In the late 20th century, employers began to realize that creating and managing effective teams of employees required more than simply assembling individuals with the necessary skills and qualifications. They learned that in order to maximize the potential of a given group of people, you need to support and strengthen the relationships between group members.
The most brilliant, qualified collection of people may turn out to be ineffective and unproductive if they are unable to collaborate and synthesize their skills. In addition, if an individual lacks a sense of belonging, psychological safety and emotional fulfillment in a given group, he or she is less likely to give their all or meet their full potential.
While the concepts of “teams” had been studied for more than a century, the concept of “team building” began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s as a crucial component of a well-functioning business or organization. While the term is often used to describe corporate events and internal initiatives, it can also be applied to non-profits, governmental organizations and even families.
At its most basic level, team building is any activity or process that can help a group of people collaborate and cooperate more effectively. A bonus is when team members feel more inspired to work together to find creative, innovative solutions.
Here are 20 creative teambuilding ideas for companies or non-profit organizations that will help team members feel more connected and motivated.
- Memory Wall. In this activity, team members write or draw their favorite memories from their team or company and post them on the wall for everyone to see.
- Escape Room. What could be more bonding than being trapped in a locked room with several of your co-workers? Escape rooms provide a fun mental challenge and also encourage team members to work together to solve a common goal.
- Improv games. Improvisational theatre games can help team members think outside of the box, release their fear of failure, and have fun together. Local improv theatres may offer improv team building workshops.
- Sports game. Attending a local sports game is a way to get employees out of the office and connecting with one another in a fun, competitive environment.
- Active listening activities. Active listening activities can help team members feel more seen and understood by their peers. These activities will also teach employees how to better listen to and understand customers and clients.
- Professional development workshops. Many employees are eager to learn how to get better and more efficient at their jobs. A professional development workshop will teach valuable skills and help team members feel more confident and competent in their roles.
- Scavenger hunt. Whether around the office or around town, a scavenger hunt can be a fun teambuilding activity that doesn’t require a lot of time or money to prepare.
- Brewery tour. Getting out of the office can provide a much-needed change of pace for teams. A guided tour such as a brewery tour can help team members relax and enjoy each other’s company in a new, refreshing way.
- Hot Seat. This activity puts the attention on one team member at a time as his or her peers ask questions such as “what is your favorite childhood memory?” or “what are you most looking forward to?” or “what is a pet peeve of yours?”.
- Karaoke. There is nothing more bonding than humiliating yourself with a group of friends at karaoke night. Whether at the office or a local bar, karaoke can be a great teambuilding activity.
- Problem solving activities. Timed races or competitions can encourage team members to work together and get to know each other in a new way.
- Office-wide challenges. A multi-week or multi-month challenge between team members can bring people together and provide a topic for conversation and connection. Challenges can be related to work goals or something outside of work, such as employee health.
- Potluck. Employees can bring a little piece of their home and culture into the office with a potluck or cookoff. A bonus is getting to eat delicious food and socialize over a meal.
- Laser tag. Looking for a way to help team members blow off steam and release some pent-up work stress? Laser tag may be just the thing.
- Motivational speakers. A skilled motivational speaker can bring team members together and give them a boost of inspiration and energy they can bring back to their jobs.
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