Have you ever worked for a company where the spirit is low and morale is a little down? Even the best companies experience slow moments where employees start to lose a little momentum. Whether the business has had a rough month or communication just isn’t quite where it should be, there are plenty of team building activities that can help revitalize your group!
With only 15% of the world’s one billion workers feeling engaged at work, it’s safe to say that investing in team building activities is as beneficial for the employees as it is for the business owners. In fact, a Gallup study discovered that disengaged employees cost the United States anywhere between $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity each year – ouch!
To improve workplace morale and work on building trust, be sure to try some of these fun office team building games to lift spirits and make introductions (and if all else fails, try giving out some trendy promotional products!)
Communication Team Building Activities
One of the most important components to any team is healthy communication skills. Whether you’re a nurse or a graphic designer, clear and concise communication is can prevent a lot of work-related mishaps. We’re no stranger to communication team building activities, so we’ve selected our number one go-to exercise to share with you!
Blind Drawing Game
Blind Drawing is the perfect team building activity for a group that is in desperate need of a good laugh! It requires little-to-no thinking while still allowing you to better understand the people you work with. When you don’t know someone very well, this is one of the easiest ways to break the ice!
You’ll start by selecting a designated person who will stand at the front of the room and describe what they’re seeing in a picture. From there, divide the rest of your team into small groups and provide each person with paper and a clipboard. The individual holding the picture will describe what they’re seeing in the photo while the drawers will do their darndest to draw what is being described to them. Just try not to laugh when you realize the extent of your coworkers’ poor drawing skills!
Here’s what you’ll need:
One or more pictures
Pens or markers
Sheets of paper
Once everyone has finished their drawing, you’ll showcase your work of art to the room! The winner is selected by each group voting for the picture that is the closest match to the original photo. This activity will not only encourage listening skills, but it will also be a great resource for your team to learn how their coworker’s brain works!
Team Building Icebreakers for Small Groups
Maybe your team doesn’t have hundreds of people to fill a conference center, and that’s okay! Just because you don’t have 500 employees doesn’t mean it isn’t important to take some time away from their desks. If you’re searching for team building activities on a budget, we’ve got the one for you!
Circle of Questions Exercise
As your business grows, it’s inevitable that you will have new team members. You also might have to form new teams as people move to different positions and job responsibilities change. This game is perfect for promoting communication, listening skills, building trust, and motivation!
Circle of Questions is a great game if you’re attempting to work towards a theme or problem you would like to address as a company. You can use as little as 10 people to play this game and can go up to as many as you would like. Depending on how long you want to play, the duration can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pens or pencils
An open space
Begin Circle of Questions by dividing the group into two equal teams (if there is an odd number, then either find another participant or let someone sit out until the next game). Ask one team to stand in a circle facing outwards, then ask the second team to create a slightly larger circle around the first one facing inwards.
Once both teams have greeted each other, the people in the inner circle will ask a question (of a manager’s choice) of the person opposite them in the outer circle. That employee will have 30 seconds to give an answer before the whistle blows. Pro tip: make these open-ended questions to get interesting answers.
After the allotted 30 seconds is up, the person in the outer circle will ask the person in the inner circle the same question. After both people have asked each other a question, then the inner circle will move clockwise one place and the outer circle will move counter clockwise one space to find a new partner. Stop the exercise when everyone has asked and answered a question!
Example questions: Where would you like to be in 5 years? What does success look like to you? What’s your greatest strength? What kind of management style do you like? (Try to ask questions that gradually work toward a theme you would like to address).
Teamwork in the Workplace
It’s something we learned about in grade school, yet we all still struggle with from time to time: teamwork. Maybe your team is full of creative geniuses who are find it hard to admit when they’re wrong, or perhaps everyone easily gets stuck in their own bubble. Either way, it’s easy to find team building activities to do in the office that will strengthen your teamwork skills. Here’s our number one activity for teamwork in the workplace!
Sneak Peek Activity
One of the most critical pieces of the workplace puzzle is teamwork. Without it, there’s a large decrease in overall efficiency. In fact, around 39% of employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough! If you don’t want to be a part of such a staggering statistic, it’s time to round up the masses and plan a collaborative teambuilding activity before it’s too late.
For this fun game, you’ll divide the group into two teams. Group A will be responsible for building a Lego structure, and group B will be tasked with the recreation of the design!
Once Group A finishes their construction in a separate room, one player from each team can look at the structure for 10 seconds. Afterwards, they must return to their team and provide a 25 second instruction on how to recreate what they saw in 1 minute. After the minute is up, another player can take a “sneak peek” at the Lego constructions and repeat the process. The game continues until everyone on each team has had a chance to look at the structure, and whoever completes the structure first is crowned the winner!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Several sets of Legos
A separation room for Lego construction
Once Group A finishes their construction in a separate room, one player from each team can look at the structure for 10 seconds. Afterwards, they must return to their team and provide a 25 second instruction on how to recreate what they saw in 1 minute. After the minute is up, another player can take a “sneak peek” at the Lego constructions and repeat the process. The game continues until everyone on each team has had a chance to look at the structure, and whoever completes the task first is crowned the winner!
