One of the crucial factors that contribute to a business’s success is how efficiently and effectively its employees work together.
A recent Gallup report shows that companies that concentrate on team-building activities have a 12.5% higher productivity rate. The report also states that team managers are important in facilitating this and should focus on the strengths and weaknesses of every individual in a group.
Another survey among US employees supports this: of the surveyed employees, 25% feel ignored and 40% are disengaged. But after managers started focusing on individual employees’ strengths, active disengagement fell to almost 1%.
It is evident then that managers play a crucial role in improving performance management and encouraging team building.
In this article, we will look at some creative team-building activities managers can undertake to improve team engagement and performance.
What Do You Understand By Team Building?
Team building involves building strong bonds between members, embracing differences, and sharing opinions to achieve a common goal. Team building can happen through daily interaction when employees work together for a common need. It can also be done by organizing specific team-building activities for employees.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a great shift in what team-building entails. Most employees are engaged in working in hybrid or remote environments. So, when companies are planning a team-building strategy, they have to think of a combination of virtual and in-person activities.
Why is Employee Team-building Important?
The main purpose of employee team-building activities is to increase communication, motivate employees, and focus on employee collaboration and planning skills through fun activities.
But which activities are effective in engaging employees and boosting performance management?
Whether you are the HR manager or owner of a startup, the selected activities in an event will influence its success. Consider the desired outcome to decide on the type of activities. Some reasons to include team-building activities with your employees include:
- Networking and socializing
- Teamwork boosts team performance
- Celebration, team spirit, and motivation
- Collaboration and fostering of creativity
- Communicating while working together
- Enhances organization culture
- Employee appreciation
- Unlock leadership potential
- Enhanced employee morale and engagement
Whether you want to up productivity, increase communication amongst team members or just provide your employees with a great opportunity to bond, these activities are fantastic for corporate team-building.
Team-building Activities for Small Groups
Small teams work closely, focusing on each other with effective communication. The activities designed to strengthen the interpersonal relationship and communication skills in small groups are as follows:
Human knot is an excellent game that encourages employees to work as a team to solve problems. It requires cooperation and leadership to solve a puzzle. It focuses on problem-solving and takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
In this, players have to stand in a circle, facing inwards. Players must join their right hand with the person opposite them and do the same with their left hand. The main goal is to unravel the knot without releasing each other’s hands. The game should end with the players standing in a circle with their hands joined. It requires players to twist, turn, and pass through each other hands, maintaining communication simultaneously.
If you are to improve communication among small groups, plan for this game. It’s a fun game that boosts listening skills and hardly takes 5 to 10 minutes.
In this game, form teams, and one person in each team is blindfolded. Directed by a teammate, the blindfolded person has to retrieve the object before the other team does.
This is a passive team-building activity that succeeds in building interpersonal relationships. It also boosts team morale and strengthens relationships. The team goes out to a restaurant or the company gets lunch catered at the office for team lunch.
Team Building Activities for Large Groups
It is a fantastic activity that brings a team together. It allows employees to learn more about the company and the organization they work for. Considering this option can be daunting for an organizer but don’t be deterred from it. Plan something out-of-the-box that encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.
It will take 1 to 2 hours, and the game’s setup requires large office space.
The game is about finding hidden objects. Once the team gets the item, they will have a clue for the next phase in the game. The team that completes the challenge first wins.
Here, small teams should play to start the clue, and they have to be creative to solve the riddle.
Other than games and activities, a team-building exercise can also do some real good, like volunteering staff for community service. It boosts company culture and pride.
Murder Mystery is a fun team-building activity that alerts employees in an office of a sudden crime. This creative game is a great way to develop relationships with the team.
If you don’t know how to plan for the game, you can seek assistance from event companies to arrange it for your team. It is about building relationships via problem-solving among teammates and takes 2 to 3 hours.
Start by picking a theme for the party. Try to plan for the murder story, retaining the suspense and excitement factor like James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Scooby-doo. Costumes and props can bring a real feel to the game when employees play specific roles.
