How many times have you faked an illness before team-building days? Calm down, I don’t force you to reveal this horrible truth. Let’s just admit that the majority of team-building activities suck. Those hotdog eating contests and egg dropping… Yuck.
On the other hand, team building activities are essential for the company success. In fact, the personal bonds between teammates give businesses a competitive edge. A team that can collaborate and communicate effectively is more productive, happier and pleasant to work with. How does this work? It’s all about engagement.
The studies show that close work friendship boosts employee satisfaction by 50 percent. At the same time, people are seven times more likely to be fully engaged if they have a best friend at work. Another report claims that engaged teams outperform competitors in terms of performance and profits.
Here come team-building activities and games to keep teams engaged and connected. They help colleagues learn more about each other – how the person sitting right next to you thinks, performs tasks, solves issues and has fun.
Do your teammates roll their eyes hearing about team-building days? The good news is that team-building activities don’t have to be embarrassing and dull. We put together the list of brilliant activities and games to choose from. And none of them involves eggs dropped to the flow.
‘The floor is lava!’ Remember that? Lava Flow, also called River Crossing, is a game where teams should cross the river of lava using a limited number of objects to move safely. If anyone touches the floor, they will get ‘burnt’ and should start the way from the very beginning. The first team which crosses the lava river with all members on the board, is the winner.
Murder mystery dinner
The Murder Mystery Dinner is an interactive activity that usually repeats the most famous detective stories. Your colleagues will team up around the key goal ─ solving the mystery and finding the murderer. I bet there are some companies in your city that will design murder mystery for your team. You can also host your own mystery party to achieve a more intimate atmosphere. Either way, this costume game is ideal for building problem-solving and critical-thinking skills within your squad. And for posting cool pics to Instagram after, for sure.
If you want to check your employees for how they react in high-pressure situations, test out PowerPoint Karaoke, also called powerpoint roulette. The rules are simple: each player gets a set of slides they haven’t seen before. Based on those slides, a player should give a presentation to an audience. This team-building game also improves the skill of shrinking from rotten vegetables. *joking*
There is a team version of PowerPoint Karaoke. Give a few minutes to a group of colleagues to view the slides and prepare before giving the presentation. Under the circumstances, they will be forced to think quickly and collaborate closely to perform a difficult task.
Another version of PowerPoint Karaoke is Slideshow. In this game, one player presents a story that describes an adventure or process in details, anything from traveling to building a birdhouse (or traveling in a birdhouse). Other teammates should act as the slide show for the presentation, repeating the story in motion. The Slideshow game boosts creativity and motivates participants to think on the go. It also demonstrates how teammates can support each other during difficult tasks.
Truth and lie
This activity fits into the ‘get to know each other’ category. Each player comes up with three true facts and one lie about themselves. The lie should be believable (for instance, not something like ’Chris Hemsworth followed me on Instagram’). After a teammate tells their facts, the players should discuss which one is a lie.
The Truth And Lie game gives both introverts and extraverts equal opportunities to reveal some information about themselves and get to know each other better.
The GPS Adventure game relies on following clues to find a hidden item with the help of GPS coordinates. Each group of teammates needs to have a GPS device that will help in searches. A moderator sets a period of time in which all participating groups must return to ‘base’. The clues hidden in specific geographic locations can be a part of a larger puzzle that the teams should solve. As an alternative to GPS coordinates, you can also use QR codes placed around the office or neighborhood.
This team-building activity motivates teammates to collaborate for achieving a shared goal using a specific process where close enough is not good enough. GPS Adventure and its QR code variation also boost problem-solving skills in a fun and engaging way.
What’s my name
Write down the name of a famous person or people type (nerd, football fan, rockstar, etc ) on sticker paper. Then, place these tags on a team member so that they cannot see who they are. For a set amount of time, this person should ask the group leading questions to figure out what is written on the tag. What’s My Name is a great ice-breaker game for those companies where team members don’t know each other well yet.
Blind wine waiter
Not without reason, numerous scientific studies show that nothing bonds people like sharing a bottle of red. The Blind Wine Waiter is a real treat for teams that face communication issues at the workplace and want to loosen up with each other.
In this game, a team of six should find, uncork and pour a bottle of wine into a glass with one person acting as the leader and the rest as waiters. The team gets one wine bottle, one glass and one corkscrew. Each waiter carries out no more than one element of the challenge and all of them are blindfolded. All elements are hidden in the room and should be founded by the waiters. The challenge is that each team member can perform only one task with just one hand. For instance, if someone has found the bottle, they can’t go and find the glass too. The game is over when the leader drinks the served wine from the glass.
Let us guess
This game is a version of the classic charades. All participants are divided into small teams of 5-7 people. One person should demonstrate a random object to their group that doesn’t know what this object is, without speaking. The group guesses the name of the object and gets a point for each right answer. The team with the highest score wins.
Place a large sheet on the floor and have everyone stand on it. The challenge is to turn the sheet over without stepping off and carrying other participants.
Circle of questions
All participants form two circles, one inside the other. As the circles rotate in opposite directions, teammates face each other responding to different questions. The questions should be open and introduced by a moderator. With each round, questions are becoming more challenging. The ultimate role of the Circle Of Questions activity is to connect employers on a personal level and bond up colleagues from different departments. And keep in mind that there is no wrong answer (forget about an electric exam atmosphere).
Do you like role-playing? No, you won’t have to repeat the Fifty Shades of Grey scenario at the workplace. Just imagine that you are Arctic explorers who got caught by storm. The team’s leader is suffering from frostbite in both hands and is unable to help the team physically. At the same time, the rest of the team is suffering from snow blindness.
The challenge is to build the tent within the allotted time. Speaking of equipment, at this game you will need a tent and blindfolds for each team. The motionless leader should assist the rest of team verbally. Make sure to give each participant the ability to play the leader role.
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To sum up, team-building activities are a good way to get your team to connect, stay productive and work better together. The best part is that the majority of these games can take place at any location and with limited or no equipment.
Now you’re ready to engage your team with the fun team-building games without being hated. Below are the no-brainer team building activities that can boost teamwork, enhance problem-solving skills and keep your teammates connected:
- Lava Flow
- Murder Mystery Dinner
- PowerPoint Karaoke
- Truth and Lie
- GPS Adventure
- What’s My Name
- Outdoor activities (paintballing, sumo wrestling, etc.)
- Blind Wine Waiter
- Let Us Guess
- Turn Over
- Circle of Questions
Try experimenting to find the activity that works best for you. Which one to choose depends on your goal, the number of participants and your preparation time. Feel free to combine serious team-building games with fun activities for best results.
What about you? What other team-building activities we’ve missed on our list?