by Katie Burk
Whether you’re looking for ways to rebuild team morale as you return back to the office, build trust and unity among your team, or integrate new employees in a fun and creative way; team building exercises are a great way to uncover skills and characteristics that will help boost organizational performance.
However, deciding the right activities can be overwhelming. That's why we compiled a list of our top five team building exercises for corporate groups.
This activity is a fun way to see which of your employees can create and execute practical solutions, even when the problem is a little unusual. Participants must be highly engaged and extremely collaborative in order to be successful, which helps unite groups through creative problem solving.
The challenge: construct a device that can keep a raw egg intact when dropped from 20-30 feet. Materials for building the contraption can include straws, tape, plastic, balloons, rubber bands, tissues, newspaper, and any other creative items you want to provide. Start to finish, this activity is designed to last about 1 - 1.5 hours and the winner is determined by whoever’s egg survives the fall. Don’t be intimidated by the mess, the laughs will be worth it!
How well can your team manage resources, think under pressure, and work together against the clock? Escape rooms offer a challenging and immersive experience with the bonus of an adrenaline rush to beat the clock.
Here’s how it works: Your team is locked in a room for one hour relying on teamwork and communication to uncover clues, solve puzzles, and ultimately complete the mission. Whether your experience takes place in an official “Escape Room” or in a makeshift room at the office, one thing’s for sure, your team will come out stronger than ever–whether they escape in time or not!
Sometimes the best way to kick off a team building activity is to step outside the office. Scavenger hunts offer a perfect way to get your employees moving and collaborating and depending on your environment, this activity can be quite the adventure!
Held indoors or out, participants are given a list of objects or experiences with a limited amount of time to check all the boxes. Keep the activity focused on work by creating a list that’s relative to employees' day-to-day tasks or keep it light-hearted by listing items that will get them thinking outside the box. For example, if you have a creative group, require participants to use a camera in the hunt. Or if you have a group of technical engineers, have them find improvements within your city. The first group to complete their list within the allotted time wins!
Simple to execute, the minefield race is effective for promoting communication, active listening, and trust. For this exercise, teams of two pair off with one being blindfolded while the other guides them through a minefield of obstacles using only these four words: right, left, forward and backward. This is another fun, out-of-office activity as it can be held in a park, parking lot, or corporate retreat space, like Spark!
The art of asking the right questions is very important, making Salt and Pepper an effective way to teach active listening and communication. Written on different sheets of paper are paired words like: salt-pepper, sun-moon, day-night, and so on. If salt is written on one piece of paper, pepper is written on another. Next, tape a piece of paper to each person’s back without them seeing what is written. Instruct the group to find their partner using only “yes-no” questions in order to find their match.
Of course it’s possible to have a team that unites organically, but in order to cultivate camaraderie and cohesiveness, team building exercises are a must! We believe that in addition to improving communication skills and boosting engagement, team building activities help identify leadership skills and reinforce core values. But don’t just take it from us! Sage HR lists these eight benefits of doing team-building activities:
Katie Burk is the associate director of Spark operations in Downtown Nashville. She earned a Master of Science from Lipscomb University in professional counseling. She has a background in mental health and therapy, and brings her unique experience to Spark. She has a love of serving people and an expertise in consultative sales. When she’s not serving Spark's amazing clients, she's enjoying spending time with her two dogs and family outside, doing crossfit, hiking, and watching documentaries on Netflix.