Want to improve teamwork and collaboration skills in your team? Try out these fun and simple team building activities…
No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team – Reid Hoffman
It’s common knowledge in the corporate world that anything you can do alone, you can do better with a team.
Teams are what run an organization and move the business forward.
Be it the accounting department or the tech support staff, teams are supposed to work together cohesively and get work done together.
However, without proper motivation, morale, and rapport, teams cannot function the right way.
Since hiring and firing are a part and parcel of an organization’s life, it’s important for individuals to gel up quickly, break down the communication barriers, and enjoy each other’s company.
One effective way to do just that is via team building activities. Team building is an amazing way to bring your employees closer, bond together, and share the same set of values.
But what exactly are team building activities and why are they important?
In this blog post, we are going to answer all of your queries regarding team building activities and beyond. Read on…
What is Team Building Activities?
Team building activities are a combination of fun and exciting games and tactics employed by managers to improve social relations between team members and motivate them to work as a unit.
Team members are often expected to simply get along with one another and know their roles and responsibilities.
However, that’s rarely the case.
Teams take time to get to know each other and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Team building activities for employees provide a fun way for employees to know each other outside of work.
In this way, they get to know the personalities of each other and see each other as individuals and not mere co-workers.
Team building makes sure that teams get along well, are motivated to perform their best, and team members know their roles, responsibilities.
Why Team Building Activities are Important?
Great managers know the importance of teamwork and collaboration. The goals that can be achieved by a team will always be greater than an individual effort.
This is why it’s so crucial for managers to ensure team harmony and collaboration in the workplace.
Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.- Andrew Carnegie
Not just managers, but employees too, understand the importance of teamwork in an organizational setting.
In fact, about 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important” to their work.
Moreover, a whopping 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project!
While it’s easy for managers to create teams, assign duties, and expect success, that’s not how things turn out most of the time.
Teams need to have the same attitudes, motivation, and goals in order to bond together and strive for success.
Furthermore, they need to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses to help each other and collaborate effectively.
This is where team building comes in.
Team building activities promote both personal and professional development of team members, helping them be more engaged at work.
Since companies with more engaged employees earn 2.5 x more revenues than those with low engagement levels, team building is a must.
What are the Benefits of Team Building?
Team building activities provide a ton of benefits to employees as well as the organization. Some of these include:
Benefit 1: Better Team Communication
First and foremost, one of the main reasons for carrying out team building exercises is to foster open communication between team members.
Since these activities are usually carried out outside of the work environment, employees feel relaxed and more open to casual conversations.
Often managers take the team out for a picnic or a fun group activity like paintball to help them feel comfortable and remove all communication barriers.
Hanging out with co-workers outside of the office will eventually strengthen their in-office relationship and communication.
Benefit 2: Improved Employee Morale
According to data, 70% of US employees are not engaged at work. Team building activities are a great way to boost employee morale.
Engaging in fun and exciting games can help even the shyest of employees to open up with others.
This improved morale will surely translate into increased motivation into everyday work.
Benefit 3: Boosts Creativity
Sitting on the same desk for months and years can lead to creative exhaustion.
Team building games are a great antidote to boredom, pushing the team out of their office routines and out in the wild to have fun.
Sometimes, group activity in the park is all one needs to catch a breather from the pressures of everyday office life and recharge.
This eventually leads to an increase in creative ideas as employees attain new outlooks and perspectives.
Benefit 4: Improved Collaboration
Collaboration and teamwork go hand in hand. Yet, 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough.
Many team-building activities are all about collaborative problem solving, helping out each other, and succeed together.
“There is no such thing as a self-made man (or woman). You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” – George Shinn (Owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team).
Activities like group puzzle-solving competitions, playing games, or participating in a charity drive are a few of the many team-building activities that promote collaboration.
These activities are bound to bring the team together and help members engage with one another.
Such team building activities lead to a more collaborative work environment where employees can rely on each other for help and advice.
Benefit 5: Builds Trust Between Workers
Team building games like “The Perfect Square” involved blindfolded employees who are asked to form a perfect square using only their voice.
Activities like these help build a sense of trust amongst the employees and results in better relationships back in the office.
If employees can trust and count on each other, they are bound to operate with a lot of freedom knowing that their co-workers got their backs.
Such team building activities are particularly useful for new employees or cross-functional teams who hardly ever get a chance to communicate and form fruitful relationships.
Benefit 6: Helps in Socializing
Team building activities gives employees a chance to socialize and make friends with each other.
Having people you like and trust at work can help boost morale, motivation, and collaboration in the workplace.
Getting to know someone outside of the office environment makes the interaction more natural and human.
People talk more freely about their problems and share opinions without the fear of being shut down or judged.
Benefit 7: Faster onboarding
New employees are often shy as they are trying to adapt to a new work environment.
Team building games can help break the ice quicker as newbies can see their co-workers and managers as real people not as supervisors.
The sooner a new employee gets comfortable with the job, the faster he or she will be able to contribute to the work.
This will also improve retention and reduce churn.
Benefit 8: Conflict Resolution
According to a study by CPP Inc., U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict, which amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours or the equivalent of 385 million working days.
