Organizing a team building activity everyone will love is no mean feat. A fun team building event must be engaging, exciting to participate in, and not make anyone feel awkward. In addition, offsite days for employees must be well-organized with a common goal in mind. However, it shouldn’t be so corporate or regimented that it sucks the life out of the event.
What is the key to planning team building activities that foster excitement? How can you ensure your next staff event will not have everyone groaning in dread?
This article discusses what makes a good team building activity. Additionally, you will get 11 ideas of fun-filled activities to plan for your next team building event. However, before getting top advice for team building planning, there is a crucial question: Why do some employees detest team building activities?
Why Some Employees Hate Team Building Events
“Team building” — two words that can strike fear in some employees. Just hearing those words can make the entire team scramble for the door or check their calendars to ensure they are already busy that day. So why can something with the potential to be a great day out turn so sour?
Team building events often fail for three reasons: organizing challenging activities that suck, a lack of planning, and organizing events with the wrong goals.
Not all employees are created equal, and not all excel in the same activities. For example, some hate participating in sports events because they are not in the best shape. Others may be embarrassed if they let their team down. And most employees are fed up with trust falls or coming up with two truths and one lie.
One of the most common team building mistakes — and why they can fail — is a lack of planning. Organizing engaging, productive team building exercises takes time and resources. Leaving team building to chance can result in resorting to the tried and failed “cookie-cutter” events.
Another reason why some employees hate team building is that they lack specific goals. Having unclear objectives leaves participants wondering what they are doing. So, of course, there will be a lack of enthusiasm the next time someone suggests some team building event.
However, what’s worse is when business owners plan events with the wrong objectives. For example, team building is never successful if its goal is to resolve underlying issues with a lack of leadership skills, communication, or productivity.
What Makes a Good Team Building Activity?
Getting everyone engaged from the start is the key to ensuring your team will love the event. Good team building events have clearly defined goals. These help everyone know what they are doing and why they are doing it. To achieve this, team leaders must have good insight into the team’s issues.
Here are a few tips on planning a team event that will generate excitement:
- Set goals: Decide on a specific objective and what skills you hope each team member will learn.
- Have a budget: The budget greatly impacts where you hold the event and what activities you can organize. For example, a weekend retreat will cost significantly more than an offsite scavenger hunt in a local park.
- Start planning early: Get the team involved with the planning from the start. Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities. Or you could contact an experienced team building vendor to organize the team building event.
- Choose the right activities: Ensure that your chosen activity will help you achieve your goals.
A study found there are eight key points for building a successful team. These are:
- Clear goals
- Authority to make decisions
- Accountability and responsibility
- Effective leadership
- Providing enough resources
- Giving proper training
- Support from management
- Rewards for team success
What Are the Best Team Building Activities for Small Groups?
The best team building activities for smaller groups increase the interaction between participants. In many cases, this can make small team building events highly productive. Additionally, they engage more team members and take fewer resources to organize. Team activities in small groups help strengthen communication and collaboration skills and encourage unconventional thinking.
Eleven Team Building Activities Everyone Will Love
When done right, team building activities build team spirit, morale, and camaraderie. Many studies show that improved teamwork leads to greater productivity, less employee turnaround, and strong company culture. However, you will only experience this if you organize team building activities everyone will love.
Here are eleven types of team activities that team members love participating in.
1. Cardboard Boat Build
Do you want to get your team thinking creatively and working cohesively? If so, the Cardboard Boat Build is a fun and engaging activity. First, teams must design, build, and float boats made from cardboard and tape. Then individual teams will compete against each other to see which boat is best.
2. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is usually an outdoor team building activity that employees love — if done right. Teams must chase down clues, solve puzzles, and find hidden items. This simple activity builds cohesive teams, develops critical thinking, and improves decision-making. Of course, nothing is more exciting than a race against the clock to beat another team.
Full Tilt organizes scavenger hunts in most major US cities and several overseas locations.
3. Spuds of Thunder
Spuds of Thunder is one of the most popular team building activities around. First, teams must build fortresses that will withstand an attack from potato cannons. Then, competing teams use their potato cannons to try and blast their competitors’ fortresses. This fun team building event helps to hone strategy and negotiation skills and break down barriers between departments.
4. The Great Race
Regardless of which city in the US, your company can organize fun team building events like the Great Race. Teams get the chance to explore neighborhoods and complete a series of challenges. This problem-solving activity encourages creative thinking and helps teams work to improve time-management skills and planning.
5. Fantasy Island
The ever-popular Fantasy Island team building event encourages healthy competition and strengthens skill sets in the workplace. Based on the Cardboard Build Boat, teams must design and create a functional raft and cross water. After the event, a facilitator will share observations as to why some teams succeeded, and others failed.
What makes this activity useful for the workplace? Team members must use at least one successful strategy to duplicate success at work. This activity encourages team members to practice out-of-the-box thinking and learn from mistakes.
6. Kidnapped: A Rescue Mission
One of the most exciting team building activities that team members love is rescuing a kidnapped team member. The teams have a time limit to solve the crime and save the hostage. Each team has the responsibility of designating roles to rescue the victim successfully. It’s one of the best team building activities to foster trust, good communication skills and sharpen problem-solving skills.
7. Cooking Class
Full Tilt’s Iron Chef cooking class is a team building event guaranteed to get everyone excited. Teams must create and then cook various dishes using a range of ingredients. Not only does this teach practical skills, but it encourages teamwork skills, good communication, and time-management skills. After all, no one wants to eat raw food or burned steak. In addition, it helps team members learn how to deal with high-pressure situations.
8. Painting Class
Painting classes are fun team activities that help to build relationships within your organization. For example, the teams can work together to complete quickfire challenges based on dynamic and eclectic music. In these classes, members work together in a relaxed environment, focusing on creativity. In the end, each team can make a collective work of art from their individual pieces.
One of the benefits is that the artwork can be displayed in the workplace. In addition, the display serves as a fun reminder of what was learned.
9. Mystery Dining in the Dark
One of the team building events that never fails to excite team members is a dining-in-the-dark experience. You can organize this anywhere, including outdoor locations. This type of event has an educational side to it. Dining blindfolded or in pitch dark also helps reinforce trust while enjoying a tasty meal at the same time.
This unforgettable experience turns a routine event — eating — into a rich learning experience.
10. Charitable Events
Employees can look forward to team building events when they are for charitable causes. These activities are a way to give something back and can also help galvanize company values and culture. In addition, team members can develop important skills like leadership, time management, and collaboration — all vital components for boosting team effectiveness.
Other benefits of organizing charitable team events include boosting employee motivation, learning empathy, and donating to the local community.
11. Wine Tasting Experience
Who wouldn’t love a wine-tasting experience? The Divine Wine Tasting Experience is a fun, interactive, and educational event. Team members can also earn bragging rights with their friends the next time they dine together. The lively activity isn’t about sipping wine and trying to determine subtle flavors. Instead, participants can make a blend, develop a marketing strategy, and try to distinguish their creations from other wines.
Call Full Tilt To Organize Your Next Event Team Members Will Love
Organizing team building events that create excitement and learning opportunities doesn’t have to be difficult. With some planning, you can ensure that your employees enjoy them and feel valued.
Are you interested in planting an interactive, creative, and fun activity for your team building strategy? If so, please get in touch with Full Tilt today at 310-400-6285 or fill out this easy online form. A member of our team is ready to discuss your requirements and goals. We will ensure your next event will be one to be remembered for the right reasons.