Who doesn’t love team building games? With the ebb and flow of new hires and people leaving positions in organizations, dedicated team building time often goes a miss or doesn’t happen at all. If you work in a school system, team building often takes place at the beginning of the year during planning time. In many other organizations, team building may happen quarterly, but usually in the form of company picnics, events or outings. These are all great ways to team build, but is it enough? Is it effective? Does it have purpose?
If you haven’t already, take an assessment of your organization and record what types of team building opportunities are offered each year and the types of team building activities. You may be surprised to find that typical team building activities often center around just bring groups together, not actually doing something together. While it is great to get people together, you also have to plan around the power of doing something together. Read: How to Be; Series: No.2: How To Be A Better Coworker This Week!
So, take leadership and flip the switch, instead of simply bringing people together, create a team building opportunity by planning and implementing 3 powerful teamwork games to engage employees at work.
You may be the type of person that HATES teamwork games, I know I was. As soon as some type of team building game was announced, I would internally cringe, get flustered and uptight because I was nervous I would mess up in front my colleagues that I didn’t know. And I know that I wasn’t alone in my feelings. So how do you bring people (like me) out of their comfort zone and actively engage in a teambuilding game- you have to prove to them that the team building games have purpose and will build value.
Over the years, I have participated in many team building games and the success or failure of those activities fell in 1) did the participants understand the rules to prevent confusion 2) was it timed to prevent boredom 3) did it build valuable by learning something new. Some of the best team building games brought me out of my comfort zone and I felt a sense of unity and confidence after it was completed. If you can organize and create team building games that have purpose and objectives behind them, then your organization can reap a full range of benefits such as:
- Increased collaboration- learning about who has what knowledge and how you can use that to help solve a problem or answer a question.
- Improve productivity- encourages teams to work together and not duplicate efforts to become more efficient.
- Encourage creativity- gives permission to use imagination to come up with creative solutions to solve problems together.
- Improved communication- this is vital for any high performing to teams.
- Bonding- bringing groups together that wouldn’t ordinarily interact or even just strengthening trust within common teams.
- Confidence- learning about your own skills and others.
If you are leader in your organization or simply want to build better capacity with your colleagues, you need to know what types of games will be effective and engaging and not induce boredom. Here are 3 powerful team building games that are proven hits that will not only teach teamwork but establish and build old and new relationships amongst colleagues.
3 powerful Team Building Games to Play At Work
Game 1: Team Towers
In this exciting team building game, you will only need a few supplies: mini or large marshmallows, tape and 10 uncooked spaghetti noodles. Organize your group into teams of three or four. The goal of this game is for each team to build the highest tower only using those items, placing a single marshmallow at the highest point, in a 15-minute timeframe. The tallest tower with a marshmallow on top is the winner.
The team building purpose behind the game is that teams are encourage to plan, work together and get creative in how to build the best tower with what they have.
Game 2: How much do you need?
In this curious team building game, the group is seated in a circle and the moderator passes out 2 items: a toilet roll and a bag of pennies. The moderator asks for each person in the circle to take how much of each item (paper squares or pennies) that they think they will need not know what activity will be coming up. Once everyone in the circle has taken what they think they will need, they will count the items and share that number with the group. Next, going around the circle, the team member will have to share a fact about themselves for every toilet square or penny that they took. If they took 4 items, they would share 4 personal or professional facts- you choose. You can modify this game by having them share personal describing words instead of facts- you choose what works for your group.
The team building purpose behind the game is that it encourages bonding, honesty and communication with both new and veteran employees.
Game 3: Interpret this!
In this fun team building game, the group will need to be in team of three or four. You will need chart paper with markers and a print out of a picture (vase of flowers, landscape scene etc.) The team will choose a picture leader and remaining members will be interpreters. Hand out the picture to the picture leader and have them turn away from the team and not show the picture to them. The goal of this game is for the picture leader to describe the picture out loud while everyone else on the team tries to recreate the picture on chart paper based on the picture leader’s descriptions. Allow 15 minutes for this game. At the end of the time, bring the picture and the groups interpretation of the picture together to compare. In most cases, the accuracy of the drawing will be all over the place!
The team building purpose behind this game is that it emphasizes the importance of accurate communication and how easy it is to misinterpret words, descriptions and instructions.
The Benefit of Team Building Games
In many instances, developing teamwork and effective communication must be fostered through regular practice and positive reinforcement. Research consistently demonstrates that participating in group games and exercises improves employee communication and motivation, which helps create a happier and more productive work environment. Let me know if you have tried any of these team building games and what value they provided to your organization!
Free Resources & Tools
GRAB A CUP & BROWSE OUR FREE PRINTABLE TOOLS & RESOURCES