Another trust-fall exercise for your 50th team building? Better get that off your list. The truth may hurt, but, it’s time to let you know that your employees hate your team building exercises. It’s not because they suck, but because it’s one of those overrated, boring activities. Those jaded exercises are not that effective anymore, if your goal is to strengthen the team’s bond.
Of course, building a stronger bond is your aim. Thus, to do that, you must come up with interesting activities. Something unique and compelling, which will make each member of your team partake willingly and enthusiastically in your team building. Such exercises must be unique to spark the life and involvement of the whole team. Those activities if pulled off correctly, will not only strengthen the bond of members, it can also initiate friendships. It can re-energize employees, leading to improved morale and productivity.
So, if you feel the indisputable lack of interest of your members about your team building activities, now is the time to take a 180-degree change. Use these tips for your next team building, and give your employees a fun time.
Identify what your employees hate
We’re all familiar with these usual activities that we experience in team buildings. Unfortunately, we have become that accustomed to those exercises because we have probably seen it for a hundred times. Alright, not maybe a hundred, but we see them frequently. The same programs just get too tiring year after year, which we get no good progress at all.
For example, trust falls and human chains have gotten overly used that we’re not gaining anything from such activities anymore. As well as those with physical challenges like obstacle courses and endurance races. They just make the employees anxious and embarrassed.
We’d also like to mention those weekend retreats or 10-hour camps, which employees view as time they have to spend away from the family. Such activities normally result in awkward situations, most probably because of too much alcohol consumption, that become the cause of the plight of some members.
Due to these circumstances, most employees make any excuse to not attend team building exercises. However, the problem is that you don’t have many options to choose from. With the limited activities you can offer to your team, what’s there to do?
Create bonding exercises that work
According to the 2017 CultureIQ Company Culture Trends and Insights survey, 91 percent of the 28,371 workers polled said they had co-workers that they consider friends. When creating innovative activities, you must know that people want to work with people they enjoy being around with. Thus, when arranging a team building, this should be your goal – to make people like other people.
To improve the morale and the dynamics of the employees, you must create scenarios that lead to building of friendships, such as:
Collaboration Games – there should be days when employees play group games like Clue. The teams have to work together to tap a common goal, which instantly improves the cooperation within employees.
Show and tell – This activity will help showcase the personalities of the employees. It’s also a great way to remind the members of their younger years, delivering a nostalgic feeling. Sharing a common experience that the employees had when they were younger is an effective way to bond.
Scavenger hunt – Scavenger hunt gets people competitive. People like challenges, and this game can get people moving because finding things give them a sense of accomplishment. A scavenger hunt can make team members laughing and exchanging high fives, too. It’s a great way to build memories.
Create your own game – Let the employees create their own unique games based on the company’s culture and values. It increases the collaboration between members, where they can make use of any inside information to keep the games lively.
You and your team must not forget the aim of team building. It must be fun, sure, but the activities should also target the goals of working together and thinking as a team. If you want to take things up a notch, here are some grand ideas which were used by the biggest companies today:
- Facebook had let their employees play an outdoor spy game where teams had to solve clues to rescue a member, and find a stolen object.
- Lyft transported their employees to a private San Francisco island, where they played as stranded. The members had to find a way to build a communication device to reach out to the outside world, and be rescued.
- Chipotle and Amazon contracted local museums to give their employees private tours based on the company values.
You can also create activities based on coworkers’ hobbies if the options above are not plausible. Volunteer programs are a great way to build friendships, while it can also help the community.
A company-wide field trip or picnic is also a guaranteed option that can never go wrong when it comes to team building. Such activities will be more appealing if they provide an opportunity to involve the families of employees. Members will be more enthusiastic when their family is included in the events.
Ask for feedback!
After each event and activity, don’t forget to get feedback. Know which exercises the employees like and hate. Find out the ones that clicked, and the activities that didn’t appeal to the members. You can use the information from the feedbacks for next year’s team building.
You may also want to create a “bonding committee” who will help plan future events. Arrange a company-sponsored dinner where members of the committee can discuss the plan. Company dinners hit two goals: a way to bond and to tap goals for future events – a double win.
Team building is a crucial part of the company. It makes employees work, think and laugh together. It builds friendships and strengthens the chemistry of all members, leading to improved morale and productivity.
This cool animation video outlines 10 ways to motivate your employees. Enjoy!