Team building is a key to success across any industry. Helping your employees bond can bring so much value to your team, but most importantly it can enhance communication and efficiency throughout the company. You’ll also find most team-building exercises carry characteristics outside of just team bonding.
While there are many benefits to workplace activities like these team building games, sometimes you just need a good ice-breaking activity. Here we talk about 8 team building activities that will allow your team members to connect and learn about one another all while facilitating successful collaboration and creative problem-solving.
1. Blind Drawing
Number of participants: 2 or more in smaller teams.
Time required: 10-15 minutes.
Objectives: The individual with the picture must use out-of-the-box thinking and good communication skills to convey the image to their partner in a way the partner will comprehend.
How to play: Divide employees into groups of two. Have the groups sit back-to-back, or you can use a blindfold. One member from each group receives a piece of paper and a pen and the other member receives the picture. The individual with the picture will describe it to the other teammate without saying exactly what the picture is. From this description, the individual with the pen and paper will draw the picture to the best of their ability.
Strategy: This exercise fosters interpretation and communication. When the drawing is completed, the partner usually has an interesting and unique interpretation of the drawing.
What department will get the most from it: A great ice breaker that will bring together all the departments.
2. The Egg Drop
Number of participants: 4 or more in small groups.
Time required: 2 hours.
Objectives: Get creative juices flowing! Using tools provided, each team will compete to create a successful package that will protect an egg from a fall. This one is a bit messy so keep that in mind when planning and working to set up.
How to play: Split the room into two groups. Each team will create a package with a variety of tools given to them that will allow an egg to sustain an eight-foot drop. We suggest setting a time limit of thirty minutes. Once everyone is finished, each group drops its egg using the package to see if their creation was successful.
Strategy: Agile problem solving and quick decision-making will prove useful in this activity.
What department will get the most from it: This exercise facilitates problem-solving skills and creativity. That being said, creative departments might benefit the most from this exercise. For similar exercises, see our blog about problem-solving activities.
3. Life Highlights Game
Number of participants: 2 or more.
Time required: 30 minutes.
Objectives: A great ice breaker, team members will get to know each other more deeply.
How to play: Ask the group to close their eyes for one minute and reflect on the best moments of their life. After they have had time to think, ask the group to decide what 30 seconds in their life they would want to relive if they only had 30 seconds left to live. Next, ask each individual to present their 30 seconds and explain to the group why they chose it.
Strategy: Reflect on your life and find highlights that define your passions, loves, and personality.
What department will benefit from it: Employees will leave with a better understanding of their team member’s personalities. The exercise is also a good morale booster as it leaves employees with the feeling that the company wants to know them and values their unique qualities, personal trivia, and personality traits.
4. Poker Tower
Number of participants: 2 or more in small groups.
Time required: 30 minutes.
Objectives: Groups will compete to craft the tallest tower. This brain-teaser is great for energizing the office and increasing productivity.
How to play: Pass out a deck of cards to each team, along with a pair of scissors. Each team will then attempt to build the tallest tower within a 30-minute time limit.
Strategy: Creative collaboration is the key to this exercise.
What department will get the most from it: Creative teams will love this exercise as they get their creative juices flowing for the day.
5. Two Truths and a Lie
Number of participants: 2 or more. You can break into groups of 3-5 people smaller teams if you have a large group.
Time required: 30 minutes.
Objectives: Another great ice breaker, individuals will establish rapport and bond while they learn facts about each other in this fun game. This one is great for a new team to get to know each other through some trivia fun facts.
How to play: Each person will write down two truths and one lie about themselves. They will then have a turn to read their three statements to the whole group. The group then attempts to guess at which statement is a lie. The game may be turned into a competition, tracking points for each time an individual can stump the group.
Strategy: Responsive and meaningful communication.
What department will benefit the most: All employees can feel better bonded to their teammates after this activity, encouraging meaningful communication around the workplace.
Number of participants: 4 or more people in smaller teams.
Time required: 10-30 minutes.
Objectives: A competitive guessing game that sharpens critical thinking and creativity.
How to play: One person chooses a word, a word they keep secret from the rest of the group. They only reveal the first letter of the chosen word, for example, C. The group will then proceed by asking the word keeper questions about the word to categorize it.
Strategy: Critical thinking and smart communication will help you guess the winning word.
What department will receive the biggest benefit: This activity requires thinking fast on your feet, by flexing your brain muscles it is a great warm-up for a productive day that can benefit any department.
7. Human Knot
Number of participants: 3 or more or your entire group or break into smaller teams.
Time required: 15-30 minutes.
Objectives: This activity will sharpen communication skills and teach teams how to effectively work together. This is a fun game for a large group.
How to play: Form a circle and stand shoulder to shoulder. Each person reaches out their right hand and grabs another person’s hand, randomly. Repeat with left hands. The group then will attempt to untangle the circle without releasing their hands within a 30 minute time period.
Strategy: Creative thinking and communication will help the team complete the task.
What department will get the most out of it: Every department can benefit from the team bonding and creative thinking this activity fosters.
8. Self Portraits
Number of participants: 3 or more in smaller teams.
Time required: 10-20 minutes.
Objectives: A fun, interactive ice breaker that allows for self-expression, as well as artistic expression. Teammates will see how others view themselves.
How to play: Each person will draw a self-portrait. Collect the portraits and post them on the wall/board. The room will then begin to guess which portrait is whose. Once the right person is guessed, they will tell the room why they drew themselves the way they did.
What department will benefit the most: A creative activity by nature, which will attract creative departments. However, the outcome of the activity is beneficial for all departments.
Don’t be afraid to get creative!
To conclude, if you’re looking for ideas for team building activities that go beyond the standard scavenger hunt, legos, and jigsaw puzzle activities, give some of these suggestions a try and put your own spin on them to build the bonds of your team.