Team building is important to bring people together. Communicative, happy teams produce better results for the company they work for and remain more motivated. Staff retention is often higher because happier people have fewer reasons to find another job elsewhere. As a result, the cost of team building exercises is offset by a corresponding saving in temp agency commissions and time spent interviewing job applicants.
Here are four unusual team building activities that will bring different responses out of the employees who participate in them.
A lie or the plain truth?
The game starts with each participant taking four pieces of paper. They need to write down one lie and three things that are true, one on each slip of paper. The lie needs to be a bit tricky in the sense that it could be true. To keep things PC, the lie and truths should not be rude, or cause offence and participants should be warned about this ahead of time. Once everyone has finished writing, they should sit in a circle and take turns to read out the words on their four slips of paper. Once everyone has spoken, it’s up to the group to discuss which statements were true and the ones they believe to be falsehoods.
The idea of the game is to challenge the fixed ideas employees have about one another. The game often lets people open up in a way that isn’t possible in a stricter workplace environment. For instance, participants may discover that their normal staid co-worker actually goes skydiving on the weekends or that a timid member of the team is a Scout Leader to young kids several evenings a week.
While this game works with team members who work in the same office, it’s also one that can be played on a shared conference call with virtual team members too. The idea is to go around the room with each person sharing two positive things that happened that week. The first is about themselves and the other is about another person who works for the company.
The idea of this game is that not everyone shares fairly in the kudos when they achieve something important at work. The quieter people – or the virtual workers – often go unnoticed at the office. Their big wins don’t register with other people and lesser wins by more outgoing people tend to dominate, often unfairly. By giving everyone a chance to shout out about what they achieved and not look selfish by giving respect to someone else who also did well, it gives a chance for everyone to feel good about themselves.
Fit with fitbit
Encouraging staff to work out is a useful way to get everyone to be a little fitter. This is a team-building exercise that works because you don’t have to do it as a team, although you can have a fitness accountability buddy if you want. The idea is that the company provides a Fitbit wristband, which will track their number of steps, running sessions, and other activities throughout the month. The goal is to burn more net calories than everyone else who is participating.
Not everyone will want to take part in this, but for people who sit down for much of the day – and especially with virtual teams that spend too much time in front of their laptops – having a team building goal set around moving more is an opportunity to change habits.
The latest scavenger hunt is to go looking for geocaches hidden in unlikely places. A geocache works on GPS coordinates and clues given as to its location. People can split up into teams and work together using a GPS tracker to locate as many geocaches as they can within a given period of time. It might also be a good idea to have each geocache provide part of a message that is revealed when all of them are found.
A geocache hunt is a fun way to get people who don’t usually work together to act as a unit to devise and execute a plan to find the geocaches before the other teams, and win.
Not every team building exercise works as intended. Sometimes they can backfire and not be overly positive for everyone. This is why relying on London team building activities by Team Tactics is a good idea because all their team building exercises have been battle-tested and shown to have a net positive effect for both employees and the company they work for.
Team building is a win-win for everyone. Got any other team building ideas? Let us know!