Team building activities can indirectly make team members get along with each other in a non-work environment.
Team building exercises helps employees communicate problems with one another and understand each other’s points of view.
This is turn, helps build empathy for one another, and reduces conflicts.
As you can see, team building activities offer a ton of benefits to both employees and employers.
Let’s move ahead and jump right into our list of some of the best team building activities your company needs to try right now!
20 Fun and Simple Team Building Activities For Employees
Below are a few of our favorite fun and simple team-building activities that will bring your team closer than ever:
Kicking off our list is Frostbite, a scenario-based game in which a team of 5 is stranded in the Arctic and is required to build a tent shelter to protect themselves from freezing weather.
However, the leader of the team has frostbite on both hands and is, therefore, unable to help.
Moreover, the rest of the team members are suffering from snow blindness (have them put on blindfolds) and thus, can’t see.
The team has to work together using their abilities and build a shelter to survive the snowstorm.
The team which builds the shelter the quickest wins. Frostbite is a great activity to help build teamwork and collaboration skills of the team.
#2. The Great Egg Drop
A classic team-building exercise, the great egg drop requires teams to build an egg package that can save the egg from cracking when dropped.
The activity begins by dividing the team into 2 groups.
Both groups are provided with the materials and tools needed to build the egg package.
Both groups are then given a time of 15-30 minutes to design the package and present it to the rest of the team.
This team-building activity promotes out-of-the-box thinking and requires teams to work cohesively to build an outstanding egg package.
Problem-solving is another skill learned while performing this activity.
Even though it can get a bit messy, egg drop is a fun and exciting team building activity for employees that promotes teamwork.
There are many team building games that require teams to be blindfolded and achieve a goal.
Blindfolded race, spoon-fed popcorn, low tightrope walking, tent building, are some of the most common blindfolded team building activities.
Such exercises usually begin by dividing the team into 2 or more groups where one person is blindfolded while the other instructs their companion to follow directions/steps and help them win the competition.
Blindfolded team-building contests are an amazing way to foster communication, trust, and cooperation while at the same, are quite fun!
#4. Karaoke Night
Looking for a way to break the ice and let loose? One word- Karaoke!
Karaoke nights can be done after a long day at the office to kick off some steam with your co-workers and enjoy a nice evening together.
Karaoke is a great team-building exercise as it’s enjoyable for everyone while uncovering many hidden talents your team members might have!
#5. Salt and Pepper
Take a piece of paper and create game cards for each employee by writing a pair of objects that go together (for example, salt and pepper, macaroni and cheese, etc).
Tape this paper on the backs of each employee so they can’t see it.
The objective of the game is to allow employees to find the word taped on their backs by asking yes or no questions from fellow employees.
Once they figure out the word, they need to find their other pair.
When the employee finds his/her pair, they need to sit with each other for 10-15 minutes and find put three things they have in common.
This team-building activity is a nice icebreaker as it allows employees from different teams and departments to engage with one another and has interesting conversations.
#6. Barter Puzzle
Next up is Barter Puzzle. Start off by dividing your team into groups of 4-5 members. Give each group a different jigsaw puzzle of equal difficulty level.
The goal is to complete the puzzle before anyone else. However, there’s a catch.
Some pieces in their puzzle belong to other puzzles in the room. Teams have to convince each other to relinquish their pieces in order for them to complete their puzzle.
They can convince other groups either through a barter system, by trading team members, merging with each other, and so on.
The group that successfully barters puzzle pieces from other groups and completes their puzzle is declared the winner.
This team-building exercise teaches teamwork and coordination as well as negotiation skills.
#7. Hobby Clubs
Hobby clubs are a straightforward yet no risk team building activity as it brings like-minded people together for an activity they enjoy.
A tea club, book club, cooking classes, yoga classes, photography lessons, etc are all examples of hobby clubs your organization can organize.
Make sure the organization takes care of the financial aspect of these clubs and encourage employees to spend some time doing something they enjoy apart from work.
Hobby clubs are a great way to relax and escape the day-to-day madness of the office.
No, we are not talking about the video calling software that has taken the world by storm during the coronavirus pandemic.
Zoom is a team-building activity based on the picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai which includes 30 sequential pictures.
The activity starts by dividing your team into 4-5 groups.
Now, each group is handed out a set of images from the picture book and is asked to piece together a narrative.
Groups can only look at the set of images provided to them and should hide their images from the rest of the team.
Without gazing at each other’s images, each group must put the images in sequence.
The group that creates the story the quickest wins. Zoom is a great team-building competition that promotes creative thinking and problem-solving.
This team-building activity involves the passing of marbles from one end of the room to another without having them touch the floor.
How? By using short pipes as the facilitators.
You can start off by dividing your team into small groups of 4-5 people.
Each group member is handed over a short length pipe which they need to use to balance and pass the marble onto the pipe of the next team member until the marble reaches the endpoint.
The facilitator can also add a few obstacles between the start and endpoints to make the challenge more exciting.
It’s a great team-building activity to help teach coordination and trust amongst team members.
