6 Ideas for Team Building Activities
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 26, 2022
Published April 25, 2019
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
The best team-building activities are engaging and help your group connect and build teamwork skills that can improve performance and productivity in the office. Using activities like these are also great icebreakers if you are introducing new people to a team, forming a new team or combining two teams. In this article, we discuss six team-building activities that are great for bringing people together.
Activities for team building
Here are six team-building activities for your next meeting or event. These activities focus on encouraging people to work together towards a shared goal. In this way, their connections can easily translate into their everyday work.
1. Secret Structure
If you're looking for team activities that teach participants how to communicate effectively and solve problems with a group, consider Secret Structure.
Before the activity starts, create a small structure using children's building blocks and put it out of sight. Divide the participants into small groups of three or four. Give each group the same building materials you used to create your structure.
Allow one team member from each group to come up at the same time to look at your sculpture for 10 seconds. When they return to their groups, they have 25 seconds to tell their group how to build an exact replica of your structure. The person who looked at the structure should not participate in building it.
If no group successfully replicates the structure after a minute of building, another member from each group can come up to repeat the process. The game should continue this way until one group can correctly duplicate your structure.
2. Egg Drop
Egg Drop is a classic team-building game that supports problem-solving with others to achieve the desired result. Split the group into teams of three or four people and give them the following supplies:
One raw egg
One roll of duct tape
10 small pieces of cardboard
Explain to the teams that their goal is to build a package around the egg that will protect it from an eight-foot drop. Give the teams 15 minutes to make their structure.
When they're done, ask each group to give a 30-second pitch explaining the concept and design of their package. They can then drop their egg to see if their package works.
“Minefield” helps build trust and communication skills. This activity works best when you have a large, open space such as an empty parking lot or room with no furniture.
Before the activity starts, set up a field that has "mines" scattered around it. These mines can be chairs, balls, cones or other similar items. Then split the group into pairs.
One teammate will wear a blindfold and should not talk. The other teammate can talk and see, but can’t touch the blindfolded teammate or enter the field. The teammate who can see must use verbal directions to navigate the blindfolded teammate from one end of the field to the other by avoiding the mines. Once the blindfolded teammate has completed the field, allow the pair to switch roles.
4. Two Truths and a Lie
To begin “Two Truths and a Lie,” ask everyone to write down three statements about themselves. Two of the statements should be true, and one statement should be a lie.
Each person will then share the statements with the group. After an individual has shared, the group votes on which statement is the lie. The individual can then reveal which of their statements was the lie. This quick and easy team-building activity is a great way to help coworkers get to know each other.
5. Paper Tower
While the “Paper Tower” activity is simplistic, it's good for teaching the importance of timing and planning. To start the activity, give each participant one sheet of paper. Let them know the goal of the activity is to make the tallest freestanding structure possible using no other materials except the sheet of paper. Give everyone five minutes to start constructing.
After five minutes, review the structures to see who had the tallest one. You can also have a discussion about what went well, what didn't go according to plan, who ran out of time and what everyone would have done differently.
6. Body of Words
The goal of “Body of Words” is to get teams to create words by using their bodies to make the letters. It works best in an open area with no obstacles. Divide the group into teams of four to eight people and let each team choose one leader.
On index cards, write down different words that have one less letter than the number of people in each team. For example, if the teams have five people, write down four-letter words. Give each team leader a card so they can direct the other members to form a letter with their bodies to spell the word.
Team building tips
Team-building activities are a great way to support skill-building and teamwork training. To make the most of your team building activities, keep the following tips in mind:
Schedule the activity during the workday so people don't have to take time from their evenings or weekends to attend.
Encourage people to collaborate rather than compete.
Set clear expectations so people understand the intent of the team-building activity.
Select inclusive and accessible activities where everyone can participate.
Ask participants for feedback about the activity so you can modify and change as necessary.
With these team-building activities, you can help your team or colleagues work on problem-solving, trust, communication and planning skills. By improving these skills, these activities should also ideally benefit the organization in some small way.
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