Team building activities are a simple way to help your employees increase their capacity to work together more productively. These activities are fun events but they teach you strong lessons about problem solving, communication, trust and respect among team members. The participants, as well as management, benefited from this lesson. Team building activities provide an opportunity for management to witness the dynamics that occur among team members who give them a better idea of how to lead, manage, and communicate with them.
Team building activities can vary from simple children’s play to complex problem solving challenges. The activity can be indoors or outdoors and can be done during the day or at night. Props are needed in this exercise and are inexpensive but one element that you need to invest in is a professional and experienced facilitator. Qualified facilitators can properly arrange, monitor and evaluate exercises. A poorly trained facilitator can turn productive training into a waste of time. The role of a facilitator becomes prominent when you carry out the following activities.
Minefields are simple exercises that can be done outdoors or indoors. This activity does not require special props. You need to prepare a minefield by placing all kinds of obstacles randomly. Then you must form a partner with the participants. This can be done by drawing a name randomly from the hat. The idea of this team building activity is that one member of the pair will be blindfolded and must cover the field without touching any obstacles. Other members will guide him by communicating and giving direction to him. This activity helps build trust and enhance communication skills in team members.
Juggle groups are another popular team building activity that helps develop team problem solving abilities and the cooperation of their members to solve problems. A group can contain about six to eight people or even more and they must form a circle. The ball is introduced and the problem is the ball has to be thrown at everyone in the circle but no one can handle it twice. When the task is completed, the time needed is calculated and the team is given another chance to do it faster than the previous effort. Before the second attempt, they were given time to discuss the problem among themselves.
The improvised circle acts as an excellent ice breaker for the newly formed group. Team members form a circle and the facilitator introduces the subject. Now the team must form a story about it by making one word at a time. The person chosen to start will turn towards the person to his right, make eye contact and say the first word and continue. At the end of the story, the team not only creates something together but eye contact with strangers makes it a cohesive group.
Disasters are advanced group problem solving activities. This team building activity requires preparation. This team is given a disaster scenario like you have landed in the wilds of Alaska where the temperature is below zero. The team managed to save twelve items. Now the task is to prioritize twelve items according to his importance in the survival of the team. They also need to provide an explanation of the ranking given. This exercise provides insight into the team’s thinking process.
Successful team building activities have a large impact on organizational performance. So it is very beneficial for organizations to enjoy constructive activities.