A recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association suggest that 93% of employees who reported feeling valued in their workplace environs feel they are motivated towards their highest quality of work. It also suggests that employees who are happy and engaged in their work are half as likely to circulate resumes within the next year. While there are several ways to ensure that your workers stay happy and fulfilled on the job as individuals, team building activities are great opportunities for a team to work together better while also feeling more valued and engaged. Better still, effective team building can foster individual development as team members learn things from the exercises and each other that they can take back to their specific job description.
Now, the key thing here is for them to focus on having fun while building each other up. Forget highly competitive activities that will end up pitching people against each other. A good example of this is paintball.
Sometime in 2014, NPR talked about a company that decided to organize a team building event and opted for paintball. Well, long story short, the supers and management ended up being pelted a million ways by junior staff. Suffice it to say that the goal of team building was defeated entirely — apparently, junior staff felt this was their best opportunity to vent their frustration and long-held resentments on “management.” While, perhaps, this could be an example of too-little-too-late, it’s far more likely that a more constructive event would have achieved better results, and we’ll touch on a few examples of how to accomplish this.
Organize a Company Picnic
Company picnics can be a lot of fun — there are so many ways to go about it. The outdoors can be as active or relaxing a setting as you need, and if your business has existing fitness or health initiatives, that can be a good place to start planning from. Organizing a potluck can also make for a good beginning — your team will need to work together to cover the spread, and each person will be bringing a piece of themselves, in a sense, to the table for everyone to enjoy.
Traditional activities like the tug-of-war can be a fun way for folks to compete and work together without coming home covered in paint, but you can get a little further out-of-the-box with activities like human chess or even hosting a contest to see what team can film the coolest mini-movie within a short span. Company picnics are always fun, and can do a lot for company camaraderie and strengthen workplace bonds.
Encourage Company Retreats
Company retreats are perfect for active networking, team building and more importantly, “brainware” upgrades. Companies can use retreats for brainstorming new product ideas, helping their staff work better together through training, and encouraging staff to mingle. When done in a fun way, it can be a great way to grow some sense of belonging and improve the odds of workers liking their fellow workers. You could even set up separate camps to host a Survivor-style competition with activities or events that require good teamwork and coordination to succeed. The first event could be to have each team build a flag for their camp to represent them, so they are working together before they even arrive.
Company Cook-offs or Bake-Offs
How would you know if you had world-class chefs or caterers in your workplace? You wouldn’t unless you organized a bake-off or cook-off event. During these events, everyone joins a group and then figure out how to prepare nice delicacies.
The meals are then shared among all workers. Judges could be a few people or the workers themselves. It all depends on the organizers, Nevertheless, cook-offs and bake-offs are always a welcome –after all, everyone likes good food- team building event, and people can enjoy and share recipes. Food always brings people together.
The Biggest Loser Events
Most people spend at least 8 hours sitting on their behinds every day at work, and we all know that’s not a healthy thing for the human body. You can help encourage people to move more by starting weight loss events designed to help workers shed a few pounds — if you want them to become ripped and fit, that’d require extra effort on their part.
This team building activity can do a lot for worker morale. Everyone has their own challenges, but the reality is that most people struggle with similar issues. Knowing that you’re not alone in your weight loss quest can help you meet your set weight loss goals and keep you going when you are unmotivated. Just remember to keep it light-hearted — it can be a fine line, and this shouldn’t be an opportunity to criticize.
There are a few sporting activities that will end up bringing workers together instead of driving them apart. Start with those that are best for worker morale. For instance, you could have foosball tournaments, and soccer matches. These are fun and often welcome among workers. You just need to pick the right sports. As much as possible, avoid contact sports like the football or any sport that may cause people to get in each other’s faces.