It’s one thing to hire great employees, but many business owners forget why a focus on team building is as important: so that your talent work well together, solve problems, enjoy their jobs, and want to continue working for you.
For example, a study from 2015 showed that without proactive team building activities in place, employees lack the basic team skills of problem solving, dealing with conflict, conducting effective meetings, and interpersonal communication.
This is why employees need to feel comfortable around each other, and team building helps that by encouraging productivity, confidence, the ability to confront others, and for your workers to get to know different departments and to work better cross channel.
Though many team building exercises can make your employees cringe, and companies have corporatised team building services making them extremely expensive, effective team building doesn’t have to be either. Here are some of our favourite budget-friendly ideas to get your team socialising, build their confidence in the workplace, and boost their overall morale and productivity.
This is a quick, hilarious, and dynamic team building game that can get the whole team involved. You’ll need 6-20 employees, and about 30 minutes total: 10 minutes to set up and brief, 10 minutes for the activity, and 10 minutes to compare drawings.
How do you play Blind Drawing?
Split your employees into random pairs, and really try to mix them up. Give one person from a pair a picture or photo (these should all be the same photo), and the other a pencil and paper. Sitting back to back, the person holding the picture will have to describe it to their partner. The partner will then draw their interpretation of the photo. When the time’s up, the person drawing will put their pair’s names on their drawing and hang it up with everyone else’s. The teams will then vote on whose drawing is most similar to the original picture.
Why is it effective?
Blind drawing promotes effective communication between two unfamiliar team members. It also helps them discover how the other responds to pressured situations, while in a non-work related setting. This will benefit them if they need to work together on future projects, and give them an opportunity to get to know each other outside a professional context.
If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive way to entertain colleagues and promote teamwork, there’s nothing more bond building than a good old pub quiz.
Where should we go?
A pub quiz night doesn’t just mean heading down to your local. You can find great themed quiz nights or even murder mystery events. Wherever you go, make sure you book a table in advance so your team don’t turn up disappointed.
Will it bring my team closer together?
Everyone loves a pub quiz, and if they weren’t in the evenings we’d all probably go more often. Not only are they a great team building exercise that involves compromise, strategy, and logical guesses, but they also mean friendly competition and a great way to unwind and loosen up with a few drinks after a stressful day.
Set up a green team
Starting a green team doesn’t just make your business more sustainable early, it’s also an effective team building endeavour.
What is a green team?
A group of employees who are engaged in making their company more sustainable. They’ll often focus on two areas:
- The company’s own operations: looking at the sustainability opportunities within the organisation like energy usage, recycling, or single-use plastic reduction.
- Educating employees about sustainability and engaging them in actions they can adopt at home.
Why is it effective for team building?
There are many team building benefits to setting up a green team. For one, it’s an effective way of engaging employees, which is an issue that a third of US employees had reported in 2014. You’ll also have like-minded employees working together toward a common goal, which promotes social cohesion and mixing of departments too.
Food truck lunch
Whether your employees are eating at their desk or dashing out for a takeaway, shier members may find lunch hours either boring, or an opportunity to keep working. A great way to get your team talking during breaks is with fun group catering concepts, like Feast It food trucks.
What’s the benefit?
Everyone knows that food brings people together. And with food trucks, the minimal catering staff involved, and the dining on your company property, means it’s a budget-friendly and fun way to feed your staff.
Why is it team building?
The quickest way to have your staff singing from the same hymn sheet is to get them eating from the same menu. Not only is it a way for people to compare orders, it’s also a great place for to catch up, delight in delicious food, and get away from their desks. Plus, who wouldn’t be happy with a free lunch?
Group exercise classes
Organising exercise classes like yoga have been popular among corporate wellness and HR departments for a while; and it’s easy to see why. Boosting overall employee health as well as team bonding, it’s an easy and approachable so the whole team can get involved.
Will my team want to exercise together?
Framing these events as wellbeing events is a gentle yet firm way of saying that these classes aren’t optional unless they’re sure they don’t want to do it. By emphasising that this will boost their overall health, give them tips they can use at home, and that everyone will be in it together (including yourself!), employees will be more keen to get involved.
Why will it boost employee morale?
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, boost endorphins, and increase focus and productivity. Plus, it’s a challenge that your team will experience together – which creates a talking point after you all return to work. Creating opportunities for shared experiences is an effective method of making a team more cohesive and comfortable around each other.
Volunteer work is often overlooked, but it’s a major team building opportunity. Not only does it involve teamwork, it’s also a rewarding way to show that your team and your company actively give back to their community. Companies like Hands On London provide corporate volunteering opportunities, and have worked with American Express, JP Morgan, and other large corporations.
How do I get involved?
Events range from rubbish clean ups to helping elderly people at risk or assisting in soup kitchens. Whether you’re in London or further afield, there’s a lot that can be done to give back to your community. Some companies like Groundwork provide one-off challenge days or programmes that last several days.
Why will it bring my team closer together?
During these days, your employees will get away from their desks and their deadlines to learn new skills, like gardening and maintaining biodiversity. They’ll also strengthen team relationships, and gain a great sense of achievement. It’s also a great photo opportunity that would look great on your company’s social media pages.
When you have a small company team with big company dreams, keeping team morale high is priority one – and a quick way to boost it is with experienced virtual assistants. EMMA’s virtual assistants have proven experience handling all your admin and organisational needs, helping teams focus on the important jobs that grow their business success.