Have you ever looked around a former or current workplace and felt like something was just off? Sure, everyone was probably doing their work, but if there’s tension or discomfort in the air, it’s immediately obvious. In an environment like this, simply going to work is more stressful than it needs to be.
To solve this kind of a problem, it’s best to accept that a workplace is a social environment. The people who work together spend each weekday in close quarters, so it’s only natural to form relationships and consequently to need some occasional work to maintain positive ones.
What’s more, coworkers who get along tend to perform better, so there’s no reason to discourage these bonds if you’re a manager. One easy way to strengthen work relationships and encourage collaboration is by implementing team building activities for coworkers. Here are some fun ideas that take 15 minutes or less.
Guess What I Have?
This is a game that gets people moving, so make sure you have ample space to play. Designate one person to think of an object. This person will whisper that object to another team member, who is tasked with acting out a use for that object in front of a small group of people (5-10 works best). Encourage each player to really get into his or her interpretation of the object, because it makes the game more fun.
Encourages: Creativity and communication.
Watch Your Step
For this game, you will need several blindfolds and 10-12 cones (chairs or garbage cans can work as well). Designate a starting point and ending point for a course. Between these two points place the obstacles randomly. Break players into pairs, with one person in each pair wearing a blindfold. When you say go, all of the blindfolded team members will try to make their way from the starting point to the ending point without hitting any obstacles. Their only guidance is their team member’s voice. The first team to make it across the course without hitting any cones wins.
Encourages: Communication, trust and listening skills.
Split employees into small groups and place five objects on a table. Create an unrealistic scenario, such as surviving a trip to Pluto, and tell each team to rank the usefulness of each object for that task. to maximize creativity (and humor), make sure the items have nothing to do with the goal in mind. Give each team 2-5 minutes to rank the objects and decide on their reasoning, and then have each group share their collective opinion with everyone else. Select the team with the best, or funniest, reasoning as the winner of the game.
Encourages: Problem solving, creativity and communication.
Race to the Sky
Divide everyone into small groups (5-6 people) and tell them that their goal is to build the tallest tower in 15 minutes using limited supplies. Give each team an equal amount of popsicle sticks and one roll of masking tape. The trick to making this game challenging is keeping it a secret until it’s time to play. Each player will need to quickly get on the same page with his or her team members if they want to win. The competition is sure to get fierce, especially if you provide a small prize as an incentive.
Encourages: Communication and critical thinking.
Strengthen Bonds at Work
Team building takes more than 15 minutes; it’s an ongoing effort. Try these activities and any others you can think of on your own every so often to help people reconnect with each other. For a more thorough form of teambuilding, my team is here to help. See how we can give you the tools to bring individuals together to create a stronger whole today!