Forget Happy Hour: Modern Team-Building Activities to Build Your Company’s Culture

Posted on Oct 30, 2018 - By Sasha Drujinina

If your job is managing people, you need to develop team-building into your management plan. There are many benefits to hosting team-building events and activities besides acquainting coworkers.  It helps foster relationships between coworkers and management by providing an informal space to connect and converse. When employees attain a better understanding of each other as people rather than just coworkers, they gain a greater sense of trust and comfort. This helps to build a community within the workplace which can promote a happier and more productive work environment

Team-building is a valuable company investment. Employees who get along work better together and can accomplish great things at work. Purposefully planned and executed team-building activities help employees improve communication between each other, improve problem solving skills and increase trust in each other’s abilities. Encouraging team-work through shared experiences is useful for creating an office culture and dynamic that is cohesive and efficient.

Indoor Sky-Diving

Getting over a fear, such as the fear of heights, can be motivating and exhilarating. Facing your fears while surrounded by your coworkers can create feelings of connection. This is because going through difficult and emotional situations with others fosters bonding through support and encouragement. There are many benefits to facing fears, but doing it alongside the people you spend most of your waking hours with—and might not know that well—can break barriers and encourage more risk-taking. This activity can boost morale as people successfully confront something scary while being supported by their team.

Concert or Music Festival

Team-building activities usually have a purpose tied to them like trust building or discovering each other’s communication style. But team-building activities that are aimed at fun can also benefit the workforce. A care-free event like a concert or music festival that is focused on enjoyment can encourage organic connections between coworkers. Also, while not everyone might like someone’s particular taste in music, it can help workers to see joy from someone else’s perspective. Basically, a fun event like this can help a team see each other in a different light and foster empathy.

Take a Class

Learning something new stimulates creativity and new ways of thinking. A team-building activity that involves struggling through the learning process together can open the door to communication and empathy. Because people have different abilities and skills, those who catch on to lessons quicker can aid those who need assistance. It also helps demonstrate to employees the benefits of team work. Learning from and coaching each other can reveal people’s strengths and weaknesses while learning how to work through them. For example, in a pottery making class, different individuals would be better at different stages of the process. Those who are better at working with wet clay can offer techniques and methods to other coworkers who don’t naturally understand how to mold or work with their hands. Then, coworkers learn that they can be helpful as well as become confident that they can rely on each other.

Play Games

Don’t play board games: introduce technology into the equation. One option is to play Pokémon Go in teams. This activity invites some friendly competition while giving the team an opportunity to spend time outside and have fun. This free activity can be repeated weekly as a small but consistent way to get team members to bond regularly. And as many people grew up with Pokémon around, there are many opportunities to reminisce and connect through the game which opens up communication. Another option is Mario Party or Mario Cart. These games are meant to be played in with many people and having fun together will bring coworkers together.

Book Club

While this activity will last longer than a day or a week, it can still be beneficial in improving team communication, understanding, emotional intelligence and creativity. Industry leaders are known to be avid readers and they offer many recommendations. Establishing a work book club invites all participants to learn something new together while providing a common topic of interest to discuss at the water cooler. A book club has both organizational and personal benefits as it challenges workers to think differently and listen to each other. Encouraging discussions in book clubs can also boost workers’ confidence in expressing their ideas and opinions which can motivate them to speak up during future work meetings.

Escape Room

Escape rooms are the ultimate teamwork tests. They challenge people’s communication abilities, problem solving skills and creativity. Team members are forced to listen and talk to each other as well as well as consider ideas and methods together. This type of activity also organically allows each member’s strengths to shine and contribute. An escape room can also reveal how well teams are able to set goal and implement plans to achieve them. In this case, the goal is to escape the room and the plan is how each person will contribute. Escape rooms, overall, have a way of shining a bright light on interpersonal problems and solutions.