I am a manager who is big on team building and promoting a united, positive atmosphere.
5 Positive Outcomes of Team-Building
As a manager or supervisor, why would team building be good for your employees?
- Unified Focus on Goals. A good team building game or exercise focuses on a goal, in which everyone must cooperate and work together to achieve the goal. Though the game would be set in a playful atmosphere, the overall purpose is focusing on the goal and finding ways to cooperate to meet that goal.
- Unified Purpose. Employees become members of a team, as opposed to just individual workers, that must work together for a common purpose. They will achieve this through communication skills and problem-solving techniques. This will ideally carry over to the actual work setting.
- Leadership Practice. The participants will learn to not only be effective team players but also team leaders.
- Relationship Building. Team Building Activities can team up employees that do not normally work together and allow them to build relationships with either other as they work towards a common goal. This helps build meaningful relationships that can extend beyond the employee's typical "cliques."
- Mutual Respect and Rapport. The management will get a chance to bond with the employees through the interaction of the team building games or exercises. This can lead to mutual respect, fellowship, good rapport, trust, and more self-confidence for the employees through fun activities.
The ultimate goal for the manager or supervisor is to use these team building games/exercises to engage with their employees in a fun manner in order to unite them and encourage them in a positive way to produce a productive, positive environment in which everyone thrives. By using team building, all participants, including management, will be able to foster better relationships with each other, have better interactions with each other, develop better communication skills, and be able to problem solve as a team unit. This will all translate back into the work environment, raising the confidence of the staff, along with the productivity, leading to better quantity and quality.
5 Excellent Team-Building Exercises and Games
#1 Wink Murder
In other words, see who can perform the most dramatic deaths. But really, the object is, don't let your team-mates die!
Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Nonverbal communication, observation skills, relying on team-mates
Participants: 8 to 30 players. However, this game will work best with at least 10 players.
Instructions: Before the game starts, a moderator should be selected for the round. The moderator will not actually participate in the game for the round in which they are the moderator. After moderator selection, everyone else stands in a circle, and the moderator will secretly select one person, by taping their head, while everyone is closing their eyes. The person that is selected becomes the "wink murderer," however, only the moderator and the "murderer" will know this.
When the moderator has selected, he or she should announce for the game to begin. Everyone can open their eyes and should then look around at other people, making sure they are looking everyone in the eyes. The objective of the wink murderer is to 'kill' everyone in the room. They will do this by making eye contact with someone and winking at them.
Should you be winked at, you must then walk around for five seconds, then "die" dramatically, and fall to the ground. Or, if unable to fall to the ground, step outside of the game playing area.
Everyone else has to look around and try to identify the "killer." If someone (who still lives) believes they know who the killer is, they must accuse the killer. Everyone else must remain silent, including the killer, because the first accuser MUST have a backup accuser (also still alive). If someone else believes the first accuser is correct, they may also speak up and accuse that killer. However, If no one backs up the first accuser, the first accuser is out of the game. The wink murderer is not obligated to speak (and should not speak) if there is not a second accuser.
If a second accuser backs up the first accuser, and they are BOTH correct, and the killer is correctly identified, the game is over.
If both accusers are wrong, the person accused must say that they are not the killer, and BOTH accusers are out of the game, and the game continues until either the real killer has killed everyone or two more accusers make a correct guess.
#2 Theater of Positivity
Let's see your acting chops.
Time: Varies. This activity can range from half a day to a full day.
Purpose: Teams should work together to develop solutions and problem-solve in a fun environment.
Participants: Divided into small groups.
Instructions: Employees should be divided out into small groups. In order to promote working with other team members they may not normally communicate with on a daily basis, I would recommend numbering them off (example, all the ones are in a group, all the twos, etc). Each team should choose a challenge or issue that might occur at work. Upon choosing, the team would then be given a designated amount of time (depending on how much time the management is allotting to spend on team-building) to gather props, write and rehearse the short skit. After this, each team should perform their skit.
#3 Monday Dress-Up!
Happy for Mondays!
Time: All day!
Purpose: Making Monday a positive day instead of negative.
Participants: Encourage everyone to participate if possible.
Materials needed: Clothing for the theme.
- Choose a different theme for specified Mondays. It could be "Dress your Best," "Sports Fan Monday," "Hollywood," etc. Use your imagination. Request that everyone who wishes to play, dress up in the themed clothing. Do something special in the outfits, such as breakfast together, group pictures, parade around the office (or even better, if you are in a small town, parade around the block!). You may consider giving prizes for best dressed. Anything to get employees motivated for Monday!
- I would recommend doing this once a month, so that the appeal does not wear off. Or if that is still too much, then once a quarter.
#4 Toilet Paper Mummy
Introductory Silly Joke: Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends? Answer: They’re too wrapped up in themselves!
Time: 3 minutes
Purpose: Teamwork, building relationships in a fun, stress-free manner.
Participants: Small groups of at least 3 people (at least one person will need to be the mummy). There should also be a moderator to keep track of the time and be the judge.
Materials needed: Three rolls of toilet paper for each group.
- Divide everyone into small groups. I recommend the numbering method (all the ones are in a group, all the twos, etc).
- One team member should be selected from each team to become the "mummy." If desired, the moderator may select the mummy, in an effort to select team members of equal height/size to keep the game fairer.
- The moderator should have a timer for three minutes. Upon telling the groups to start, the other team members will work together to "mummify" their mummy by wrapping the toilet paper around them.
- All parts of the body should be covered from head to toe to create the mummy.
- At the end of three minutes, the teams must stop.
- Teams will be judged on the best design.
A slight alternative to this is to take away the timer, and the first team to completely wrap the mummy would be declared the winner.
#5 Hula Hoop Pass
Purpose: Promotes communication and teamwork skills
Participants: Medium to larger groups work best for this.
Materials needed: Hula hoops, or loops of ropes (about hula hoop size). You may need to accommodate for the size of staff members.
- Gather group into circle holding hands.
- Pick a random starting point and give the hula hoop to a team member to put on their arm before they resume holding hands.
- Team members will pass the hula hoop around the circle by stepping through the hula hoop and passing it down their arms. They will continue to do this until the hula hoop reaches the starting point.
- Hula Hoop must reach the starting point without anyone letting go of anyone's hands.
- If anyone let's go of their hands, OR the hula hoop touches the ground, the hula hoop must return to starting position.
Fun Things to Incorporate:
- Time how fast the group can get the hula hoop all the way around successfully.
- See if the group can beat their previous time.
- Divide the group into two teams and have them either gather in circles, or in a straight line if there are not enough people for two complete circles. Teams can race to see who can get their hula hoop to the finishing point first.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.