The goal of this team building activity is for all participants to experience firsthand the value of teamwork. When effective communication aligns with collaboration, the end result is a thriving workplace for all!
Attention to Detail Icebreakers
While many of us wish we could focus on one project at a time, the reality is we often have to juggle many at once. This can be an acquired skill, and during the learning process it isn’t unusual for your coworkers to miss small details when they’ve got a lot on their plate. It’s important to flex your creative muscles, so take a look at our favorite attention to detail icebreaker!
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Whether your team is full of tech addicts or writers who are destined to be the next Edgar Allan Poe, the foundation of their success will always start with collaboration. To be a true listener is to be an efficient worker, and it’s essential to always strive for improvement in the workplace!
If your office is full of foodies who could never turn down a sandwich, this next game is for you! You’ll start by having everyone write down detailed instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. While this might sound easy, EVERY step will need to be accounted for! From taking the lid off the peanut butter jar to putting it back on again, it’s important for each set of instructions to be as detailed as possible.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A loaf of bread
One jar of peanut butter
One jar of jelly
From there, everyone’s papers will be collected and it’s time to select a volunteer sandwich maker! This person will head over to a sandwich making station as a set of instructions is randomly pulled from the pile. The writer of that recipe will come forward to read their instructions out loud as the sandwich maker follows the instructions exactly as they are written. As soon as they slip up, you’ll select a new sandwich maker and new set of instructions.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds! For example, did the instructions say to put the peanut butter onto the bread but the sandwich maker used a knife to do so? Did they take the bread out of the bag instead of untwisting the tie? If so, they’re automatically out! You’ll keep the process going until someone follows the instructions exactly. This is a great way to visualize how easy it is to miscommunicate or misunderstand basic instructions, and encourages your team to communicate effectively.
Problem Solving in the Workplace
Finding fun team building activities for adults in the workplace isn’t always easy. You want to choose an option that enhances your team’s problem solving skills while still having fun! Sometimes, subtle is best, and that’s why we chose this favorite as our go-to team building exercise for problem solving.
Marble Mania Game
No matter your profession, problem solving is a critical skill that is needed in all industries. While the phrase “the show must go wrong” is traditionally used in show business, it’s also true for the workplace! Inevitably, your team will encounter a roadblock at one time or another. It’s always worth preparing for these stressful times with unique team building activities!
One of our favorites at Quality Logo Products® is Marble Mania! You’ll start by providing each participant with a cardboard paper towel roll that has been cut in half, and placing a bucket on the ground. Then, one person will start the game by dropping the marble into one of the paper towel tubes, with the remaining team members placing their rolls strategically in order to guide the marble into the bucket!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Several empty paper towel rolls, cut in half
Depending on the size of your team, this activity could last anywhere between 5 or 10 minutes. Feel free to repeat the game by moving the bucket once your first round is up to make things harder. Want to kick it up a notch? Try placing the bucket in a higher up location like a desk or cabinet. Your team will be solving complex problems in no time!
Are team building exercises effective?
Team building activities are scientifically proven to have positive effects in the workplace. Specifically, teams who are looking to improve specific teamwork breakdowns are known to see the most benefit from team building games or activities. Of course, the overall impact of each exercise depends highly on your team and their personality traits, but the only way to know for sure is to try. There’s a team building exercise out there for everyone!
Why team building works
Team building activities work because of their ability to help participants get out of their comfort zones. Additionally, these exercises open the doors to improved communication between employees. For team members who may have never been introduced, team building games provide a platform to break the ice in an unintimidating way. The next time a colleague needs to meet with someone in a different department, they’ll feel less awkward about it since they shared a common experience.
Now don’t be fooled! At Quality Logo Products®, we take our own advice. Take a peek into some of our recent team building activities that range from Office Olympics to hosting a company-wide volunteer day!
Which morale building activities do you find the most helpful? Would you play any of these games at your workplace? Is there a particular game that your company or organization really likes to play?
Clifton, J. (2017, June 13). The World’s Broken Workplace. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://news.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/212045/world-broken-workplace.aspxs
Sorenson, S., & Garman, K. (2013, June 11). How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/162953/tackle-employees-stagnating-engagement.aspx
Candice is on the web team at QLP. She's extremely family-oriented and enjoys spending all of her free time with her daughter and family. She LOVES to shop and just experience life again through her daughter's eyes. There's nothing better than that in the world for her! You can also connect with Candice on Google+
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