Are you looking for ways to help your team work together better? Team-building exercises are one way to do that. But how do you know which activities to try?
One meta-analysis that studied team-building interventions determined that three main methods were most effective: workshops, simulation training, and review-type activities. They concluded that the most effective teamwork training programs included experiential activities where everyone had to work together in an active way (McEwan 16).
In other words, the most effective exercises are ones where participants actively learn about each other and practice teamwork. With that in mind, here are some of the best team-building activities that will actually help your team bond together.
- Blind drawing — This exercise happens in pairs. One employee will have a picture. They will then describe the image to their partner so that they can draw it. However, the catch is that they should be as specific as possible without using any keywords about the picture. For example, if it’s a dog with a bow on its head, they wouldn’t be allowed to say “dog” or “bow.” This is great for practicing communication.
- Scavenger hunt — Scavenger hunts are fun, especially if you make each step as silly as possible. Give each team a list of tasks that require cooperation, such as taking pictures around the office or solving a riddle to find a hidden clue. Have a prize for whatever team finishes first to help employees get more involved.
- Egg drop — Put your workers into teams. Then, give every group an egg along with a bunch of random supplies like straws, pencils, newspaper, etc. The goal will be to create an apparatus that protects the egg when it’s dropped. This gets everyone thinking together and showing off their skills. See which eggs survive a drop from the roof of your building at the end!
- Puzzle bartering — Break your group into teams and give them each a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle will contain mostly their pieces, but it will also have pieces from other puzzles. Each group must work with each other and barter and trade with the other groups to solve their puzzle. This helps everyone work together and is an excellent test of negotiating skills.
There are plenty of other team-building exercises out there, but these should be enough to get your group started. See if they help make your group culture more united!
McEwan, Desmond et al. “The Effectiveness of Teamwork Training on Teamwork Behaviors and Team Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Interventions.” PloS one vol. 12,1 e0169604. 13 Jan. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169604