Top 5 Team Building Activities
The most effective and productive working environment is one where the staff get along, communicate with each other well, and are happy to see each other when they arrive at the office. Team building activities are a great way of bringing colleagues together. It enables them to explore what they have in common, have a laugh and form memories that they can share and talk about when they cross paths.
The range of corporate team building activities your company could get involved in is limitless. We have put together a top five of the activities we think are the most effective, most affordable and most time-economical….
Truth and Lies
The ‘Truth and Lies’ game involves each participant stating their name and telling the other participants one truth and one lie about themselves. You have a brief open conversation when each person makes their statements, where the statement-maker is questioned. The goal for the statement-maker is to convince the other participants that their lie is actually true, and to guess the truths and lies of the others. Think of it like Radio One’s ‘Real or No Real’ in the office environment. Where possible, try to pick a particularly outrageous or unlikely thing to have happened to you (well, as long as it’s office-appropriate, of course!). If people are surprised to find out that it’s true, it will be an interesting talking point later.
After everyone’s made their statements and been questioned, vote on each other’s statements. Award points for guessing lies correctly and for convincing others of your own lie.
The game encourages group interaction and helps you to get to know your colleagues better. Discovering interesting things about their personal lives opens up discussions later.
This competition is generally a longer exercise than the ‘Truth and Lies’ game. It’s a classic (and messy) practical problem solving task. Split your group into two teams and task each team with creating a package for an egg, designed to keep the egg intact from a two to four storey drop. Provide tools such as newspapers, straws, sticky tape, rubber bands, balloons and plastic and give each team between thirty minutes and an hour to build their package. Allocate a member of each team to take their egg package to the second storey of your office to make the drop, while everyone else watches from below. If both eggs are intact after the first drop, increase the height of the drop by going up a storey. It’s great fun, and a great way of getting everyone involved.
In an open space, like a hallway or an empty room, distribute ‘mines’ throughout the area, creating a complicated path to have to follow if you’re trying to avoid them. The mines can be created using cones, balls, bottles – even staplers or hole punches.
Divide everyone into teams of two. One team member is blindfolded and then has to navigate the minefield and get to the other side by listening to other team member’s verbal instructions. The speaking team member cannot enter the minefield or touch their partner and is only able to help them avoid the mines verbally. Increase the difficulty by having several team members navigating the field at once, so that team members have to focus on the right voice and instructions, and have to avoid walking into other team members crossing the minefield.
This game aims to improve co-workers’ relationships with each other and build trust, and also helps colleagues to communicate more effectively.
Win, Lose or Draw
This spin on Pictionary requires paper, pens and a flipchart or whiteboard and can be very easily executed. First, think of items that fit into categories. These could be generic categories like places, food items or idioms (idioms can often be the most amusing and entertaining to draw and guess). Alternatively, categories could be specific to your office and your team and be corporate-focussed categories. For a law firm, it could be types of law or the different persons in a courtroom.
Split the group into two teams and then each team will take turns to play. An artist is nominated from the playing team, who devises a list of items to draw and provides the guessing members with the category name – which is their only hint as to the items they are about to draw. The artist has one to three minutes to draw all the items on the list, and is not allowed to write or speak. The winning team is the one with the most correct guesses as to the drawings after four-five rounds.
Salt and Pepper
This activity is a great ice-breaker exercise, while also being great for energizing your team, encouraging interaction and improving relationships. It can also be performed very affordably and quickly, and is suitable for big or small groups (though even numbers are ideal).
First you need to think of pairs of things such as salt and pepper, tea and coffee, bread and butter, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Batman and Robin, Anna and Elsa, and so forth. If you have an odd number, think of a triplet of things, such as Huey, Dewey and Louie. Write each item on a separate piece of paper, i.e. salt on one sheet and pepper on another, and tape one piece to the forehead of each person, making sure they can’t see what’s on the paper.
The aim of the game is to walk around and ask yes or no questions about the item that is taped to your forehead. When you figure out what’s on your head, you need to find your pair. You then need to sit down and ask three to five questions about one another on random topics, in order to find out more about them. (In keeping with the game, these could be yes or no questions as well, leading onto a more open discussion after the questions have been asked.) As an option, these facts could be relayed back to the group as a whole at the end.
This is a perfect initiation exercise and helps colleagues get to know each other better.
Do you have any team building exercises that you would add to the list?