30+ Team Building Activities To Connect Employees

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Do you often see your employees suffering from stress and a loss of motivation at work? It’s time to give them a dose of excitement with some uplifting team-building games!

Team Building Activitie

These fun activities will kick them out of afternoon drowsiness and boost their mood for working. I’ve tried all of the exercises below, which proved effective for my Uni Global Union team. All are super fun and quick!

The Importance Of Team Building Activities For Work

Under the stress and heavy workload, a joyful team-building game can be a powerful tool to:

Foster communication: When everyone joins the same activity, they get to speak to and connect with their coworkers, whom they might have never talked to before. This helps bridge the gap, fostering open communication among team members.

Boost team morale and energy: A fun game is like a much-needed pick-me-up for unmotivated employees. Working for hours in front of the computer can strain their energy. So, a small activity gets them moving and re-energized to continue working.

Build trust and improve teamwork: Since employees can communicate more openly, they get to know each other better. Collaborating to reach a common goal in the game helps everyone build trust and improve teamwork skills. Because of this, employees are more likely to unleash their full potential of capabilities, pushing the entire team forward. 

Encourage creativity and productivity: These exercises enable employees to leverage different skills to complete tasks, encouraging them to think outside the box and come up with creative ideas. When everyone knows how to utilize their strengths to complement each other, productivity will also rise.

5 Team Building Ideas During A Meeting

1. Puzzle Solving

Puzzle Solving

A puzzle game is a classic team-building activity that anyone can get involved in easily. Just throw your team a head-scratcher 500-piece puzzle or a challenging brain teaser and set a countdown timer to get the adrenaline pumping. You will see all members quickly immerse themselves in solving the puzzle.

After the time runs out, it’s time to debrief by asking your team: How do they solve that puzzle (like which member is responsible for which part?)? What decisions were made? 

Give the team some time for an open discussion and reflect on the experience.

2. Compliment Circle

Everyone can enjoy this game without moving around much in the meeting room. This simple activity is a great way to bring employees closer to each other by allowing them to express their appreciation to their colleagues through heartfelt, genuine compliments.

You can tell each person to compliment any coworker in the room. Or, you can ask them to praise the person next to them for whatever they’ve done. Feel free to play around with the game; just ensure everyone will have a chance to shine and feel valued.

3. Count To 20

Need a quick energy boost during the meeting? Count To 20 is the perfect choice! The game goes like this: Everyone sits in a circle and starts to count from 1 to 20, one person at a time. If two of them say the same number at once, the count will restart. 

This simple game keeps everyone on their toes, trying not to blurt out the same number as someone else. A good way to break the ice and pump some energy into the meeting!

4. Show And Tell

Employee Recognition Examples

It’s time to give each employee a moment in the spotlight! This game will be their stage to showcase their accomplishments and keep everyone in the loop about what their colleagues are working on. This way, all employees will receive well-deserved recognition, encouraging them to work harder.

You can host a weekly or monthly team meeting. Each person can share what they’re working on and what they’ve achieved, while other members can ask questions and give compliments or constructive feedback.

5. Group Order

Getting to know each other is as simple as playing this game! You only need to ask all employees to team up based on a specific criterion. For example, the years of experience, the commuting distance from home to work, the month of birth, etc. Just after 5 to 10 minutes, you will see how quickly people bond over a common thing. 

10 Quick Games To Build Teamwork At The Workplace

1. Board Games

Board games need no further formal introduction, especially when it comes to nurture stronger relationships in a group. Hundreds of office-friendly games, such as Code Names, Apples To Apples, Jenga, or Pandemic, are available. 

Some options, like Heads Up or Celebrity, don’t even require a tabletop; you only need a smartphone, a pen, and a piece of paper to enjoy. They all make wonderful mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-ups to promote teamwork and communication skills.

2. Personal Presentation

In this game, each member has to prepare a short presentation about their life stories, memorable experiences, major achievements, or other events. It gives everyone an equal chance to share a slice of their lives and take a glimpse into their colleagues’. You can ask your employees to share their stories on a designated day, like the last Friday of the month, to create a fun and engaging team ritual.

