Workplace Team Building & Group Exercises

Workplace team building & Group Exercises

A strong team bond can often be linked to higher team performance. But, not every group gels together right away: from confusion to skill gaps and even workplace rivalries, there are always creases that need to be ironed out. The best way to do this is via workplace team-building exercises.

Easier said than done because team-building exercises are often met with signs and crossed arms, but it doesn’t need to be this way. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of team-building exercises that don’t just boil down to playing a few games.

Our tips are here to guide you through effective team building that unites all the heads in your company and ultimately forges a stronger workforce. That’s exactly what our goal is at Workplan. We’re here to promote collaboration and group learning in the workplace by providing your people with the tools to create and share with each other and with your clients.


Benefits Of Team Building Exercises

An effective team-building strategy bolsters the strengths already present in the group and helps processes work smoother. Your strategy should help people build rapport with their colleagues and embrace the strengths and weaknesses of everyone they work with. When done properly, good team building should improve the following:

Camaraderie – Camaraderie is crucial in the workforce, and you want to cultivate a team that can lean on each other for support and solve issues together. No matter how you choose to build your team, there should always be a focus on teamwork and togetherness. This tends to be what people expect to be the main focus of team building. While it’s important, it’s only a slice of the whole cake.

Skill Training – Eventually you’ll find a skill gap in your team. When that happens, team building can help identify and fill it in. Skill-based team training puts groups of similarly skilled people together to flesh out their portfolios. This benefit is often reserved for professional experiences like seminars or workshops.

Communication Betterment – Active problem-solving can help teams understand how to communicate through complications in the future. By running an activity that promotes problem-solving and overcoming obstacles through teamwork, you establish a framework for colleagues to follow when a problem arises in the future.

Establishing A Group Dynamic – Team problem-solving lets people’s personalities show. It can establish the leaders, the thinkers, and the doers of each workgroup.

Learning & Faster Onboarding – Joining a new workplace can be daunting, but if your team-building processes are good, then it makes onboarding much easier. If you have processes in place that clearly show your company procedures, dynamics, and how the roles interact with one another, then new employees will slot in much smoother.


How To Build A Good Team Dynamic

Every team is different, so what works for one workforce may be dreaded by another. As the office manager or business owner, you have the best understanding of your staff’s personality. Pick your team-building exercise accordingly based on what you think they’ll enjoy the most!

Read on for ways for the different team-building processes:

Team Bonding Exercises

To make your team work like a well-oiled machine, sometimes all you need is to let them bond. If your staff cares for one another, they’ll want everyone to succeed in their field. By taking time to laugh, chat and be idle for a few moments, your staff’s relationship will start to form.

Great ways to achieve this are through:

  • Social events (Dinner, drinks, outings, etc.)
  • Work sports teams
  • Non-competitive outdoor events (Hiking, walks, yoga)

Skill-Based Team Building

People who grow and upskill in their roles are more likely to become long-term employees. Giving your staff opportunities to learn shows you value their commitment to the company. Things like seminars, workshops, and training on company time help create a more specialised workforce. It can also double as a bonding experience if you send two or more people to the activity.

Activity Team Building

Activity-based team exercises run your team through a simulation of sorts. It should include a challenge for them to overcome. This kind of activity gets the creative juices flowing and encourages critical thinking. It also gets people out of their comfort zone and may shine the spotlight on a hidden star that may not be getting the career opportunities to hit their straps.

When people think of ‘team building’ exercises, this will be what comes to mind first. You can challenge your team with a physical challenge (i.e. obstacle course, physical games, sports competition) or an intellectual challenge (i.e. puzzles, trivia, games, escape rooms). The structure of your team greatly depends on which they’ll prefer.

Inclusion Team Building

By getting everyone included in decision making you give everyone a chance to bring their ideas forward. You also let people naturally find their role in the group dynamic. By breaking down silos, you open your processes to more diverse feedback from a range of skill perspectives. For example, an engineer may see a solution that a manager didn’t notice. This is achieved by including a wider group of people in decision-making meetings or processes.


Okay Here are Some Games Too!

Games are a fun tool to build workplace relationships. While some employees may cringe at the idea, there are some that are too fun to hate. With a quick Google search, you can find hundreds of office games to borrow for your team-building exercise. We’ve included some of our favourites that receive the fewest amount of grunts when mentioned.

1. An Escape Room

Escape rooms have boomed as a go-to team-building activity. They’re fun, creative and can be finished in under an hour.

2. Office Trivia

Let your staff show off their knowledge base with a quick few games of trivia. By using apps and a TV, this can be done with little to no cost or preparation.

3. Tower Builder

Using a collection of tape, skewers or paddle pop sticks, blue-tack, pipe cleaners and whatever miscellaneous craft materials you may have laying around, task your team to make the tallest tower. This is best done in teams of three so everyone has a hand in building the tallest tower.

4. Co-Worker Murals

We’re not all artists, that much will be clear after this exercise. Still, it’s a super fun way to have some one-on-one with your coworkers. Break your team into groups and have them paint their partner. The end result: guaranteed laughs at the abstract art you’ve created!

5. Board Games

Look, a lot of ‘team building’ games involve broken down versions of rules that were already established for an existing game. If you feel your team may roll their eyes at a role-playing exercise, maybe the best way around that is to just play something a lot of people know and love. We do not recommend Monopoly or Uno as you may end up with more office tension than you started with.

6. Egg Drop

You must protect the egg at all costs, the only problem is it has to survive a two storey drop. Your teams will need to construct a protective armour for the egg to make sure it survives the fall.

7. Parachute Man

Similarly to the Egg Drop game, this activity is all about keeping a small green toy soldier safe from a fall. Your teams will need to use some plastic bags and string to make a functional parachute. The best part of this game is there’s no mess if the soldier goes splat on the floor.

ALSO READ: How To Help Your Team Find A Sense Of Purpose In Work

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