“Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Dale Carnegie
A strong team culture is among the most powerful weapons in a company’s arsenal.
Highly effective teams have the ability to increase efficiencies by leveraging each member’s strengths to master complex tasks; enhance communication through open discussion and cooperation; build trust; and foster innovation and creativity by allowing team members to bring their unique perspectives to the table. When leveraged effectively, teamwork boosts individual performance and drives company growth.
In person, online or over the phone, great teams can happen anywhere.
Today’s workplace environments have become increasingly dispersed and digital, but that doesn’t mean the team mentality has to go by the wayside. Teamwork can take place whenever members of an organization work towards common goals. Even if you have a remote workforce—or perhaps especially if you have one—it’s important that every staff member feels that they’re an important part of the organization, and team building activities can help in that effort. The feeling of belonging and that “we’re in this together” is a powerful motivator, not to mention a great retention tool.
What activities are best for team building?
The most successful, memorable team building events don’t feel like a day at the office. Activities that overtly aim to dispense leadership lessons or practical takeaways are less powerful. Spending time together or sharing an experience allows bonding to occur more naturally and effectively. And best of all, you don’t have to break the budget for it to happen. Here are some low-cost ideas to consider:
- Scavenger hunts: In this classic activity, teams are challenged to find specific objects on a predetermined list. You can do a simple scavenger hunt in the office or take it outdoors, which can be much more interesting. Because buying listed items isn’t allowed, it makes for a fun and stimulating game for groups. It takes creative thinking and plenty of conversation to gather every article on the list, making it a particularly good icebreaker activity when new hires are involved.
- Community service: Why not do good as a group? Give back to your community by working in a local soup kitchen, organizing a roadside cleanup, or caring for animals at a pet shelter. Visit VolunteerMatch.Org find local volunteer opportunities that are a perfect fit for your organization.
- Office trivia: Who says trivia night has to take place at the bar? Office trivia is a great way to bring a group of colleagues together and challenge their minds. Break into equal teams of four or more and give small prizes to the group that scores the most points.
- Photography contests: Photo competitions are a great way of uniting people around a popular hobby while also providing insight into each other’s lives and interests. It’s a simple means of visual self-expression that can be performed and shared from anywhere, so it’s perfect for remote teams. You may learn that your colleagues and teammates have artistic talents you never knew existed.
- Jigsaw puzzle race: Jigsaw puzzles can be tedious to assemble as an individual. Bring several clever colleagues together, however, and it becomes a fun problem-solving challenge. Buy several copies of the same jigsaw puzzle and create a contest to see which team can complete the puzzle first to win a small prize. Be sure each to choose your puzzle size wisely. A complex 1000-piece puzzle, for example, would be too time-consuming.
- Show-and-tell: It was awesome in elementary school and it’s even better as a grown-up. Have team members share a prized possession with the colleagues along with the story behind its importance. Be sure to allow plenty of time for questions and comments. Show-and tell is a great way for team members to get to know each other better and it can be done remotely, as well.
- Take a cooking class: Cooking as a group takes cooperation, patience, and precision. It’s also a great way to boost the camaraderie on your team. You could take a class at a local restaurant, school, or work with a company that specializes in corporate cooking events. Check out CourseHorse or Groupon to find inexpensive classes in your area.
- Solicit their input: Survey your staff members about what team building activities they’d be interested in doing. They may come up with some very creative, awesome ideas and you can plan something they’ll really enjoy.
- Team challenge: The HR Team employees are currently undergoing a six-week team nutrition challenge. Moderated and overseen by a licensed nutritionist, the group is challenging each other to get nutritionally fit by the holidays.
Team building isn’t a one-time thing.
Most team building efforts fall flat because they’re a one and done deal. Regular team building activities have the potential to vastly improve performance. The key here is regular—the annual picnic isn’t going to bring about the change you want to see. Instead, think quarterly retreats, monthly lunches, weekly huddles, or whatever you can come up with to encourage ongoing bonding and interaction. To support those team-building efforts, incorporate ways to provide employees with actionable ideas that they can utilize in their respective roles. And after big events, follow up with workshops or training sessions to reinforce the positive outcomes so that team members can continue reaping the benefits.
For more than 20 years, The HR Team has been helping companies improve the way their employees work together. Please reach out to our knowledgeable professionals to find out how we can assist your organization, too.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.