Best Team Building Activities
Team-building activities are fun ways to bring employees together to develop necessary skills. These activities require team members to work together and support each other to reach common goals. The skills that employees develop during team-building activities can help them excel in their careers and reach their daily work goals.
Elements of Successful Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities for work should boost morale and help team members bond. Each exercise should help individuals develop one or more of the following traits and qualities:
Both small and large groups can participate in team-building activities. Some activities will require smaller groups or pairs so employees can bond with each other.
25 Best Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities are excellent ways to help teams grow together. You can build a successful team of confident individuals with the following activities:
1. Communicative Drawing
This activity is a fantastic way to build communication skills. It can help your team practice delivering information and using it to complete a detailed task. Separate team members into pairs and instruct each pair to sit back-to-back. Provide one person with paper and a pencil and the other with a picture of an object. The goal of this exercise is
The person holding the picture should communicate details to describe the picture while the other person draws the object. This exercise teaches team members how to communicate effectively and rely on each other. It’s an excellent way for employees to bond while practicing communication skills.
2. Obstacle Course
Another opportunity for employees to practice communication is the obstacle course exercise. Create an obstacle course in an open area using cones, cups or chairs and separate employees into pairs, blindfolding one employee. The blindfolded team member will walk through the obstacle course while the other team member gives verbal instructions. The goal is for teammates to help each other get through the obstacle course without touching or bumping into anything.
3. Trust Tunnel
The trust tunnel exercise can help your team develop trust in each other. For this exercise, instruct your team to form two parallel lines. Everyone should extend their arms, so they intersect with the arms of the person across from them.
One person quickly walks through the “tunnel” as each pair raises their arms to allow the person through. Repeat this process until each team member has a chance to make their way through the tunnel.
4. Human Knot
The human knot exercise involves employees standing in a circle while each person locks their hands with two other individuals on the opposite side of the circle. Next, the team must untangle while keeping their hands clasped together. During this exercise, team members will have the opportunity to think creatively and collectively come up with ideas to untangle themselves. It’s a great way for employees to build communication and collaboration skills.
5. Leadership Snake
To try the leadership snake exercise, have at least seven team members form a line with each person’s hands on the next person’s shoulders. Blindfold each person in the line except for the last person at the end of the line. Place objects around the room that employees can easily pick up.
The person in the back of the line will use nonverbal communication to direct the line by tapping the next person’s shoulder. That person will then tap the person in front of them and so on. When the person in the front reaches an object, successfully picks it up and places it in a bucket, they will remove their blindfold and move to the back of the line.
Repeat this process until each employee has an opportunity to be the non-blindfolded person in the back of the line leading the group. This exercise is an excellent way for employees to practice leadership, trust and communication skills.
6. Connection Ice-Breaker
Ice breakers create excellent bonding opportunities. Since employees often work closely together and must rely on each other to reach goals, it’s important to give them opportunities to connect on a personal level. Ice-breaker questions allow employees to share stories, fun facts and details about themselves so that everyone gets to know each other a little better.
7. Two Truths and One Lie
Another fun way to build connections and foster bonding is the two truths and a lie exercise. Each team member will write down two truths and one lie about themselves at the beginning of this activity. Other team members will take turns guessing which statement is the lie.
This activity gives employees a chance to learn more about each other. It also helps them build creativity as they think of fun and interesting facts about themselves as well as something to use as a lie. This activity also makes a great exercise for virtual teams.
8. Something in Common
“Something in Common” is a fun game that allows employees to learn more about each other. For this game, divide employees into small groups and ask each group to identify three interesting things they all have in common. For example, one group might identify a shared appreciation for scary movies or a common dislike of classical music. This exercise is an excellent way to bring employees closer and help them learn how much they have in common.
9. Only One Question
The “Only One Question” exercise is another activity involving questions, but this one requires some extra creativity. Separate employees into pairs and give each team a card. Each card will have a different role or scenario, like leading a country or directing a movie. Both employees in each pair will think of only one question they would ask to decide if their teammate could fill the role listed on the card.
10. Logo Design
Give your employees a fun opportunity to practice creativity and collaboration. Divide everyone up into small groups and provide them with physical or digital materials they can use to draw or create a logo that represents the company or their particular team.
During this activity, employees can work together to communicate, share ideas and use their creativity. It’s also a great opportunity for employees to discuss the company’s values and develop team spirit.
11. Pipeline Game
The pipeline game is a fun activity involving marbles and pipe halves. For this activity, team members will stand side-by-side holding pipe halves. Working together, they must pass a marble from pipe to pipe until it reaches their destination. The longer the distance, the more often team members will have to move to the end of the line to keep the marble moving.
12. 50 States Competition
Consider and challenge your employees to a fun game with a 50 states competition. For this activity, break your employees into teams and give each group a blank United States map template. Challenge each team to name all 50 states. The team that names all 50 states first the winner of the competition. This activity is a great way to help employees work together and practice thinking quickly as a team.
