We recently posted an article about the importance of dedicating time and resources to employee development. Taking time to further your employees’ education and professional growth results in improved morale, good company culture, and aids in your recruitment and retention efforts.
But what about team building exercises? Are they really worth the time and effort to implement? When a team isn’t in synch, it can detrimental to the success of your organization. According to a survey by ClearCompany, “97% of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.”
Teamwork is vital to the success of every organization. In a workplace where employees are divided by cubicle walls or working remotely, presenting opportunities for socialization and collaboration can be a game changer.
When properly executed, team building exercises can result in more engaged employees. They feel more connected to the company and to each other. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, “highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts.”
When you think of team building activities you probably envision elaborate scavenger hunts or expensive obstacle courses. While these ideas are great if you have the time and money to invest, it turns out many exercises cost little—if any—money at all to execute.
Check out our list of five effective, low-cost team-building activities:
Spot the Lie
Purpose: Encourage interaction and socialization
Have each employee write down two truth statements and one lie about themselves. Go around the room and take turns presenting the three statements in random order. When they are done, have the team guess which ones are the truths and which is the lie.
Purpose: Improve company culture
Put an office culture twist on the classic trivia game. Come up with a series of questions that will test your team’s knowledge of the company’s history and office space: “What year was the company founded?” “What color is the coffee maker in the kitchen?” “Who sang karaoke at last year’s Christmas party?”
Index Card Challenge
Purpose: Encourage strategic thinking and team work
Divide your employees into teams of four and give them this challenge: Work together to build the tallest tower using only 20 index cards and tape. Alternatively, yet more challenging: Using the same items, create a structure that is strong enough to support a laptop.
Purpose: Strengthen communication skills
Have the team imagine that they have been shipwrecked on a deserted island. There is no contact with the outside world. Their survival is dependent upon the 10 items that fit in their backpack. Each person shares what he/she brought and explains why. The goal is to come up with a master of list of the best 10 items based on reasoning.
The Big Picture
Purpose: Demonstrate the importance of collaboration
Print out a well-known picture that is full of details on an 8×10 inch piece of paper – your company’s logo would work fine. Cut it into as many equal rectangles as there are participants and distribute. Instruct each person to create an exact copy of their piece of the “puzzle” only large enough to fit on an 8×10 inch piece of paper.
When everyone has completed their enlargement, ask them to assemble their pieces into a giant copy of the original.