Companies have come a long way from treating their employees as mere resources for achieving company goals to considering them as their prime assets. Managers nowadays take utmost efforts to ensure their team members are satisfied in as many ways as possible. It’s no wonder some of the biggest names have set a benchmark for being the most employee friendly companies.
Need for Team building:
Offering unique perks and benefits has become a trend to attract and retain top talent. While it has been proven effective, simply employing talented individuals is not enough. Individually they may be star performers but for an organisation to succeed all its employees need to work in harmony and achieve the common goals.
Employees should be connected with their team. By connected we mean there should be unity amongst them to help and motivate each other to give their best. The success of the team would be measured on its ability to deliver.
The management, particularly the Human Resources department, could devise a number of team-building activities to help forge this bond. These can help employees showcase their creativity, overcome inhibitions, encourage collaboration while actually having some fun at work.
Team building activities can be done on premises as well as outside. Typically companies can arrange for short trips to conduct such activities. By getting out of office and spending time with other employees, people tend to let go of their formal behaviour. They become more engaged at work & work towards a common goal.
These exercises, known as management games are specially designed to get the team to gel together.
On Premise activities:
Take What You Need:
- Take what you need’ is a fairly simple game that requires a roll of toilet paper
- Seat the participants in a circle.
- Place the toilet paper roll in the center and ask everyone to take as much as as they want. Do not share the purpose. Keep a limit to make sure that someone doesn’t take up the entire roll
- Once everyone has taken their share, tell them to count the number of squares that they can create out of their share.
- The task now is to say something about yourself for every square of toilet paper they tore of.
- Start with the first one and get everyone to share something interesting about themselves.
While this is a fun game to make them understand that ‘moderation is the key’, it also helps people get comfortable once they start sharing.
Have a potluck:
They say food is the way to a man’s heart. That’s wrong! Food is the way to everyone’s heart, man and woman alike!
While not strictly an exercise, sharing food at potlucks is easily one of the best ways to break barriers in a team. Besides you get to taste a lot of delicacies. Go a step ahead and make it a themed potluck party. Anything from a wild wild west, Halloween to a Christmas theme can add to the fun and happy element.
Scavenger hunt in the office is sure to get everyone out of their chairs and run around. Form 2 or more teams with equal number of player and give each member a clue. They need to share these with their teammates and collectively search for the solution. The ones who are more familiar with the office premises are sure to have an edge over others.
Add a fun incentive to it to increase the desire to win the hunt. The winning team could very well win a short sponsored trip.
Gone are the days where you could organise a tug-of-war and hope that everyone works together to win. To win all it needs is brute strength, so the team that pulls the hardest is bound to win.
The Australian walk is much more interesting. You require 2 sturdy planks that can each take the weight of 5-6 participants.
- Place the planks parallel to each other at a distance of 1 and a half feet.
- Get 5 participants to stand on them where the left foot is on the left plank and the right foot is on the right plank.
- Tie everyone’s feet to respective planks such that when they all lift their left leg, the left plank is lifted as well. Similarly do the same for the right plank.
- They are not supposed to keep either foot on the ground or else they’ll be disqualified.
- Set a start point and an end point.
- They could either compete against multiple teams or this could be a timed sprint.
- The beauty here is, unless everyone lifts their feet at the same time, they will not be able to move forward. If they fall down, they’ll be disqualified.
The team that reaches the finish line first, without falling down is the winner. This exercise helps build coordination in the team
Inter-department sports/cultural activities
If your organisation has a large number of employees, organising inter-department sports is a great way to make everyone familiar with each other. While team sports are a good way of encouraging collaboration, individual sports also help showcase unique talents. Without the deadlines hanging over their necks, employees can enjoy the carefree and playful atmosphere.
It is highly recommended you carry out team building activities every once in a while to increase employee engagement. Can you think of other exercises that could help break the ice in your organisation?