When your startup company reaches the point where it’s able to hire more employees, that’s a sign you’re doing well. However, one of the potential downsides of expansion is that it can become harder for your employees to work together as a team. Keep reading to learn eight team building exercises you can implement into the workday, including one that allows your employees to work together off-site.
1. The Great Egg Drop. This requires participants to work together to create some kind of container that will protect an egg when it is dropped from a height. Besides making people think creatively, this exercise also causes them to make tough choices, particularly when deciding which materials will work best for the task.
2. Pipeline. Demanding a combination of speed, agility and a willingness to work together, Pipeline involves using a length of pipe to push a marble from one end of the room to the other. Pair people up and have two teams face off with each other to see who can get the job done in the fastest time.
3. Survival of the Fittest. This role-playing scenario asks people to choose the most useful items to cope with mock disasters. It encourages people to think on their feet and learn how household items can sometimes be used in strange ways, especially when a situation seems dire.
4. Tug of War. The great thing about this exercise is there’s almost no need to give instructions because people have probably already played the game in some point in their lives. Also, because this activity is physically demanding, it allows people to get rid of excess energy in a safe, non-violent way. Be sure to emphasize how communication is just as important, or even more so, than strength.
5. Two Truths and a Lie. As you might have guessed from the name, this activity asks participants to reveal three things about themselves. The catch is, one of the tidbits is not true. Use it as an icebreaker activity, especially if you want employees to get a quick understanding of things their coworkers are passionate about.
6. The Classification Game. Give employees five to ten minutes to get to know one another, and then announce to the group that you’re splitting everyone into groups of five. The task is that each team must come up with a group name that adequately captures the spirit of each individual who’s a part of a respective team. Before getting started, make it clear derogatory or discriminatory classifications will not be tolerated.
7. Create Your Own Team Building Exercise. In order to do this one, you’ll have to be a bit misleading, but probably not in a way that will make anyone too upset. Make everyone think you’ve set aside an hour to do a pre-planned activity such as one of the options above. However, once you’ve gathered everyone together, turn the tables and admit you never had something specific in mind, because you want participants to come up with their own ways to focus on teamwork.
Insist that everyone try his or her best to settle on something that hasn’t been done before. You may be surprised just how inventive some people are, especially under pressure.
8. Volunteer to Help Others. It may seem like your employees already work pretty well together. However, the true test of whether that’s accurate often comes when individuals are in an unfamiliar environment. Suggest that the majority of your workforce devote at least one day a month to help the community or Charity organisation of their choice.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you feel more prepared if you’ve realised the employees at your company aren’t as good as they could be when it comes to working together towards a common goal.
These activities can really bring your workforce together, even as you expand your company. Whether your employees do exceptionally well when it comes to teamwork or not, there’s also no harm in trying one of these activities every month or so, just to keep collaborative skills sharp.
Kayla Matthews is a business solutions blogger with a passion for growth hacking and workplace productivity. You can learn more about her at ProductivityTheory.com, or by following her on Google+ and Twitter.