Cracking the science behind building a great company culture may require attending a few leadership seminars. But despite the challenges, one brilliant tool can be used by companies to achieve this—the good old team building activity. Team building activities promote teamwork within the organization, boost employee morale, improve communication, and inspire motivation. Through these, companies will be able to create strong team members that can be great assets in the workplace.
A study by Harvard Business School suggests that the four components team building activities touch (goal setting, interpersonal relations, problem solving, and role clarification) contribute positively to the cognitive, affective, process, and performance outcomes of employees. This is supported further by a research by the American Psychological Association (APA) that finds team building activities help employees feel valued, leading them to do better at work.
But company team building activities need not be expensive out-of-town pocket drillers. There are simple and cheap team building activities that everyone can enjoy without requiring a big budget from management. Here are some:
Whether volunteering to the animal shelter, visiting an orphanage, or running a marathon for charity, the best activities are those that the entire team feels proud to participate in. Not only do employees get the sense of fulfilment for extending help to those in need, the camaraderie that is built when they work together to do good is powerful and immeasurable.
Pick your chosen charity for a month—maybe even accept suggestions from your employees—and delegate them to perform specific tasks such as logistics, food, entertainment, etc.
- Pot lucks/Team meals
When getting to know someone, nothing beats food sharing. This can serve as a great tool to strengthen your team. Eating out with the team allows for casual conversation in a relaxed environment. This way, employees are more likely to get to know one another on a deeper level. By sharing stories with each other, they might even discover similarities that they wouldn’t have known had they been confined to a superficial relationship at work.
You can also assign themed pot lucks for every team meals, with a designated person as host. This is inexpensive, plus the themes can coax great stories from your employees.
Games are a wonderful break from the stress of regular work and they provide an opportunity for your team to have fun as well as work together to perform a task. Board games, charades, and the usual party games are popular choices. But you can also consider going outside if you need more space to move around.
You can also do physical activities outdoors like kickball, scavenger hunt, Frisbee, tug of war, and even football, if the location allows for it. You can hold games during the weekend. Take it further with a little competition and organize tournaments.
These games will allow employees who don’t get the chance to collaborate with their co-workers from other departments to get to know and form synergy with them. These activities can also be a way to resolve internal conflicts. After the game, debrief to talk about team roles and problem solving. The game framework can provide a way to talk about team issues without the pressure of a professional context.
Low-cost or not, the only way for these team building activities, or any other activity, to work is if the employees are able to enjoy themselves and not add up to the stress they already have loads of from work. So make sure to encourage your team to let loose and mingle.