If you need to come up with some awesome ideas for team building days, that will not only bring your staff together, but keep them working as a team, then you have come to the right place. Read on for ten of the best team-building games around.
- Trivia with an Office Bent
This is an excellent way to find out who knows what with questions thrown in about the company. The questions about the company don’t need to be particularly tricky or serious. Here are a few examples:
- What’s the name of the CEO?
- How many people can fit in the canteen?
- Who has the best parking spot?
- What’s Jeff’s favourite drink?
Of course, you can add more serious questions such as,
- What is the company’s mission statement?
- What is the company’s vision statement?
- What is the cost of the company’s XYZ product?
You get the idea. And don’t forget the more traditional trivial pursuit questions. Make sure you have a wide variety of questions so that it’s fair for everyone.
- Negatives Turned into Positives
This is a good activity for team-building days if the work done in your company has challenging situations. This would definitely work for a sales department but I’m sure there are many other situations where this type of activity would fit. The trick here is to talk about something that didn’t go well that you managed to turn into a positive.
For example, if it was a sale that didn’t happen, it could be that you learnt that not everything goes to plan but the world doesn’t end. Or that the next day, you got your biggest sale ever. It doesn’t actually matter what the ending of the story is, just that it ends on a positive note. You could make this a mini-presentation activity as well to help improve everyone’s public speaking.
- Team Cooking
This activity depends on the size of your company, and whether it’s possible to set up a cooking area, or if the company has a canteen. Of course, you can always rent or buy portable gas cookers to make it work. The rules for this are simple.
Get colleagues to form teams and each one cooks what they are best at. It’s probably best to give some guidelines, like main course or pudding, but try and keep it simple. Of course, there will need to be some notice given to the employees so that they can think about what they want to do and buy the ingredients. And you’ll need someone to volunteer to judge. That might be a rare instance when you actually have more volunteers than you need.
- Scavenger Hunt
This is a classic and no matter how negative some colleagues may be about team-building days, everyone loves a scavenger hunt. There are a couple of things to remember, however. Don’t make it too difficult. It’s meant to be fun so don’t make the clues so challenging that you need a PhD to get the answers.
You may also need to have two versions if you’re not sure what the weather is going to be like, which in the UK is always. It will mean a little extra work to create indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts but you’ll avoid the day going flat if the weather is too bad to do the hunt outside.
- Meeting Famous People
The basic premise of this ice breaker is for everyone to tell a story about the time they bumped into someone famous. It doesn’t have to be A-List famous people, but almost everyone has some kind of claim to fame and most people are happy to tell their story.
- Famous Pairs
This is a great mingling exercise so it works particularly well for employees who rarely speak to each other on a day-to-day basis. Famous pairs can be anyone. Laurel and Hardy, Charles and Camilla, Posh and Becks.
One thing that may be important to remember is the age-range of your colleagues. If you’re of a ‘certain age’, you may need to get on the internet to find famous pairs for the younger members of staff.
- The NASA Game
This is an absolute classic and is great for team-building days as it involves problem-solving, negotiation skills, and logic, to name just a few. You will need (either the real items or cards with pictures of the items printed on them):
- First aid set
- Parachute silk (or nylon)
- Compact heating device
- Emergency rations (food)
- Magnetic compass
- Nylon rope
- Two (toy!) handguns
- Life raft
- Oxygen container
- Signal flare
- Map of the moon
- 20 liters of water
- Powdered milk
- Radio transmitter
The basic premise is that your team is stuck on the moon and you have to decide between you how important each item is and give it a ranking. There’s no real ‘right’ answers but there are some wrong ones. The discussions that ensue can be in equal parts revealing, hilarious and memorable.
- Team Drawing
This is a game for pair-work. Although it’s a drawing game, participants do not need to be good at drawing. In fact, like karaoke being more fun when it’s done by people who can’t sing, this game is certainly funnier if participants are artistically-challenged.
The instructions are fairly simple. One person has a picture and they must describe it to the other person, who then has to draw it within a certain time limit. The team who gets closest to the actual picture wins.
- Paper Planes
This is an extremely simple game. In pairs or small groups, employees have to design and make a paper plane that will fly for as far or as long as possible. There are two approaches you can take with this game.
Approach A is to allow the participants to use the internet. The problem with this is that there is a danger that everyone will come up with the same design. A better approach is to ban the internet and let the creativity flow.
This is an oldie but still a goodie for team-building days. The reason karaoke works so well is that it makes people step out of their comfort zone. This means you may need to make it compulsory. However, it’s worth considering that although you can make it compulsory, you cannot actually force people to do it. So, you are risking members of staff rebelling and refusing to get involved. Compulsory or voluntary? It’s your call but you might want to carefully consider who you have on your team before deciding.
Wrapping It All Up
Let’s be honest here, when the boss says, “Let’s have a company team-building day”, you can usually hear the groans echoing round the room. Many people don’t like doing them but there is real evidence they work. Try to make the activities fun and inclusive and you’re more than halfway there to making the day a success.