Saturday, January 25, 2014

Team Building That Is Fun, Easy & Cheap...No Really, It's True

So often people think a "team building" exercise either has to be cheesey (I know everyone has done a trust fall at some team outing).  Or they think it has to take a lot of time outside of daily work (cooking classes are fun but timely and expensive).  Or they have to include food & drinks (if I get invited to one more happy hour I'm going to scream).

Well I'm here to tell you...none of that is true!  If you are constrained by budget, time, unconvinced employees or any of the other roadblocks every manager hits, here are some fun ideas you can easily incorporate into your daily schedules. People will get to know their co-workers better and create some fun memories and stories.  By the way, these are also great team builders for part time employees or volunteers who have an even harder time attending outside team building events.

  • Ask everyone to submit some facts about themselves (suggest general things like favorite color, favorite food, favorite place to visit, favorite kind of book to read, etc).  Once you get the lists back, create Bingo cards with boxes that represent the different answers.  Hand them out to your team and have them try to get bingo by talking to their team members about the topics on their bingo card. When they find someone that matches, have them write the name of that person in the box.  When they get Bingo, have them post them on a bulletin board in a shared space.  This way people can learn not just about the people who helped them get Bingo, but see who shares similar fun facts.
  • A slight twist to the Bingo game.  Ask everyone to submit a random fact about themselves (something that most people don't know).  Hand out a fact to each person on the team.  Throughout a week, have people try to figure out who the fun fact belongs to.  Again, as people get their answers, have them post it to a board in a shared space so people can learn about each other, not just the person whose fun fact they had.
  • Remember in elementary school, the teacher always had a bulletin board with a theme for the month where each student had some sort of mailbox where parents picked up important notices, etc?  Well take that idea and re-purpose it for the work environment, but with a twist.  Each month pick a theme (if you need ideas, you can Google ideas on either awareness months or find out if there is a fun "national day of..." within the month).  Pick a theme that everyone can relate to.  Then ask people to submit something about themselves that relates to the theme.  For example, March is Reading Awareness Month.  Ask each person to write on the board (again in the shared space!) their favorite book and why!  You get to know a lot about people based on the books they read, and it's fun to see if there are any overlaps.
  • Finally, create a scavenger hunt around the office.  This is especially fun if you have a team of relatively new employees.  Create a list of 10-15 fun facts about the company or office.  Include some things that they can find on their own (take a selfie in-front of the closet where they hide the extra snacks) and some things that will help introduce them to other people (ask the CEO  how a company tradition got started or find the only conference room that isn't labeled and ask a manager in that dept how it got it's name).  Have the game last for a couple of weeks so people have time to complete, without affecting productivity.  You can either have the winners be the top people who completed it first or you can use a points based system and whoever gets the most points wins.
These are just a couple of examples to get your creative juices flowing.  But as you can see, there are fun, easy and inexpensive ways to build morale and relationships on your team!  I told you it was true!
Have fun :)

2 comments:

  1. Great suggestions Karen. I will be sharing your article for sure!

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  2. Thanks Kim! And thanks for sharing this. My goal is to always share ideas and tips that will help people be successful. I really appreciate you helping me expand that reach!

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