While indeed some team building activities can be effective and engaging, most of them are boring and even embarrassing. Thus, employees end up being reluctant to participate in these boring team building activities, making it counterproductive for your organization.
Don’t get us wrong, however. When done right, these work team building activities can still be very effective in bridging the gap between different team members, connecting different departments, and improving the organization’s efficiency as a whole.
The secret? Creativity. We have to make sure the work team building activities and games are actually engaging and effective, and we can’t rely on the same routine over and over again.
With that being said, here we’ve compiled a list of creative team building activities that work, and let us begin right away.
Effective Work Team Building Activities To Try
1. Campfire stories
Don’t underestimate the power of stories in improving teamwork and bonding. This activity is relatively simple: gather your team members in a circle, and encourage them to tell a story.
You can pick a theme and then create a set of prompts that can help them kickstart a storytelling session. For example, if the theme is “vacation”, then you can create prompts like “first time to”, “work travel”, “what did you eat?”, and so on.
You can also focus on work-related stories if you want, which can also function as an informal training session where senior members share their work experiences with others.
2. Problem-solving game
Divide the participants into teams of 3 or 4 per team, then give an open-ended problem that each team should solve.
Ask the teams to draw a solution to this problem, for example in the form of a sketch or flow chart. To make things competitive, offer attractive prizes to the best solution.
This game, as we can see, is pretty simple to organize, and yet can be very effective in giving your team a fun activity to do that also promotes teamwork, creativity, and decision-making.
3. Active listener game
This is a fun and creative game that acts like a meta-joke to the fact of how boring team building activities usually are.
Pretty simple to organize: schedule a routine meeting that your entire team would expect to be boring.
Then, deliver a boring speech, and you can even fill the speech with unrelated sentences here and there.
The plot twist, quiz the participants about the speech and offer a prize for the best listener. You can also divide participants into teams and let them accumulate what each of them remembers, turning this into a competitive team vs team game.
4. Office trivia
A classic game that is sometimes a cliché, but can still be very fun and engaging.
The key to making this game fun is how well the questions are designed. Include fun inside jokes, random facts, the history of your personnel, and so on. This can be something like “how many people work in the marketing department?”, “how many people named Tom are in the company?”, and so on.
The participant who gets the most answers right wins, and might receive a prize.
5. Two truths, one lie
Another classic game that is especially effective in promoting team bonding, so it’s also great in onboarding new employees.
Have the participants tell two things about themselves that are true, and one thing that’s a lie. The rest of the participants can then ask questions and try to guess the lie.
6. Shark tank
A mock shark tank game. Get 3 to 4 people out of the participants to be the “sharks”, the mock investors.
Then, divide participants into teams between 2 and 6 participants, and ask each team to come up with an imaginary business idea (or product/service related to your company), and develop a pitch for it.
The sharks will then ask questions as if they’re evaluating a real business, then the sharks can decide whether or not they will invest their “money” into the business idea. The team that wins the most investment at the end wins.
7. Office debates
Friendly office debates can be fun and healthy and can help your team members understand the different viewpoints of others. In fact, office debates can help reduce real-life tensions between employees, and can also teach your employees how to handle conflicts.
Have some of your employees act as judges, then divide participants into teams of 3 (or you can make this a solo debate competition).
Pick interesting issues as the topic of the debate, like the latest social and political situations, or even topics related to your company or industry.
8. What’s my name?
Another classic game that is especially effective as a work team building activity since it encourages interaction between different team members while also requiring them to be creative.
A pretty simple game to organize: have the participants write the names of famous people (dead or alive) on a post-it, and stick them to the backs or foreheads of other participants.
The participants must now mingle with each other and ask questions about who they are: “am I a man or a woman?”, “Did I live in the 60s?”, and so on. The first person to guess who they are wins.
By using the ideas for work team building activities we’ve shared above, you are ready to organize engaging activities and games both for your in-person teams and virtual workers.
However, ideas won’t matter much without the right execution. It’s still very important to plan, organize, and manage the activities well to ensure high participation and engagement levels. This is where an event management platform is crucial to help you manage your work team building activities effectively.
By strategically using these work team building activities, you can effectively encourage your team to work together, share the load, and perform as an actual team.