifting,” have them write what would make that workshop or learning environment more meaningful for them or all participants. Ideas for this category could look something like “No-judgment atmosphere,” “Positive energy,” or “Supportive feedback.”
When each team member has gone through the task, you will have a board with values held close to each individual. Leaving you with a great outline, or “Code Of Conduct,” to be followed through the workshop ahead. Directly asking for employees' input and acting on it is a beneficial way to let them know their voices and ideas matter. Further opening up the floor for ideas and feedback in the future.
3. Achievement Sharing
While classic icebreakers, like a favorite sports team or “two truths and a lie,” can be one way to get a conversation started, these questions lack the opportunity to expand creativity and personal experience. They often leave valuable conversations on the table. This twist on a classic icebreaker will make your employees think deeper and allow connections to form during a personal and intimate admission.
Give your employees time to share their most significant achievements for this exercise. While a seemingly simple question at first, your employees will gain insight into the values, skills, and purpose of their co-workers and team members. Subconsciously bringing them closer to the people they may spend most of their time with daily. By allowing employees to share their most outstanding achievements openly, they can showcase their unique talents and accomplishments, fostering a positive and supportive environment. This exercise also helps uncover hidden strengths and skills among team members, leading to more effective collaboration and task allocation. Learning about each other's achievements can inspire and motivate individuals to set new goals and strive for personal growth. Ultimately, this exercise reinforces the understanding that everyone has something valuable to offer, boosting morale and building a stronger, more cohesive team.
4. The Silver Lining
For the next exercise, it’s essential to recognize that not all team members may be willing to participate directly. That’s okay. For this exercise, the simple act of listening to others is participation. Our next exercise will focus on building resilience and focusing on the positives when they may not lay themselves out in front of us.
The exercise focuses on finding a silver lining in a difficult situation, aptly called “The Silver Lining.” In this exercise, team members are encouraged to reflect upon a personal hardship and identify a positive outcome or silver lining that resulted from it. By sharing their experiences with the team, participants gain a deeper understanding of each other's life stories and learn to find optimism and resilience in the face of adversity. This exercise promotes empathy, bonding, and a positive mindset by highlighting the transformative power of finding silver linings in difficult times.
“The Silver Lining” exercise creates a safe space for team members to share their hardships. By sharing their stories, individuals find solace in knowing they are not alone in their struggles but also gain a renewed sense of strength and resilience. This exercise encourages employees to look beyond the immediate challenges and reflect on the broader impact of their hardships. It helps them identify personal growth, increase self-awareness, and develop new skills as positive outcomes result from difficult situations. By focusing on the silver lining, team members learn to reframe their perspectives and approach setbacks with a more optimistic and solution-oriented mindset.
5. Bonus Activities
Last but certainly not least, we have some classic team-building activities on our list of exercises that aren't directly work-related. But don't worry, that's a good thing! Getting your employees out of their “work comfort zones” can be highly beneficial for building trust and enhancing overall group skills among team members.
For the first timeless activity, use a scavenger hunt to challenge creativity and build sportsmanship. As a bonus, take this one outside if the weather permits. Splitting team members into groups of 2-4 is the key to making this exercise a camaraderie builder rather than a one-person takes-all scenario. Set a time limit, and the group that returns with the most found objects wins!
Gaining popularity among teens and adults alike, escape rooms and axe-throwing rooms are two unique and creative ways to let your team members express their skills and talents in a non-work setting. These exercises, in particular, are also great for various skill levels, regardless of experience in the activity.
Tag, Your It!
Now it’s your turn to take these ideas and make them your own. Add creative twists to each one, or use them as a template to create your unique activity. The ideas are endless, and this is just the start. Remember, the key to successful team building is to create an environment where everyone feels included, supported, and motivated to collaborate. Just imagine these activities' positive impact on your office culture and productivity. The success of any organization relies on the strength of its team, and team-building exercises play a crucial role in strengthening those bonds.
Start implementing these activities today, and see how they transform your office into a hub of collaboration and teamwork. Remember, the possibilities for team building are endless, and the benefits are immeasurable. So why wait? Take the leap, have fun, and build an unbeatable team that will drive your company to new heights!