3. Untangle A Human Knot

Untangle A Human Knot

Is your office spacious? If yes, Untangle A Human Knot definitely ignites a burst of laughter and positive energy. Gather everyone in a circle; everyone grabs the hands of someone not next to them. Once the “knot” is tied, it’s time for everyone to untangle it without letting go of hands. This exercise will require some elbow grease and critical thinking, but it’s a fun way to get everyone moving and re-energized.

4. Sync Claps

This is another simple exercise to encourage a sense of alignment and focus in your team.  Everyone stands in a circle and starts clapping back-to-back. But each time, two members must clap their hands at once. Keep moving the clap around the circle, aiming for faster movement and better synchronization. Just several rounds are enough to boost the team morale to continue working.

5. Office Trivia

Office Trivia can be a useful icebreaker when a new member joins your team, but you can play it whenever seeing your staff unmotivated and distant. Spend about 30 minutes asking some icebreaker questions about shared interests, hobbies, or even favorite office snacks. These inquiries spark conversation and laughter, making everyone feel more connected and comfortable.

6. Blind Directions

Blind Directions

Do you notice a lack of communication between some employees? Let the Blind Directions game take them closer! They will work in pairs, with one blindfolded. The other has to direct their teammate to complete a mission, like moving around the office, drawing a picture, or finding something. 

7. A Hack Day

A Hack Day is not about calling it a day! Instead, all employees will stop whatever they’re doing to join hands in an innovative project that benefits the company.  Some examples include developing new product features, developing a new sales pitch, or planning how to train new hires more effectively. 

Working together like this fosters a burst of creative collaboration while allowing employees to learn new skills or ideas from their colleagues.

8. Coat Of Arms

In this game, each person will draw their favorite coat of arms and give it to a random partner. That person will then have to decipher the meanings behind that drawing, offering a window into their partner’s personality. Believe it or not, drawing can also get your creative juices flowing.

9. My Favorite Manager

Creating a culture of open communication is key to a thriving team. This game gives employees a chance to provide constructive feedback to their team leader while empowering the manager to self-reflect on their management. Just gather everyone together and encourage them to open up about what they like and don’t like about the leadership style.

10. Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock, Paper, and Scissors goes beyond a childhood game; with a small twist, it can also infuse some excitement and joy into the workplace.

Here’s the catch: Two members duel until only two contenders remain for the final battle. However, after each round, the losers will pick sides to cheer on the winners, who move to the next duel. In the end, you will see two exciting groups supporting the last players, stirring a thrilling vibe in the office.

5 Team Building Exercises For Small Groups

1. Plot Me Out

Calling all the movie buffs out there! Plot Me Out is an interesting activity for a small group of 4 to 6 members. One person will be selected as a moderator, who will narrate a plot of a random TV show or a movie. The remaining people have to guess the name of that movie or show. 

2. Company Concentration

Concentration was one of our favorites when we were a kid, and now, it has evolved into a work-friendly version that you can have fun with. A group of 3 to 6 members can gather and make cards about the company’s mission statement, logo, values, and motto or containing colleagues’ names and dates of birth; you can tailor it to your group. And the two who pick matching cards the quickest will win the game.

3. Conflict Responses

manager joking with his junior colleagues

Any team, regardless of size, faces conflicts when collaborating. So, the Conflict Responses game is a fun way to approach and address the disagreements in your group. Everyone will share a past conflict with their coworkers and suggest some ideas to handle those misunderstandings and clashes.

4. Strength Envelopes

Each team member boasts different strengths and capabilities that deserve everyone’s recognition. And Strength Envelopes offers a valuable chance to express your appreciation and acknowledgment to your coworkers. Each employee will write their name on an envelope and pass it around so that every member can jot down strengths for that person. 

