Team building activities are extremely rare in businesses outside corporations. It seems like the rich corporate giants of the world, like Walmart for instance, are more successful than small businesses for a reason.
The main reason is that despite the fact that many don’t pay their lower-level employees really well; they do know how to increase employee’s sense of morale and togetherness rather effectively.
In the context of an office environment, it’s evermore important to make sure your employees are working together cohesively, that they’re at least content working next to one another.
The following 4 team building activities are great for a spur-of-the-moment morale boost for your entire staff:
1. Company trivia
What’s more fun than a good ole game of company trivia to get everyone thinking of how much fun work is? Questions can include anything “G-rated” about the company including
- How many people work in accounting?
- What’s the long term sales goals for the year?
- What’s the founder’s middle name?
- How many water faucets are located in the building?
- How many people work in the company with more than 10 years experience?
There are thousands of questions to be asked if you really start thinking about it. Just make sure the questions aren’t anything too personal, to avoid embarrassing anyone. Try to come up with at least 20 questions per game play session, to make it both interesting to everyone, and so that the session doesn’t cut too much into company time.
2. One truth, two lies
Or whatever combination of truths and lies you want to make it. The numbers don’t matter. The rules are simple: an employee steps to the front of the group and tells everyone three facts about themselves. One fact will be truth, two will be lies. It’s up to the rest of the group to reach a consensus on which are which. Once a consensus is reached, the group presents their answers to the fact-teller to find out whether they guessed right.
You won’t believe just how close, open and honest, this game can make your staff feel around each other. This is a great exercise for when new team members are coming in, or when launching a startup where most people don’t know each other that well. Heck, even when staff does know each other, there’s still loads of fun to be had from this game.
3. Volunteering together
This isn’t necessarily an office activity in the truest sense. In nearly all scenarios, you and your team will have to be outside the office to volunteer your services. However, this is a pure team building exercise. It’s up to management whether this will be done on company time or not, but keep in mind that even a couple of hours working the lunch rush at a soup kitchen or retirement home can still be a rewarding team building experience.
Other great ideas include:
- Tree planting
- Having a bake sale outside the office
- Playing sports with underprivileged youth
- Hosting a seminar related to what you do at the office (ie., marketing, real estate, etc.)
- Giving baths and walks to animals at a local rescue shelter.
They might look at it as more of an obligation than fun at first. But afterward, everyone will be talking about the goings-on from the event for days to come!
4. Scavenger hunt
Buy some moderately valuable items. Use chicken eggs or gold paperclips for that matter. It doesn’t matter what items your employees will be searching for, only that they’re challenging to find and require teamwork to complete the challenge.
Split your group into teams or use one single team if your staff is small. If there’s enough people to have a few or several groups of two or three, it’s better to assign people who tend not to associate with each other to encourage new relationships. Team building should be about bringing people together, not necessarily allowing “office buddies” to spend even more time together.
Have you ever used any of the above to encourage team building in the office?
How did it work out for you?