Making people get along together is much harder than it seems. Especially if we're talking about company staff.
Many different people make a workforce of a company, meaning it will be a challenge to put them all into one place and make them connect, open to each other and have fun.
Team building isn't just about organizing a trip to a nice location and expecting people to bond. It's necessary to consider the type of people who make the team and find the right type of activity for everybody. If you get to be original in the process - even better.
Why is team building so important?
Some people find team building annoying and they are always trying to find their way out of the whole thing. And some company owners don't give too much credit to it, so they simply send their employees to some boring trip and call it team building.
The mistake they all make is failing to see how beneficial team building is, both for the employees and the company.
Increased level of trust
This is a basic fact - nobody likes working with semi-strangers. We don't really know what their capabilities are and what type of people they are. Team building helps employees build trust, meaning they will get to know each other much better. Consequently, they will be more prone to tackle common projects together rather than to do things alone. When they trust their co-worker in terms of competencies and personal features, they will be more likely to venture out into new projects and make improvements. They will know that their co-workers have their back and that's what will make them all better and more proactive workers.
Better acceptance of constructive criticism
It is very important that every employee feels comfortable to speak up their mind at any moment without fear of consequences. In other words, employees who get along with their teammates and other co-workers will have no issues with ask for help when they need it, make some mistakes on the way and accept feedback from others on those mistakes. These employees will know for sure that their teammates are there to point them in the right direction and not to keep tabs about each other's mistakes.
New employees fit in faster
A new employee will contribute to the company in a meaningful way only when they get familiar with the procedures, company culture and, of course, their co-workers. The sooner they get to know them and create some form of a bond, the sooner will they be ready to give their best and play their part the best they can. On the long run, this means you, as the owner, will have always have talented, fresh workers who give their best from the very start.
The more original you are when it comes to team building ideas, the better are the chances everybody will have great fun and quality bonding time. If you want to make the event really memorable, of course, you should take a lot of photos. A bit of originality here goes a long way, so consider renting a corporate photo booth for the pics really to be unique.
If you want to encourage collaboration and improve your employees' problem-solving skills, this is a great game to try out. You'll need a rope, a key and 5-10 puzzles (depending on how long you want the game to last).
Find an empty space, for example, the conference room, and gather your employees. Select one employee who'll act like a zombie. The zombie should be tied to the rope in a corner of the room, allowed to move only up to 1 foot. After the game starts, the zombie will be allowed 1 additional foot every 5 minutes. In the meantime, others should work on the puzzles in order to get the key that will open the door so that they can escape the approaching zombie.
This game will reveal who likes taking the role of a leader and who's got a lot of patience. It will also strengthen communication skills among the employees.
The players should stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Every person should reach out their right hand and grab another random hand. Do the same with everybody's left hand. After that, the group has 30 minutes to entangle.
Penny for Thoughts
This is a quick way for the employees to get to know each other better. It will ease future conversations because they would have already shared some memories with others. You'll need a couple of coins with listed years on them and a box.
When the game starts, drop all the coins into the box. Let every player draw a coin. Each one of the players should then share a memorable moment that happened to them in the year listed on the coin.
This is a truly exciting game that brings many benefits. First of all, it forces players to think outside the box and develops their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Moreover, it encourages teamwork and tests their survival skills (which are not essential for your job, presumably!). You'll only need a pen and paper.
Give the background story to the players: they have all been stranded on a desert island. Together, they can bring only 10 items. Provide them with a list of 20 items, 10 of them being important, and 10 simple decoys that aren't actually essential. Divide them into teams of 2 or 3 and give them some time to each team to decide on the items. After the time is up, each team should say which items they have chosen and why.
A perfect game if you have new members of the staff because you want them to learn important things about your company as quick as possible. The game is also a good reminder for the older team members of what your company is all about and what the regulations are. You'll only need index cards with photos of your team, products, logos or even value statements. Your team will enhance their observation skills and agility.
Split the employees into teams and face the cards down. Each team takes turns in lifting two cards up, trying to match them. The first team to find all the pairs is the winner.
This game enhances creativity and teamwork and is also a lot of fun. You need a camera phone, a pen and paper, and a cup.
Write down various movie genres on pieces of paper and mix them up in a cup. Each team (consisting of 2 or 3 people) should draw a piece of paper. They should write and shoot a short film that belongs to the chosen category and they need to film it in the office. The most creative film is the winner.
Team building is predominantly about you and your employees having fun and getting to know each other. It's really easier to get to know somebody better through a game than through a common chit-chat at work. So, help your team become a second family to you and each other - only then will you all truly go forward.