Isn’t that the goal?
Team building exercises can be used to get people out of the usual office interactions and make new connections with each other. That is the goal. You want to improve company culture. Team building exercises can increase cooperation and collaboration among your team. Ultimately, making them work better together in the office!
So, the goal is to try something new with your team, but not something uncomfortable. Here are five great team building exercises to try out at your next company event.
1 - Scope Mapping
If someone was to describe their office, it’s likely they would have a singular impression of the people there. Meaning, maybe they think the people in the office are really into sports. They might describe the office as mostly on one side politically. They may think everyone there hates their job or loves their job. Whatever it is, it’s easy to group the office together as one.
This first activity does get everyone out of their comfort zone a little bit but the end result is worth it.
1 - First, Identify a few topics that you want insights and opinions from the team on. Put one topic on the board.
2 - Next, have team members either write on the board or on sticky notes their thoughts and perspectives on the topic.
3 - Then, read through the comments and sort them. Showing a display of different opinions (or similar opinions!)
This exercise shows people that there is more to the office than the impression they get with small talk. It can also make them feel less like an outlier.
2 - Memory Wall
This is a fun game that can be taken very lightheartedly. It celebrates the office culture that you currently have and highlights favorite moments.
Have everyone take time to look around the room and draw pictures of office memories. These are positive memories. They can be simple and silly. The pictures will make them simple and silly.
Have team members tape the pictures up on the wall. Then have volunteers go up the wall and expand on any memories they recognize.
3 - Office Trivia
This is one everyone will be comfortable with. What’s the topic for the trivia game this time? Our office.
Create trivia questions about your office workplace. Questions like:
- How many people work in the office?
- What does the poster by the water fountain say?
- Who has worked here the longest?
- Which day are we most productive?
Nobody will feel left out by not knowing about the trivia topic, and everyone will learn a little more about where they work.
4 - Quick Look
This is a fun hands-on activity that requires excellent communication skills. You can use anything to build with but Legos work well. Divide into two teams. Have each team separate into two different rooms or put up a curtain divider. Have each team build a structure out of the legos.
1 - Have one person from the other team come take a quick look at the other team's structure. They have ten seconds to look and then they must return to their team.
2 - Now they have 30 seconds to instruct their team on how to make a structure to look just like the other teams. The team then has one minute to work on their structure.
3 - You then repeat this process with different team members and slowly the structures will come together. Hopefully, reaching the goal of copying the other team.
4 - Whichever team did a better job creating a replica, wins. Or, whichever team builds an exact replica first.
Make sure you have enough Legos for each team to copy the other. You may want to divide the pieces into four bags so that the original structure doesn’t use up too many pieces and you run out.
5 - Pair Up
Now this one will get the team talking!
1 - For this game, you need to write pairs on different pieces of paper. Each word has its own paper. For example:
- Mickey and Minnie
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Pencil and Paper
- Sandals and Sunglasses
2 - Next tape a word on each team member's back. They won’t know what’s on their back. They then have to ask other people questions about what’s on their backs.
3 - Once they figure out what’s on their back, they have to find the person who has their “match”.
This is a really good ice breaker game. Nobody has to know each other or have any other prior experience with each other to play this game. Perfect for when you have a lot of new hires.
By getting your team out of their usual office conversations, they’ll make new connections. When a team is better connected, they work better together. If they connect in a casual environment they may be more comfortable asking for help in the office. Someone doesn’t seem quite as intimidating after you’ve discussed peanut butter and jelly with them.