Team building activities don't always have the best reputation in the office, but they are one of the most widely used group-development activities in organizations worldwide for a reason. Engaging in these activities can help create effective working relationships, solve problems, clarify roles, and set goals for the team.
One reason that announcing a team-building activity might receive an eye roll from your employees is that they tend to be time-consuming and focused on incorporating practical takeaways. In reality, you can do wonders with a short, simple team-building activity that aims to break the ice, get people's creative juices flowing, and let the team spend time together more naturally.
Whether you're looking for quick team-building activities you can use during brief breaks during the day, or before a meeting starts, this list is teeming with ideas that your office will love.
One of the great things about these games is that almost all of them are just as well suited for remote teams as they are for in-office teams. Team building is just as important if not more important for distributed teams, so creating opportunities for team growth and development when your employees work from home is essential for success.
Table of Contents
- Why Is Team Building Important?
- The Birth Map
- Would You Rather
- Twenty Questions
- Marooned on an Island
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Draw Your Mood
- Team Stretching
- 5-Minute Trivia
- Show and Tell
- Dance Session
- Word Association
- What's My Name?
- Bucket List
- Never Have I Ever
- Engaging Team Building Games From HRDQ
Why Is Team Building Important?
Team building is essential for any organization; some even claim it's the most important investment you can make in your team.
There are countless benefits to engaging in team-building activities, including:
- Encouraging communication
- Building trust
- Increasing collaboration
- Mitigating conflict
- Increasing employee engagement
- Improving the company culture
- Reduce employee turnover
When choosing team-building activities, it can be tempting to try to incorporate practical takeaways related to the organization or leadership lessons. In reality, though, these can be less captivating activities for your team, and you might not find them as beneficial overall.
Instead, consider focusing on spending time together and getting to know each other. You can use these team-building activities to work towards a common goal or share experiences that allow bonding to emerge in a much more organic way.
The Birth Map
Creating a birth map is one straightforward, fast, and fun way for your team to get to know each other better. If your entire team is in-office, you can do this by pinning a map of the world to the wall. Everyone on your team can then pin their name on a piece of paper in the location where they were born.
If your team is remote, you can use Google maps to create a digital "birth map." Doing this is an excellent way for everyone to learn more about their teammates and help break the ice. At the same time, it visually displays how diverse your team is when you see everyone's birthplaces pinned all over the globe!
Would You Rather
Would You Rather is a simple game where you come up with two scenarios that your team has to choose between. The more difficult you make the choices, the more exciting and compelling the discussion will be! This game is great to play at the beginning of a meeting to spark a heated conversation.
Another excellent way to get your team talking is to play Twenty Questions. In this game, one team member comes up with a person, place, or thing. The rest of the team can then ask them questions (twenty of them, in fact) to figure out what the person, place, or thing is.
Marooned on an Island
Marooned on an Island is a quick game that lets your team get to know each other better.
You don't need any special materials for this one, which makes it ideal for a quick break during the day or an icebreaker before a meeting begins.
Everyone on the team is asked to come up with one album and book they'd bring with them if they knew they were going to be stranded on a desert island.
This little activity is great for in-office and remote teams alike.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is a simple exercise that can help create a more relaxed mood and encourage your team to connect with one another.
Each person on your team comes up with two things that are true about themselves and one thing that isn't true.
The rest of the team has to guess which of the three statements is the lie. This game works equally well for teams that have worked together for years and brand new ones that are just getting to know each other.
Draw Your Mood
If you want to encourage team building while getting everyone's creative juices flowing, consider a quick activity called Draw Your Mood.
Give everyone on the team a piece of paper and drawing utensils and ask them to draw their mood. You'll find that the final images spark fascinating conversations and give everyone an insight into each other's personalities.
Another idea is to ask each team member to draw their plans for the weekend.
Are you looking for a more hands-on game that will help encourage teamwork among your employees? Check out this list ofteam survival games for workplace team building.
We all spend so much of our time sitting, which can hold back our ability to be productive, efficient, and engaged. There are so many physical and mental benefits to getting up and stretching every once in a while.
If you have the space in your office, you can have a quick five-minute yoga session. If space is tight, consider doing a few simple standing stretches to get the blood flowing before moving on with the day. It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but stretching together as a team is a fantastic way to help everyone relax and feel more at ease around each other.
