If your staff run for the hills as soon as they hear the phrase ‘team building’, then you know its time to change tack. But rather than ditching the idea, maybe its time for some fresh, new team building activities. It is important to remember that one of the key things that drives a successful business is its staff/ workforce therefore keeping staff on side is a critical skill success business owners have cognisance of. I know I say this time and time again but research in critical for success in this area, for example see Rusty Tweed
1 Team building cookery courses
In many ways, the idea behind a team building activity is to push boundaries, both personal and as a group, gently ‘forcing’ people to communicate, listen and work out the best way of achieving a goal as a collective group. When this happens and new skills have been learnt, as well as information about each other, then you can put a big tick in the box that says, ‘successful team building activity’. Thus, you may think that team building cookery courses are the soft option, where everyone turns up, bakes a scone and leaves.
- Not everyone can cook and/or bake – so the head of accountants who seems so in control of the books needs guidance on how to boil an egg by the intern in marketing.
- Not all cooker courses are the same – from a competitive restaurant challenge to creating making a dish that no one has ever made before, you will be amazed at just challenging some cookery team building activities can be.
Unlike whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities where you end the day wet, cold and aching, with a cookery course you eat what you cook, together.
2 Treasure Hunt
It may sound easy but give your team certain impediments and instantly, they need to fall back on their organisational and communication skills. This treasure hunt makes use of social transport but with only a certain amount in the kitty and a complete ban on private or company cars, you can see how some of this could present a real challenge. Add the courage of cryptic clues that will frustrate some people no end, and a time bar to boot, this team building activity becomes a real challenge.
3 Trivia night
Some businesses detest the idea of a party night but sometimes, the social aspect of team building is just as important as getting people to work collaboratively and productively together. By socialising, we get to know the characters and personalities in and around the business, important when the only contact you have with accounts is when an invoice hasn’t been paid or you only talk to the receptionist when they deliver first aid.
This is a ‘quiz’ night with a difference because;
- You need to collect some trivia or lesser known facts about each member of staff – ask them if they wish to participate (or you can make it compulsory) to email 3 key facts about them that others wouldn’t know. You could present them with several ideas and they choose three if people seem to struggle.
So, their first memory, their best holiday, an embarrassing moment and so on. They also need to be prepared that this information will become public and that it’ll be used in the quiz.
- Add in details about the company as well as, as well as observational questions like ‘how many desks are in such-a-such office space?’
- Buy in the services of a professional compare as host – a local stand-up comedian is also a great option. Book a venue and make it a must-go-to event for ALL staff.
- Enjoy the conversation, the competition and the humour
Is there any better feeling than giving back? There are many charities local to you who could do with the help and support that a group of people can bring. From building walls at the local donkey sanctuary to dog walking and playing with fluffy kitchens, to holding a tea party at a local nursing home, there are all kinds of projects that your team can get involved in.
5 Go outdoors (if you must)
Granted, some of the outdoor challenges are great for really pushing the boundaries of team connections and collaboration. From kayaking to high ropes courses, to orienteering, there is no end of ideas and no end of outdoor centres that offer day and residential outdoor courses. They have long been relied on to be the go-to team building activity because the time to find out who has natural leadership abilities is when a group of you are hanging by a nylon rope not much thicker than your thumb several metres above the ground…