Creating genuine human connections between employees is of the utmost importance to ensure success during collaborative exercises. Many businesses facilitate this by hosting a team building event. For a team building event to be successful, it has to be both informative and fun, giving your employees a balance between structured and unstructured interactions.
To ensure everyone is getting the most out of the event, you need to ensure the team building exercises have a few core components. Here’s how to host an employee team building event that doesn’t suck.
Have an Icebreaker
Icebreakers aren’t just for people who haven’t worked together or met before. They’re also a great way to get comfortable with the team building exercises and get everyone feeling loose and relaxed. When it comes to icebreakers, it’s best to do an exercise that will teach you about the people you work with while incorporating as many laughs as possible.
Some of the best icebreaker events incorporate games like Would You Rather (find inspiration at https://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2014/07/50-would-you-rathers-that-will-destroy-you-forever/), word association, or a bingo game that requires participants to ask others about their hobbies, personalities, and skills to mark off as many boxes as possible. The icebreaker portion of the break should be brief as to not detract from the rest of the day.
Play a Game of Silver Linings
One of the most fun and effective team building games is the Game of Silver Linings. In this game, everyone will have a partner. If you have a large team, you can set it up like a speed dating event, giving limited time with each pair before moving onto the next.
In this game, person A will share a negative experience either from their personal life or their work life. The caveat is that it must be true. Person B will reflect upon what person A has told them and try to point out a positive lesson learned from the experience. Person A reframes their experience with positive language to highlight the silver lining of the situation. Then person B shares and person A reflects.
The Human Knot
The Human Knot is an exercise that will introduce problem-solving skills while getting people in an uncomfortable situation that will leave them more comfortable with each other by the end. In this activity, everyone stands shoulder to shoulder in a circle. Everyone reaches around and grabs the hand of someone else. Then, they must untangle themselves into a hand-holding circle without letting go of each other.
This is a great activity to incorporate near the beginning of an event before everyone has opened up. It’s the perfect follow up to an icebreaker.
Use Activities Specific to Your Business
While fun icebreakers and brain games are a fun, non-work related way to get people interacting, it’s important to tie the experiences back into your business. Incorporate real-world scenarios that relate to things that have happened, or could happen, at work. Pull people together from different teams to apply fresh perspectives to problem-solving.
Shared meals are a fantastic form of unstructured interaction amongst employees and have great cultural significance when it comes to forming a human connection. The social implications surrounding food are one of the reasons why dieting is such a challenge for many; there are emotions tied to the experience.
A nice team dinner is the perfect way to wrap up a day of team building activities and give people a chance to unwind after a day of hard work. If possible, book a restaurant separate from the meeting facility to create a degree of separation between the clinical environment and encourage relaxation and mingling.
By incorporating these different elements into your team building efforts, you ensure that everyone enjoys themselves and learns something about their role in the company, the people they work with, and how they can be a better employee.