You might consider making this a morning ritual for the office if it seems that your team is rejuvenated and energized by your stretching sessions.
Who doesn't love trivia?
If you feel like your entire team is looking a little lackluster, a quick five-minute trivia game might be the perfect thing to perk up their spirits.
This activity takes a bit of preparation ahead of time, as you'll want to come up with interesting categories and a handful of questions for each. You might consider incorporating a mix of interesting general facts and questions about your organization.
Show and Tell
Whether you have an in-office or remote team, people can work together for years without feeling like their coworkers know them. You'll find that your employees are much happier to show up to work and participate as a team when they feel as though their colleagues understand them.
One classic way to help your team share a bit about themselves is with a game of Show and Tell.
Give your team a heads-up several days ahead of time and ask them to bring an object from their home or office that is meaningful to them. They can each have the opportunity to show off their item and share why it's important to them and what it signifies.
If your team is made up of introverts that prefer to be left alone, you might find it challenging to engage them in a dance session. However, there areso many positive benefits to dancing, both physically and mentally, that it's hard not to mention it as one of the best team-building activities.
Even if your team finds the activity a bit awkward and silly, you'll likely find that they are invigorated after the fact and much more conversational than before the dance session. Soon enough, they'll suggest you take brief dance breaks when meetings are getting stiff.
If you're looking to boost your team's communication skills, consider a short Word Association game.
You can use this activity to help give your team a mental break or to get them in the right state of mind for an important meeting.
This game is both very easy and incredibly engaging. All you have to do is give a prompt word to your team and ask them to take turns sharing one word they associate with the prompt. Each team member can briefly explain why that association exists in their mind.
Are you tasked with building and training a customer service team? Check out this article to learnhow to create a world-class customer-facing team.
What's My Name?
This is an excellent choice if you're looking for an activity for team members that don't know each other very well. Even though this is traditionally a party game, it's increasingly being used in offices and boardrooms.
All you need is a pen, some slips of paper, and tape. You can also use sticky notes instead of paper and tape.
On the pieces of paper or sticky notes, write the names of famous people that everyone should be familiar with. Then you'll stick these on the forehead of your team members, with each worker getting one piece of paper.
The next step is to pair everyone off with one other person. These two people can proceed to ask each other yes or no questions to help them guess what's written on the paper stuck to their forehead.
Another classic choice when it comes to team-building activities is the Bucket List.
When we talk to our coworkers about ourselves, we often focus on particular things like where we grew up, where we went to college, or our last place of employment.
While there's nothing wrong with this, this type of autobiography doesn't let us tap into each other's goals and motivations.
The Bucket List game is a quick and easy way for people to share what matters to them. All you have to do is have each team member share one item from their "Bucket List" (the list of things they want to do before they die) and say a little bit about why they are drawn to this accomplishment.
The only problem with this game is that you might have difficulty keeping it to five minutes because it will spark so many interesting conversations!
Never Have I Ever
Another drinking game that has started to make its way into the corporate environment, Never Have I Ever, is a fun and easy game that never fails to break the ice.
To play, players begin with five fingers up, and each player lists off a past behavior they've never done. Any other teammates that have participated in that behavior will put one of their fingers down. When a person puts all five of their fingers down, they're eliminated from the game.
Of course, the office version of this game will have to be work-appropriate and clean. You might ask people to state something they've never done at the office, or for remote workers, something they've never done while working.
Engaging Team Building Games From HRDQ
While incorporating short, five-minute games into the work day is a fantastic way to help boost engagement and encourage teamwork, that doesn't mean you should entirely forgo more involved activities.
At HRDQ, we offer several team-building training products that can help bring your team closer together and increase their ability to set and achieve goals.
One such game isJungle Escape. As one of our best-selling team-building games, this will whisk your entire team away from the office and into a survival scenario. To survive, your team must work together to build a helicopter out of limited parts to escape.
Another popular choice is ourTeam Adventure Series. Your team can absorb key training lessons while participating in these training simulation exercises. Your team will be having so much fun that they'll hardly notice that they are improving essential skills!
If you're looking for team-building activities that will take your organization to the next level, be sure to check out ourteam-building training products.
Do you know of any other engaging team building activities that you feel should be added to this list? If so, be sure to leave a comment down below, and let us know about the activity you have in mind! We'd love to make this list as comprehensive as possible, so we'd be more than happy to update it as need be! We can't wait to hear what you think!
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