There is no “I” in team. Your company is evidence of that. However, in day-to-day work, your employees may quickly forget this point. As your business grows, many will turn against their peers to climb the corporate ladder and make a name for themselves.
Remind everyone of the importance of teamwork and promote camaraderie with a few team-building activities. Co-workers will get to know each other better and learn to work together to achieve common goals.
1. Host a Trivia Night
Trivia nights are a simple way to bring a large team together and encourage friendly competition among co-workers. Plus, it will challenge their brains in areas that don’t necessarily apply to their job, providing a much-needed break. As groups answer each question, you’ll also get a feel for which employees are leaders.
Host the event at a local pub, or plan a trivia time during everyone’s lunch break. You can keep a running score for a week and test their knowledge on a new topic each day. Stretching the game out will promote friendly office banter and help co-workers form new friendships.
2. Try an Escape Room
There are about 2,300 escape rooms in the U.S., so there’s likely one near you. Essentially, the escape room staff lock you and a few other people in a themed room, and you must work together to get out within one hour. Typically, you must unravel a series of clues to find a key or discover a code to exit.
Within a single hour, employees will discover the strengths and weaknesses of their peers, as well as their own. Moreover, they’ll all have a role to play in solving the mystery as they work together to achieve a larger goal. Without distractions like phones or computers, they will get to know one another on a deeper level and experience the importance of teamwork firsthand.
3. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
If you’re willing to put in the work, creating a scavenger hunt for your team is another brilliant way to bring them together to achieve a common goal. Keep things simple by planning a search around the office. Write out clues that will send teams to different areas of the building to find various objects or locate the grand prize. Whichever group finishes first or has the most points is the winner.
You might also plan a larger hunt around the city. Instruct teams to take pictures with certain monuments or tourist attractions, or turn it into an amazing-race scenario. Regardless of how you plan it, your employees are sure to have fun and get to know each other better as they work together to solve riddles and clues.
4. Go to a Sports Complex
Do most of your employees enjoy sports? Head to a sports complex for a few hours. Choose one that’s outdoors if the weather is nice enough and you want to play mini-golf, or an indoor facility if you’re going to hit a few balls.
Many indoor sports centers have stationary or retractable batting cages to accommodate players of all different shapes and sizes. Some also have indoor soccer fields, tennis courts and basketball courts so you can go head-to-head in a game or two. If your team is large, consider renting out the entire facility so everyone feels comfortable participating, and you don’t have to wait to use the equipment.
5. Volunteer Together
Emphasize company values and practice kindness by volunteering together. There’s sure to be plenty of opportunities within your community. From serving at a soup kitchen to delivering gifts to children’s hospitals during the holidays, your options are endless. You could even organize a fundraiser for a local charity or hospital.
Additionally, you could engage in skills-based volunteering to stretch your employees’ expertise. For instance, if you own a construction company, consider building a home for someone in your community or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Likewise, if your team specializes in marketing and communications, you could offer to launch a campaign for a local nonprofit. Hold a brainstorming session to gather ideas and narrow down your options.
6. Take on Some Rapids
Are you ready for an adventure? Get wet and wild on a whitewater rafting trip. This activity is sure to encourage camaraderie and strengthen relationships within your team. As they float downriver, employees will have to listen closely as the guide announces which direction and speed to paddle. Each person must trust that the other is following directions so the whole raft can avoid boulders and eddies.
Additionally, if you choose a river with class one, two or three rapids, ask the guide if each person in the boat can take turns guiding the team. In calmer water, this will give everyone a chance to practice their leadership and communication skills. In class four, five and six rapids, however, it’s best to let the guide do their job and work together to avoid obstacles.
7. Complete an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are good physical challenges and will also foster teamwork and cooperation. Typically, they involve ropes, wooden platforms and other obstacles that may not look like much. However, when everyone tries to squeeze onto one tiny platform or swing from one to another on a rope, they become challenges that everyone must work together to overcome.
Most high-ropes facilities also have team-building obstacle courses. Look for one in your area or make your own and create your own challenges. You could even rent an inflatable course or enroll everyone in a tough mudder. Regardless of what your activity looks like, it’ll likely bring your employees closer together and promote friendships.
8. Play a Game
If you want to keep team-building simple, you can always take it back to the basics with a few games. Classics like the human knot, egg drop and perfect square usually prove to be effective team-building activities. While the first two are group activities, the third will require you to split your employees into two teams. The team that can successfully package an uncooked egg to protect it from a two-story fall wins.
If you’d rather keep the parking lot free of egg yolks, host a board game competition instead. Spark your team members’ competitive sides with a companywide tournament. You can host this event during lunch or after office hours.
Team-Building Is an Investment
Closing the office and heading to a high ropes course for a day may seem like a waste of time — or even irresponsible. However, team-building activities are one of the best investments you can make for your business. It builds trust, encourages communication, minimizes conflict and promotes a general sense of well-being within the office. Plus, when every member of your team is working together, you’ll reach your goals faster and more efficiently.
Investing in your workers is an investment in their success — and the company’s success as a whole. If you’re going to spend your money on anything, make it a team-building activity.