Good team building exercises allow employees to get to know each other on a more personal level – learn about their strengths, personality and passion. As they say, a team that works well together is more productive and successful! Team building can also play an important role in building a successful company culture, however, finding the best ones that suit your organisation can be a challenging task. That’s why we put together these six team building ideas which you can use to strengthen your company culture and to improve employees engagement and productivity.
Just remember one thing, these activities are the best when they are simple, so avoid overcomplicating it!
Six ideas you can incorporate in the workplace that will allow your employees to laugh, learn and connect with each other
1. Provide Group Mentoring
One-on-one mentoring is effective when you bring a new employee into your organisation. But, group mentoring is highly recommended to build team morale and connections. Often conducted by a manager or head of the department, employees can learn new skills and become truly exposed to the company culture, whilst furthering their relationship with co-workers.
Employees can share their personal stories, through meetings and workshops to help generate a team of diverse skills and abilities. Mentoring other employees is the base to promoting teamwork – the key to a successful organisation.
2. Take an Employee to Work Day
Ever heard of Bring a Friend to Work Day? “Take an Employee to Work Day” is a similar concept, where you schedule employees to visit another department. Employees that work within one function of an organisation are quite often curious and interested in what other employees do. Satisfy their interest and allow your staff to build cross-departmental cooperation and understanding. It also offers them the chance to see how all functions collaboratively are integral for the successful operation of the organisation.
3. Volunteering activities
A structured volunteering activity can help employees to bond while supporting the community at the same time. By giving back to the community, co-workers develop team spirit and purpose along with leadership abilities. Not sure where to start? Your employees are a great resource! Ask them if they have any local organisations they are associated with, who need a helping hand.
Some volunteering activity ideas:
- Organising a community clean-up project
- Running for charity
- Tutoring or mentoring youths via workshops
- Volunteering at local animal shelter
- Helping local sporting clubs with events
Remember, no volunteer task is too small or insignificant. There are plenty of activities out there. Think of indoor and outdoor activities, one-off and on-going, during work hours and out of hours, and how your employees collaboratively can draw on their own skills and knowledge to really make a difference.
4. Sporting events
One of the best team-building activities is undoubtedly, sports. Sport is a great base to promote camaraderie and encourage employees to work together as a team in a fun, light-hearted environment. It also promotes a range of communication tools that can be used within the workplace. Moreover, it’s a great way to increase physical activity and improve health and wellbeing.
Sports team building activity ideas:
- Organise an internal ping-pong tournament
- Compete in a company soccer team competition
- Go kayaking together
- Run City to Surf
5. Problem solving activities
Challenging employees to solve problems within a defined period is a great way to give them a chance to work collaboratively. Organise your workforce into smaller, cross-functional teams, allowing employees to work and communicate with people they wouldn’t normally associate with. Problem solving activities are a great way to develop teamwork, as employees can identify the strengths of those around them, and how they can be used to effectively solve problems at hand.
6. Use icebreakers at meetings
Icebreakers can come in handy for team building when you are forming a new team, or for teams who may not meet as often. Take a few minutes before company meetings for everybody to get to know each other better by using some structured, introductory icebreakers. When employees share more about themselves, they are likely to have a stronger connection and better understanding of their colleagues. It’s also a great way to get everyone warmed up before the meeting!
One good example is dividing your team into smaller groups and having members in each group talk about themselves, their likes and dislikes. The goal for each group is to identify three things in common – for example, their favourite movie, food or holiday destination.
Team building helps to improve employee performance and productivity
Team building activities are not only fun and challenging, and a change from the regular working schedule, but they also have the “side effect” of building teamwork skills that can help to improve employee performance and productivity. They are only limited by your imagination and that of your employees. Be sure to get them involved in this…ask them for their ideas and suggestions, as ultimately, you’d want to have them actively engaged and looking forward to the activities!
Importantly though, how well do you really understand the idea of company culture? Be sure to read our article on Defining Company Culture: Things to Consider Before Implementation to really help you get the best out of team building activities to improve your company culture.