Team-building Activities for Remote Groups
Remote groups are common in this new hybrid model of work. Some interesting activities to boost performance management are as follows:
Sharing a Goal
Formal policies aren’t enough to build a trustworthy team. A strong team builds on the foundation of support and trust. So, encourage colleagues to share non-work goals with one another, to strengthen and deepen bonds. Staff can then ask one another about the progress of their goals and keep motivating one another.
Introvert people are less likely to open up about their dreams. However, friends and colleagues close to them can encourage them to speak their hearts out. This is how a whole team can be each other’s support to speak up their minds.
Starting a ‘Good News’ Conversation
Working in remote mode can get lonely, and a little non-work conversation or good news is significant to brighten your day. So, create a ‘good news’ conversation channel and invite team members to share recently happened news that has made them happy. It can be any little thing in life that makes you smile or boosts your mood.
Whatever the news be, sharing can be a great conversation starter and bring teams closer, allowing each to celebrate success even when working remotely.
Send Daily Snapshots
Sharing daily snapshots is a simple way to bring teams closer. Encourage team members to post something daily, whether it’s the lunch photo, the dress they are wearing, or anything new in life, and make collages of these shared moments.
As teams start to comment on the snapshots, it starts a conversation. It is how non-work and simple daily chat can strengthen the team bond through better insight into their lives. However, not everyone in a team has to share pictures every day. It is about team engagement and generates talking points among the members. You might get excited about what the other member is going to post as it becomes a routine activity.
Activities to Boost Your Team’s Creativity
Escape rooms are a popular team-building activity that can be played in office space. Though employees cannot get a professional escape event setup, an exciting storyline can be fascinating for players, followed by challenges and puzzles. This 1 to 2 hrs of the game boosts critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving ability.
The game starts with a storyline that is engaging and guides players through many challenges. It is easy to start with the final objective to develop the challenges and puzzles for the game. The players should start to game as a mission together.
Try to inspire players to complete the challenge faster by luring them with extra credits to complete a challenge. A creative and fun escape game is fruitful for everyone taking part in it.
Shout Outs are simple games to encourage employees to acknowledge others’ achievements. The game is interesting to incorporate into the working schedule, without hampering work productivity. It boosts the appreciation of coworkers in public.
In this, one person will call out their recent achievement along with one of their colleague’s achievements. It is an effective means to boost appreciation and positivity in the office.
The Perfect Square
Make your group sit in a circle. Each member then put on a blindfold. Next, take a long rope and tie its end together. Every person should have the rope in their hands. Now leave the circle, and instruct members to form a square using the rope and without removing the blindfold. If the team assumes they have formed the square, ask them to remove the blindfold and see what they accomplished.
The creative game boosts leadership styles and communication. Once you start the game, there will be team members who want to give directions and who want to take charge. However, the team has to work together to create the ultimate square. It requires each of them to communicate when being blindfolded.
Collect a variety of objects and put them on a center table. With a broader array, the game can become thought-provoking. Pick jewelry, dinnerware, office supplies, game pieces, toys, and others. Try to include at least 20 different items. Collect the items first.
Break the teams playing into groups; each group should have a pen and paper. The team members should get a clear view of every item picked for the game. Then, ask them to classify the items into four groups and list them on the sheet. They should list it on their own, without letting other groups know. Then, the spokesperson from each group should reveal how they classify the objects and the reasons behind them. It can depend on the materials it is made of or the functions it performs.
The exercise encourages creative thinking and teamwork, where the team also rethinks how they classify everyday objects and looks for commonalities in otherwise unconnected objects. It leads to a discussion on how to think of out-of-the-box solutions and fix problems.
Start planning for the above-listed activities that boost team building, promotes creative thinking, instill team trust, and encourage communication. Building an efficient team is an essential part of an organization, whether in hybrid or virtual mode. In addition, a better chance to know each other in a team professionally and personally, and communicate outside office work is a great way to encourage engagement among team members. Knowing little details about each other can make team members feel they are in the same space. Now, go ahead, plan, and bond.