How to Choose Team Building Activities That Don’t Suck – Peter Minkoff

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Managing a group of people and being in charge of their productivity at work is neither easy nor simple, but it’s something you just have to do in order to help your team run smoothly and complete all their tasks on time. In order to do that, most managers and HR experts engage their colleagues in different team building activities, trying to help them work better together and make them more coherent and unified than before. However, not all of these activities are the same, and not all of them bring the same results – some are more effective than the others, and there’s no reason why you should stick to those that don’t do you any good. Instead, find new activities that your staff is going to love, and encourage them to spend more time together. So, if you too are looking for new ideas and team building activities that don’t actually suck, here’s what you need to start doing as soon as possible.

Keep it personal

Look, just because your employees work together doesn’t mean they’re best friends, and that’s quite all right on some level – you want them to work, not to hang out. But, when they’re outside the office, bonding with each other and sharing personal stories is great, because it’s going to make them trust each other more and make them rely on each other’s help, which will make them a better team in the long run.

That’s why your team building activities need to focus on the things your employees love the most and what they prefer doing in their free time. Keep in mind that it’s not all about you, but about your staff, so make sure everyone feels like a part of the team and they’re all having fun. This is the only way to make your team building exercises productive and purposeful, so let your employees choose what they want to do from time to time.

Make it exciting

The main reason why so many people hate team building activities – besides the fact that they’re usually organized during the weekend when everyone prefers being with their families and not their work colleagues – is because they’re boring. It’s all a bunch of poorly designed and awfully organized activities that are supposed to make everyone bond on a deeper level, but they rarely work in practice. But, if you make these activities exciting and adventurous, the chances are your staff is going to fall in love with them more than you’ve anticipated.

Take them to a new place, let them explore new areas, encourage them to try out new things, and show them that there’s nothing they need to be afraid of – only that way is your staff going to enjoy your team building activities. You don’t have to do things that are too crazy or dangerous, but just make them exciting and innovative, and you’re good to go!

Forget all about the comfort zone

Again, doing something you’re not used to doing on a daily basis is more likely to make you bond to people you’re sharing this unusual experience with than anything else, which is why lots of managers choose team building activities that are pushing their employees away from their comfort zone. Of course, they don’t do that to frighten them or make them feel uneasy, but they wish to help them to break out of their shell and live life to the fullest.

Things like bungee jumping, camping, and diving with one of those amazing full face snorkel masks that will take your underwater experience up a few notches are just some of the ideas you could explore. Remember, it’s all about keeping things cool and interesting, so talk to your staff first and find out whether they agree to try out something as amazing as these ideas.

Get everyone involved

The point of team building activities is to boost the atmosphere in your company and make your employees start relying on each other more than before. That’s why you need to make sure absolutely everyonetakes part in these activities because leaving someone out destroys the entire concept and makes it absolutely pointless. So, talk to your staff, let everyone know that you expect them to show up and participate, and then find an activity you feel is going to be the most effective.

Unfortunately, making everyone do that can be quite hard – some people just aren’t into spending time with their work colleagues outside the office, while others feel these team building exercises make no sense. Getting these naysayers to participate could take some time, but you need to explain to them the importance of these activities and try to make them as interesting, unusual and cool as possible. After getting everyone on board, you can proceed with planning your team building activities and enjoying their results.

If you’re looking for concrete suggestions that could make your team building activities more special than before, some of the ideas you might want to look into include escape rooms, urban orienteering, office trivia, board or video games, team sports, laser tag tournaments, theme parties, and volunteering with the community. These are all the things most of us don’t do on a regular basis, and inspiring your staff to explore them will boost their morale, make them more confident than before, and slowly turn them into team players every company needs in order to survive.