#10. Paper Plane
I’m sure you have made and flown a lot of paper planes as a kid! It’s time to bring out the inner child in you with the Paper Plane team building activity.
Paper plane competition can be done individually or as a team. Team members are asked to build paper planes using an A4 size sheet for the purpose of having a paper plane race.
The paper plane that travels the farthest is declared the winner.
Apart from distance, you can also have a “best-designed paper plane” competition and have other team members vote it out.
This activity empowers team members to be creative as the build of the plane has a major role to play in its flight and ability to travel long distances.
Paper plane race is a fun and simple team building game and requires only a sheet of paper to get started.
#11. Office Trivia
The facilitator is asked to collect a list of office-related questions like, “how many desks are in the accounting department?”, “How many people named ‘John’ work in the HR department?”, “What is the name of the CFO of our company??”, or “How many employees work in the San Francisco office?”.
He or she then writes these question and answers on index cards and ask questions to the team out loud.
The person that gives the most right answers wins.
If you have a huge team, consider dividing them up into small groups and then start the competition.
This team-building activity examines how observant and detail-oriented your employees are.
Look for a large outdoor field or a large indoor space and make that area your “battlefield”. Set up the area with some obstacles or “mines” like soft cones, water bottles, office chairs, balloons, etc.
Divide your team into pairs where one person has to cross the battlefield without setting off any mines (touching any obstacle) blindfolded.
Their partner has to guide them through the field using only their voice.
Minefield is an amazing team-building activity that helps builds trust amongst employees while at the same time, improves their communication skills.
Success in business depends on teams coordinating effectively, strategizing, and working together to solve a problem.
Paintball is a great activity that teaches all of the above and more.
Divide your team into two or more groups and conduct a paintball competition. The contest can be inter or intra-departmental.
Since paintball requires leadership, teamwork, strategizing, and effective communication, it’s a popular team building activity.
#14. Two Truths and a Lie
A classic team building game, Two Truths and a Lie requires every member of the team to write down two truths and a lie about themselves on a piece of paper and not disclose it to anyone.
Team members are then asked to take turns and share their Two Truths and a Lie with the rest of the group.
Let everyone have an open discussion with one another as each team member quizzes each other on their three questions.
The goal is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while you try to figure out other people’s truths/lies by asking them questions.
It’s a great ice-breaker activity as team members get to know each other on a deeper level which often leads to interesting conversations!
#15. Board Games
Who doesn’t like board games? You can organize a game night or board game tournament and give prizes for those coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Board games can include reverse Chardares, Jenga, Cranium, Telestrations, and more.
Board games are fun icebreakers and can teach skills like decision making, strategizing, and teamwork.
#16. Charity Event
According to data, corporate social responsibility is the third most important driver of employee engagement overall.
Coming together for a cause and helping out your community is a great way for employees to bond and share common ideals and values.
Managers can organize charity drives like building homeless shelters, volunteering at hospitals or old-age homes, a race for relief, plantation drive, and more.
Such activities create a positive team environment while boosting employee morale.
Looking to break your employees out of their comfort zones? Organize an improv session.
Performing a skit requires leadership, getting creative, and a ton of collaboration to get it right.
Start off by dividing your group into teams of 5-10 people. Either assign them individual skits or ask them to come up with one on their own.
Each team will be given around 30 minutes to ideate and rehearse and about 5-10 minutes to perform.
The managers can form the judge’s panel and decide the winner.
#18. Bridge Build
Start off by dividing your team into two groups. Each group is required to make half a bridge with the materials (straws, legos, cardboard, etc) provided to them.
Make sure the two groups can’t see each other (you can place a giant whiteboard in the middle of the room and let the groups work on either side of it) but can hear each other fine.
The goal for each group is to build half of a bridge and make sure they align perfectly in the end.
However, groups are not allowed to see what the other team is building and rely on verbal communication to build similar designs.
Give both groups around 20-30 minutes to come up with a design and build their bridge.
At the end of the exercise, the facilitator will check how aligned the two halves of the bridge are.
Such team-building exercises are great at developing communication skills while also promoting creativity.
Go-karting is another fun and simple team building activity that can spark up your team’s competitive spirits.
It’s a great way for employees to enjoy time with one another and get into a friendly competitive race.
However, make sure to double-check safety protocols before starting the race.
#20. Build the Tallest Tower
Divide the group into teams of 4-5 members. The objective of this activity is to build a tower in a group with the resources provided to them by the facilitator.
The resources can include cardboard, playing cards, uncooked spaghetti, paper cups, masking tape, scissors, etc.
Each group is given around 15-20 minutes to build their tower using the supplies provided to them.
The group that builds the tallest free-standing tower is announced as the winner.
This team-building activity promotes collaboration and creative thinking.
Over to You!
So, that’s all folks! Here is our list of fun and simple team building activities that your employees are going to enjoy.
Team building is an essential part of office dynamics as it helps promote collaboration and builds trust amongst employees.
Which simple team-building activity did you like the most? Did we miss out on your favorite team-building activity for employees?
Do let us know by commenting down below! Good luck!