Team Building, How to Make the Most of Your People

Team building fosters better communication, collaboration, and celebration among your team. Boost performance and create a winning team spirit at the same time by investing in your people with superior team building ideas. Make the most of your people by implementing the best team building exercises for work.

Why Understanding Team Building is Crucial

When it comes to running a successful business, there is hardly anything more critical than team building. Without a well-built team, your business is practically doomed to be mediocre at best. Your team is responsible for building your brand, pleasing your customers, and all around representing your company at every turn. Don’t underestimate the importance of team building. This is not an aspect of your business where you want to cut corners.

In the long run, proficient team building guarantees superior productivity and makes the most of company resources. Successful team building also secures higher rates of profit and makes your company’s work environment much more enjoyable for everyone involved. In this article, I will share with you the best team building ideas including activities and exercises to make the most of your people.

Related: Employee self-evaluations

Team Building Activities for Groups

Team building activities

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Team building activities are essential for making the most of your people. Not only will overall productivity be raised, but team members will also have a chance for extra bonding. Team building activities will help your people understand one another much better, including each other’s weak and strong points. Problem-solving, planning, internal communications, and efficiency in making decisions will increase.

Below are a couple of great activities that will be sure to increase your team’s functionality:

Ultimate Team Member

This activity allows your team to build a personal understanding of each member’s weak and strong points. It also builds trust between members and gives them a chance to have a bit of fun while being creative, socializing, and developing better communication skills.

1. Divide your people into small groups and supply them with pens and paper.

2. Instruct them to write down their strengths that they believe benefit the team.

3. Then instruct each group to briefly discuss which strengths they believe to be the most beneficial for the entire team

4. After discussing strengths, instruct the groups to create one “ultimate team member.” A fictional team member that possesses at least two or three qualities from each member of the group. Have them include a name, backstory, and physical description of the ultimate team member. The latter part of this instruction is simply to add an element of fun and creativity to the mix.

5. After each group is finished, have them take turns sharing their ultimate team member with the entire team.

The Paper Structure Game

The point of this game is to challenge team members to think quickly and to realize the importance of the planning and execution stages of operations. This activity will help to build on your people’s decision-making abilities and time management skills as well.

1. Split your team into small groups, or even into solo teams, and supply them with 1, 2, or 3 sheets of paper.

2. Instruct them to construct the physically tallest structure possible within three minutes.

3. After the time is up, inspect the structures of each team and have them explain their planning and execution techniques.

Team Building Exercises for Leaders

Team building exercises

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Team building activities are not just for members, because leaders can also benefit from team building exercises. Poor leadership is the quickest way for any business to fail in general. It is also the fastest way for a business to lose future clients and good employees. An employee who knows how business is supposed to work will not tolerate poor management for long. Likewise, a client who is knowledgeable about their industry is not going to rely on a company with incompetent leaders.

The following exercises can be implemented as leadership training and help to improve the worth of the people leading your team:

Round Tables Competition

Honing leadership and communications skills as well as planning and execution of operations is the purpose of this exercise. It also promotes bonding between leader and team members.

1. Set up a number of roundtables with multi-step challenges to complete.

2. Place a leader and team members at each table.

3. Instruct each leader to assign and oversee the tasks needed to complete the challenges properly. Set a stopwatch in order to time each leader and team.

4. Have the first and last teams to finish stand in front of the entire group and explain what the did, or could have done, to complete each challenge most efficiently.

Ultimate Leader

This exercise is basic yet super beneficial to leaders of your team. Help your management team gain a deeper understanding of what truly defines successful and admirable leadership. It also promotes bonding among your leaders.

1. Separate your leaders into groups of one or two. Give them a sheet of paper and a pen. Instruct them to write down the names and traits of their favorite leaders.

2. Regroup and take turns going around the room discussing everyone’s results.

3. End this activity by creating a list of the best leadership qualities and developing a fictional leader from a combination of only the best traits. This fictional leader can even become your team’s new mascot!

Team Building Ideas

Ideas can be a dime a dozen; they can also be like diamonds in the rough. A little polishing and working with an idea can make for a brilliant outcome. When it comes to team building ideas, the following will be sure to promote unity within your team:

Team Community Service

Performing community service as a team is a fantastic team building idea. There is nothing that brings people together and promotes unity like doing something for the greater good. Planning, promoting and carrying out a food drive or some other unique community service can be extremely rewarding.

Team Bonding Hour

Socializing on the clock is not always a bad thing. Set aside an hour each week or month, and pay your team to bond. This could be in the break room, or it could be at a local restaurant or park. This will go a long way in bringing your team closer together. Remember, the team that plays together stays together!

Team Recognition Day

Dedicate one day out of the month or year — depending on your budget — to the recognition of your team. This is a great way to build team spirit and demonstrate pride in all the accomplishments that have been achieved. Consider handing out unique personal awards. Be creative and make sure each member receives one.

More Team Building Exercises for Work

Team building exercises

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I can not stress the importance of team building enough. Without an awesome team in place, well, things just aren’t as awesome as they could be. A well-trained team will accomplish far greater things than a run-of-the-mill group of people. There is a vast difference between a group and a team. Any group can gather together to accomplish something, but a real team can crush goals three times as fast.

Here is another handful of great team building exercises for work:

Escape The Zombie

This problem-solving exercise will create a team environment and force your people to work together to overcome obstacles and achieve success — or fail. It will also help to sharpen communication skills among your team.

1. First, choose an area, preferably an office, conference room, or comparable space. Hide a key within the space as well as several clues. Each clue should lead to the next clue, and eventually to the door key. Also, create several circles from string. Start in the center of the room and make each circle one foot to several feet larger in diameter.

2. Select one member to be a “zombie.” Restrict them to the first circle in the center of the room. Set multiple timers on a cell phone, one for each circle you made earlier. After each alarm goes off, the zombie is allowed to move to the next circle, and any team member it touches is now dead.

3. Give your team members the first clue and then instruct them to solve each clue in order to find the key and escape — or die trying!

Road Trip

This particular exercise promotes clear planning, good communication, and overall teamwork among members. The secondary purpose is to allow members to get to know each other better and discuss personal interests.

1. Divide your team into smaller groups and provide them each with a map, paper, pen, and exact details of their imaginary equipment. This can include the amount of money, type of vehicle, and various other information including a starting point and final destination.

2. Instruct each group to come up with a precise and highly detailed plan for a road trip. They are to research everything from gas tank size of their vehicle to the tourist attractions they will stop to see. Instruct them to be as creative as possible.

3. After 30 minutes has passed, take stock of who ran out of time, who has created a workable plan that everyone agrees upon, and who has run out of gas or encountered other issues. Discuss each group’s results with the entire team.

Remember — There is no ‘I’ in Team

There are many methods of increasing the productivity of your team or business, including a better budget, the newest technology, and educational materials. The most overlooked is possibly the most effective, good old-fashioned team building basics. There is no technology or amount of money that can outperform an excellent team that understands one another. And, that excellent team needs excellent management.  Always remember — there is no “I” in teamwork. Make the most of your people by investing in team building ideas, activities, and exercises!


Featured Image: CC0 by rawpixel via Pixabay



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