There’s no doubt that your members of staff are a key element to the success of any business. Although it’s very easy to work with the attitude that your staff is there to work and nothing else, it’s the bad employer who treats their employees as disposable, nameless drones doing work that anyone could be doing. So what is the best way to ensure that your staff feels appreciated, or (more importantly) that the team around them is aiming towards the same business goals? Before the whole office shouts “Oh no, not another team building exercise,” let’s have a look at some of those team-building activities that might improve your workplace in ways you never appreciated.
Scavenger hunt in the office
Starting with a simple one, this is a very quick and easy way of motivating a team and also gets them working together to achieve a goal (in this case, finding the items that have been hidden in the immediate environment). It also promotes a healthy bit of competition, which might just be the push that one member of staff needs to push for that first sale of the day. As with all team-building activities, the cost doesn’t have to be high, but the rewards can be, and often are.
Having a set work day designated as a volunteer day is becoming more and more popular. It is now listed as an employment perk in job listings, and it’s easy to see why. Giving up your time for a good cause is very satisfying and emotionally rewarding, but between work and family, it can be too difficult for the majority of people to offer up their time to local charities, hospitals or soup kitchens. By using a work day, you are bonding your staff together in a positive and optimistic way. You could even take part in skill-based volunteering, where your staff is encouraged to use their work skills to help a nonprofit organization.
If you’re looking for a way to identify leaders and followers, or trying to figure out who thinks logically and who thinks laterally, then you can’t go wrong with an Escape Room. Depending on what’s available to you locally, Escape Games can be not only great fun but can also be very beneficial to any leader who wants to assess their team. With a vast amount of options available, you could be throwing your team in with zombies, seasonal rooms for that Christmas office outing, or even Cold War simulations where you have to stop the bombs from the safety of your bunker. A highly beneficial day out for your office, and a great way to promote critical thinking skills.
Have a Cook-Off
Almost everyone is able to cook at least one amazing dish. Whether it’s lasagna or the best cheeseburger on Earth, people are always willing to defend the things they know they’re good at. That’s why a cook-off is such a great exercise for a day. It allows people to show off what they are good at, gets people discussing the food and drink that they love, and is ultimately the perfect way to distract people from office talk. You could even add your own angle to the game once you’d arranged a cooking venue; if your trade is involved with food in any way, then you could make it part of the rules that your recipe has to contain your own product. Or you could make sure that only a certain amount of money is spent on ingredients. The list of options is highly adaptable to what you want from the experience.
Attend a sporting event
You can’t beat a bit of team-building relaxation. It’s all well and good doing all of the energetic options on this list, but sometimes all your team is going to want to do is relax. Obviously, not everyone likes sport, but by taking your staff to an even that they wouldn’t normally attend is always going to prove beneficial. Whether it’s a local boxing match, a day at the races or even a simple football match between your nearest high schools with a rivalry, the point of attending a sports activity isn’t just to see the game itself. It gives everyone a chance to relax, enjoy some downtime with the people that they normally only see in a work environment. It humanizes everyone, and that can only be beneficial to office interactions. With some companies making sporting events a part of their working day, it’s clear that sport inspires teamwork and bonding in a way that few other activities do.
Play Laser Tag
While most of the team-building activities on this list promote bonding your staff members together, never forget that a healthy bit of competition can also be a very positive element to encourage. Although Laser Tag has become a little bit of a cliché for team building, the reason is that it is very effective. Laser Tag can rapidly improve communication between team members that will continue into their work lives, as well as being a positive team motivator. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as working a pincer movement with Janet from Accounts as you trap those witless fools from the IT department.
Learn a skill
Local schools and colleges run many courses for adults, and what better way to relax in a positive way than to learn something as a team. Whether it’s some relaxing painting lessons with a Bob Ross wannabe, a new language, or wine tasting classes for those that prefer a little booze with their relaxation. Even photography is of possible benefit to your business, as so much information in the internet age requires images as well as words. Learning to identify a picture that uses the rule of thirds might just help you in the long term. Taking a class is a great way to remove yourself totally from the work environment, and for many staff members, it might be the first time they’ve been back in a classroom for many years. Learning a skill can boost your creativity, which is excellent for your office to promote.
Team building activities are proven to reduce stress, are a great way for your team to bond in ways that they never would have while stuck working away in the office. So if you’ve started to notice the signs that your staff isn’t feeling as energized as they used to, then it might just be time to start thinking about how you want them to grow and the best way to make that happen.
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