5. What I Need From You

Sometimes, we might find it hard to articulate our needs to other members clearly and politely. What I Need From You is a team-building activity designed to assist you in expressing your thoughts effectively and preventing any misunderstandings. By being open about what you need, other members can respond and help you communicate better, maintaining transparency and integrity within a group.

7 Fun Team Building Activities Outside Work Hours

1. Non-verbal improv

Non-verbal improv is a popular choice for a team-building event, especially on a day trip. You can divide participants into different groups to compete. In each group, each member alternatively uses their actions and non-verbal cues to convey their ideas, while their partners have to decipher the message.

2. Escape Challenge

Everyone will be trapped in a room with an ultimate mission: escape that room within a time limit. Of course, the team only wins when all members can get out of that room, which demands mutual efforts from the entire team. If you can’t design such a room, there are some entertainment services with an escape-the-room concept, like a jail cell, submarine, hospital, or even office.

3. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt Game Map

Scavenger Hunt can be played in a small group of colleagues or the whole organization (different departments will compete). Facts about the company’s history, along with some related objects, can be hidden around the office. Teams then race against the clock to find these items and decipher the facts. This classic game not only boosts team spirit through friendly competition but also helps participants learn more about the company’s past in a unique way.

4. Cooking

Did you know that cooking can help release your stress? That’s why I recommend letting your team attend a cooking session together. Engaging in a shared cooking experience fosters team spirit and creates lasting memories through the collaborative effort and enjoyment of the final meal. The best part is that this activity can be done in many places, from the company’s cafeteria to a team member’s home.

5. Volunteering

Volunteering is a highly rewarding team-building activity. It fosters collaboration among team members while providing a chance to give back to the community.  You can choose to volunteer at local charities or orphanages or participate in environmental initiatives like beach or river cleanups.

6. Start A Club

Is there any interest or hobby that team members have in common? If yes, it will make a solid foundation to start a club. From a book club, or a movie night club to a travel enthusiasts’ club, the common ground is what glues people together. You can set up a weekly or monthly meeting for the club so that each member can share their experiences with others.

7. Frostbite

Frostbite is one of a thrilling outdoor activities that throws everyone into a deserted arctic place, where they have to survive with as little as a fan, some cardboard boxes, post-its or sticky notes, and toothpicks. Participants have to utilize these limited resources wisely to build their own shelter to escape the bitter cold. This challenging scenario fosters time management and critical thinking skills as teams collaborate to fully make use of their meager supplies.

5 Company Team Building Activities For Problem-Solving

Team Building Activities For Problem-Solving

1. Egg Drop

You know what the funniest way to evaluate how well a team works together is? Test them with the Egg Drop game! Each team gets an egg and a set of supplies. The timer starts, and the entire team has to work together to design and build a protective structure for their egg. Though it will leave a sticky mess on the floor at the end, I’m sure that everyone has a fun time working together.

2. LEGO 

LEGO has recently made a splash on social media, driving a massive number of people to follow the trend. Why not introduce it to your office? Everyone has a chance to unleash their creativity and build a unique, impressive creation. Regardless of the result, this game encourages the team to push their limits and think outside the box.

3. Spider Web

Stretch the rope or yarn across the open space, weaving it in a complex pattern that creates a series of holes and obstacles. Teams can strategize and discuss the best route for each member. They may need to help each other physically or verbally guide one another through the web.

4. Blind Square

The game is simple but requires a great collaborative effort from the team. Tie a rope circle and ask everyone to think of how to shape it into a square. After about 10 minutes of preparation, all participants will be blindfolded, and they have to form a perfect square within a time limit.

5. Crocodile River

“Crocodile River” is a dynamic team-building exercise that pits participants against a simulated obstacle course. This activity requires both physical and mental collaboration, as team members must work together to navigate a wide outdoor space and reach the finish line as a unit. The group will hone their problem-solving skills and strengthen their communication skills through this shared challenge.

Conclusion

I hope you can find the perfect team-building activity for your team from these ideas. However, it is not all about the game itself. What truly matters is that everyone spends quality time tightening their bond. So, let your creativity run wild and come up with your own games that resonate with every team member!


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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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