Mention the words ‘team building’ to your coworkers, and you may not get the positive response you were hoping for. The words conjure up ideas of hazardous mountain treks, getting dirty in muddy fields, and embarrassing games that lead to moments of awkwardness rather than a time of bonding. Team building is supposed to build morale and not break spirits. It is meant to unite a team and not tear it apart. The day should be memorable for positive reasons, and not a disaster that everybody would rather sooner forget.
So, when planning your next team building day, choose your activities carefully. You may be enthusiastic about your blindfold trust games, but your coworkers may not be. To help you create the perfect day, here are some ideas that you might find useful:
Icebreakers: These games are meant to break the ice between co-workers, and not bring up an icy wall of defense. You want your colleagues to talk to each other, collaborate, share something about themselves, and have fun in the process.
One great game guaranteed to get people talking and laughing is ‘Three Truths And A Lie”, which I’m sure that many of you have played before. If not, the game is exactly what the title sounds like. We played this at my internship get together and it was a blast. Your truths can be funny, impressive, or weird and your lie can literally be anything so it’s way fun to get creative with it.
Team Games: When it comes to team games, you need to avoid embarrassment. We all had the dread of being picked last for teams at school, so make it a random event by drawing people’s names out of a hat. Think carefully about your coworkers. Not everybody is sporty, so don’t plan your own Olympic games. Bubble soccer and bumper ball games are great alternatives to traditional sports and can be played without being competitive. Games don’t need to be active, so mix them up with a few quizzes or a gentle scavenger hunt. Whatever you choose, find ideas that will allow everybody to participate while showcasing their strengths.
Problem Solving: We aren’t talking about problem-solving games here, though they can be fun. Rather, use part of your team building day to reflect on the issues people have at work. This needs to be done safely, so remind your coworkers not to get personal towards people that they have a grievance with (Which will get really awkward really quick!). In small groups, problem solve the issues raised before presenting a solution. A problem shared is a problem halved, so your team will benefit from the perspective of others.
Have A Shared Meal: People don’t need to take part in activities to find out more about each other. Sitting down together for a good meal, especially after a busy day of activities, is a great way to unwind and talk naturally. Find a venue where your team can relax, and let this be the perfect end of the day.
Nothing is better than having a group of coworkers feel like friends and a team building day is a great way to accomplish that! And remember: Team work makes the dream work. 😉
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