13. Tree or Bob Ross
In this game, one employee will choose an identity. They can choose anything from a concept to an object to a character. Other employees ask questions to try to figure out their chosen identity. The name of the game comes from the traditional first question, “Is it more like a tree or more like Bob Ross?”
Similar to “20 Questions,” the questions in “Tree or Bob Ross” must follow a specific format. This activity is a game of comparisons that encourages employees to practice lateral thinking as a group. Employees can have fun thinking of creative identities and questions and work together to solve the challenge.
14. Pancakes vs. Waffles
“Pancakes vs. Waffles” is a unique activity involving group decision-making and friendly debates. To start, select two objects. Employees will choose one of the objects to disappear from existence. For example, if you select pancakes versus waffles, everyone must decide together whether pancakes or waffles will remain while the other disappears.
The winning object will go up against a new subject that another person chooses. For example, if pancakes win the first round and the next person chooses cheeseburgers, the next debate will be for pancakes versus cheeseburgers. Repeat this process until everyone has a chance to select the debate topic or until everyone is ready to move on to a new activity.
15. Typing Speed Race
A typing speed race is an excellent team-building exercise for remote teams. Remote employees can race against each other to see who can type the fastest. The race offers an excellent way for employees to sharpen their typing skills while enjoying some healthy competition. Provide everyone with a fun online typing test and encourage them to share their scores during the next Zoom meeting or in a group email.
16. Online Show and Tell
Consider planning a “show and tell” session for your virtual team. Ask each employee to share a story or something about their lives to help others get to know them a little better. You can also ask employees to spontaneously grab something near their desk to show on camera or think of a quick story on the spot. This activity is an excellent way to help employees learn about each other on a personal level and feel more connected.
17. Personality Tests
Personality tests are an excellent tool you can use to help employees learn about themselves and their co-workers. Send a personality test to each employee and ask them to share their results with you. During the team-building activity, ask employees to discuss their results with each other and talk about how different personality traits fit with various team dynamics.
18. Guided Meditation
Guided meditation is a relaxing way to boost employee morale and help everyone improve their mental wellbeing as a team. For this activity, choose an online meditation exercise and play it for employees in the office or on a video call. Have everyone listen to the guided meditation and participate in its instructions.
19. Professional Development Discussions
Professional development videos can be helpful tools for a simple and educational team-building activity. Choose a meaningful career development video with concepts your team can apply to their processes. Have your team watch the video and discuss it afterward. You can even provide discussion questions to help employees think about how they can apply what they learned.
20. Alphabet Work
It’s vital for employees to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You can help your team do this with the alphabet work activity. Write the letters “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” across the top of a whiteboard. In each column, have employees discuss their strengths or weaknesses.
For example, employees should list the skills and tasks they feel confident completing in the “A” column, tasks they feel moderately confident completing in the “B” column and so on. This exercise is an excellent way to help employees learn about each other’s strengths and identify areas where they can help each other grow.
21. Virtual Book Club
Consider bringing remote employees together for fun book club meetings. Choose a professional development book that helps employees learn or improve skills in their area of work. Assign different chapters each week and plan time for team members to discuss what they learned and how they can apply the book’s concepts to their work.
22. Memory Card Game
Put a fun company twist on a classic matching game. Place words, images or phrases on cards representing the company’s mission and values. Each card should have a corresponding card that matches it. Have employees break into teams and compete to see which team can match the most cards.
Each team takes a turn flipping over only two cards, so employees must use their memory and focusing skills to remember where each matching card is. Teams can work together to choose the right cards during their turns.
23. Creative Sales Pitch
For the creative sales pitch activity, ask each employee to bring an object from their desk to the meeting area. When they arrive, instruct each team member to craft a sales pitch about their item and try to “sell” it to the room. You can keep score of the pitches’ success based on the number of team members who say they would buy the item.
To make it extra fun, have each employee improvise a motto and logo for their object. This exercise is an excellent way to help employees think creatively and build confidence in the presence of their co-workers. It’s also a great chance for team members to show support for their teammates.
24. Sharing Hobbies
Give your employees the opportunity to share their passion or hobby with others. Ask employees if they have a special skill they could teach to the team. Plan a day in the office or online for one or more employees to share their skill and teach it to everyone in the office. Whether it’s cooking, planting succulents, yoga or drawing, learning a fun skill can help employees bond and build confidence.
25. Teaching Professional Skills
Help your employees build confidence by asking each individual to teach a professional skill to the team. Employees can share tips for mastering skills they excel at or research and teach a skill they want to improve. This activity gives employees an opportunity to share their knowledge and help each other grow.
Consult With Exude Human Capital to Support Your Team’s Development
Employees appreciate it when a company invests in their growth and learning. Team-building activities under strong leadership can significantly impact a team’s performance, confidence, morale and trust.
Consult with Exude to train and prepare your company’s leaders to lead their teams effectively. We offer leadership development training to help leaders grow their skills, knowledge and confidence so they can help their teams develop. Contact Exude to speak with our consultants about how we can help your leaders and employees develop professionally.