Every team-building activity you can imagine is available for your next corporate event. And plenty more that probably aren’t. How do you pick the best of them all? Start by thinking about what type of experience you want to offer your team: competitive, or collaborative.
Then consider a few other issues like time constraints and how much control over the outcome each person should have. Finally, tap into your own creativity and get ready to enjoy a whole new world of possibilities!
Whether you call it “team bonding” or just “having fun together,” there are activities that will work well for almost any group looking to grow closer as friends and better as team members.
If you like a little friendly competition, try one of these team-building activities that encourage healthy competition. The games can be used for groups inside or outside the office setting, and are also great for company picnics, corporate parties, and family reunions.
For all of the competitive activities below, consider having prizes available for both the winners and (for want of a better word) “losers.” Not only will this make everyone feel good about trying his or her best in order to win something valuable to him or herself, but it will help create an environment in which people trust each other more readily because they know that their teammates won’t let them fail entirely.
Outdoor Sports: Softball, volleyball, and other sports that are played outside provide a great opportunity for healthy competition when you keep some basic rules in mind. For example, don’t make any activity into a contest to see who finishes first — this can diminish people’s desire to try their hardest if they think there’s no chance of winning the coveted prize.
Also, be sure to encourage people to be supportive of each other during the game as opposed to focusing on beating everyone else. And finally, talk about how your team did afterward instead of just doling out praise or criticism for individual performance; this way, everyone will feel like part of the process that led up to the outcome on the field (or court, of course) instead of feeling like they were victims of the process.
Golf: Golf is a very popular corporate team-building activity for a few reasons. First, it’s relatively easy to set up — all you need is some good weather and an area where your group can play around. Second, golf doesn’t cost much (at least not compared to other sports).
Third, it provides plenty of opportunity for competition while also providing ample time for socializing on the greens (and nearby!) between shots. And finally, golf promotes several different types of skills that are useful in many situations: skill with tools (clubs), execution under pressure, problem-solving skills, and co-operation between disparate individuals who must work in harmony to reach a common goal.
Monopoly or Other Board Games: These games are favorites for team building because they don’t require any physical exertion, and also because they provide plenty of opportunity for discussion and laughter — two additional methods of encouraging team bonding that can be just as effective (if not more so) than competitive challenges. Because Monopoly is such a long game, consider breaking into smaller teams who then take turns playing the game with rotating player members.
This way, everyone gets to participate fully but no one ever feels like he or she missed out on his or her turn!
In contrast to competitive games that often pit people against each other for prizes and bragging rights, collaborative activities are designed with the goal of bringing people together. These team-building exercises are best for groups that have been working together for a while and already have a strong sense of teamwork, or for new teams looking to get to know each other better before they start tackling projects.
Although games can be used in collaborative team-building activities as well, most of the following ideas rely more heavily on conversation and group work instead.
Future Project Planning: If you’re trying to build a great team but aren’t sure exactly how to go about it, why not ask your group how they’d like things to work, by asking random trivia questions?
This exercise is also good if several members don’t really know one another because it forces everyone to talk to one another and learn about each other’s strengths, values, and expectations. The key here is to steer the conversation away from generalities (e.g., “we need a good team”) and toward specifics (e.g., “how can we improve communication?” or “what makes you excited about this project?”).
Brainstorming: Brainstorming doesn’t always have to take place in groups; it also works well with smaller groups of people who then present their ideas at large group meetings later on.
Either way, brainstorming sessions work the best when people know they can speak freely without being criticized for any suggestions they make — even if those suggestions are far-fetched or impractical!
To make brainstorming sessions more effective, keep a list of topics on hand that people can jump into at any time. This way, you can move the conversation along more smoothly while also keeping it open-ended so everyone gets a chance to be heard.