Four Team-Building Activities to Try in Your Next Team Meeting
Unless they’re well planned, team-building activities can end up feeling forced, awkward and uncomfortable – which defeats the very purpose of conducting them. But when you run a team meeting the right way, the results can be phenomenal: better morale, higher productivity, greater collaboration, and last but not least, a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.
Try Something New
Team-building activities don’t have to be stressful or cause everyone in the office to groan and roll their eyes. Try something new. Let people interact freely. Give them a chance to break from their normal routine – and it’s likely they’ll leave renewed and with a more positive attitude.
Here are four ideas on how to run a team meeting:
Take it on the road.
Get out of the office as a change of scenery and to eliminate inevitable interruptions and distractions. Team activities could be part of an annual Field Day with food, games and prizes. (An important caveat on games: Make them collaborative, not competitive. And keep them optional. Not everyone is an extrovert.)
- Okay, so winter is coming. If you need to move the fun indoors, consider heading to a local indoor attraction such as paintball or a game room. Let people relax and kick back a bit while building collaboration and fostering relationships.
Get together and give back to the community.
Facilitate a volunteer outing to benefit a local charity. Partner with a school, nursing home or Boys and Girls Club. For the holiday season – or even year round – help stock a local food pantry or serve at a soup kitchen. Coordinate gift giving and wrapping for the needy. Bring in a bus – yes, a passenger bus. Park it in your lot and have your team stuff it with holiday gifts, furnishings, non-perishable food and winter clothing. Then, donate the entire load.
- As you choose your charity, involve employees in the decision right from the start. This gives you the added benefit of learning which causes mean the most to them.
Use a compatibility program.
There are numerous compatibility programs through which employees can learn more about themselves and each other, and about how to work better as a team. Try StrengthsFinders, Emergenetics or the Myers-Briggs Personality Index. These tools promote open communication, as well as respect of different personalities and work styles.
- Find fun ways to share each person’s results. For instance, have each employee predict results for their co-workers or ask everyone to name a celebrity who they think best represents them.
Make it about professional development.
Have your team participate in training programs together. Use this as an opportunity to encourage people to learn collaboratively. Bring in guest speakers or host group webinars and other presentations.
- Team activities encourage co-workers to get to know each other better. People naturally like to feel connected. Even when work hits a rough patch, it can make all the difference to know that your fellow team members are supportive and good to be around. Personal bonds are much stronger than simply sharing office walls.