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Ideas for Fun Team Building Exercises for Staff
Fun Team Building Exercises Make for Happy Staff
The most common employee response to the announcement of 'team building exercises' is a wilt of the shoulders and apathy, closely followed by the entire team wondering if they can arrange to be on holiday that day.
Team building activities that send people hiking through the wilderness and catching their own food have their place ~ usually in very macho companies who want to improve their sales ~ but generally speaking if you want your teams to benefit from a team building event you need them to enjoy it - or at least some of it.
Activities that are fun are more likely to persuade the more reticent members of a team to get involved, and, so long as you do not lose sight of the purpose of the events, there is no reason why the whole team building process cannot be a high point of your company calendar.
Set Your Team Building Goals
Before any event takes place you need to identify what you are trying to achieve - and how you are going to measure it. Saying you just want everyone to be happier at work is very noble, but no good as a goal as it's unmeasurable. Therefore your first task has to be to set out your aims and objectives in a SMART format i.e.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a set Timescale.
For example you may want to increase sales by 10% over the next 6 months through making the time it takes to process an order more efficient - hence more orders can be processed and more sales achieved.
As a goal this tells you exactly what you need to do and you'll be able to tell if you've achieved it. You can then set your team building activities and exercises around the competences needed to achieve this goal, e.g. communication skills and time management.
Ideas for Fun Team Building Exercises for Staff
There are many, many exercises out there to choose from. Some can be slotted into a couple of hours, some need all day, but so long as you keep to the principle of having fun along the way you should both achieve your goals and have a happy workforce.
The Ball Game:
This is a simple game that demonstrates the need for good communication ~ ideal numbers are between 6 - 20 in a group.
Stand everyone in a circle and make sure they all either know each others names, or are wearing name badges. Give one person a tennis ball or softball and ask them to say someones name and throw the ball to them. Continue this until everyone has thrown and caught the ball at least once.
Now introduce another ball so there are 2 balls being thrown randomly around the group (making sure the thrower still calls out the name of the receiver before throwing). Keep adding more balls (representing the many tasks any team has to deal with).
Eventually one of 2 things will happen. Either as a group it will become apparent that no more balls can be managed, or, (the more likely) one or 2 people in the group will think it funny to keep throwing the balls at the same person at the same time causing them to drop them. This is when you step in and make your point about communication and how if you keep throwing tasks at someone without allowing them time to complete them, they will inevitably drop a ball.
Against the Clock:
This is a great exercise for getting teams to recognise peoples strengths.
Set up a selection of challenges all using very different skills, for example you may have visual challenge of spotting the difference between 2 pictures, a dexterity challenge of untangling a rope, a verbal challenge whereby one person has to describe an item to the rest of the team until they guess what it is, a physical challenge involving climbing or running ~ the challenges can be anything you like but there must be more challenges than competitors in each team, and each team member must complete at least one challenge.
The things to look out for in this game is whether as a team they recognise who is best at what, whether any one person is pushing themselves forward at the expense of others, who helps who, and who approaches it as a team event or sees it as an individual challenge within the team. This can be a very revealing exercise.
Other Team Building Activities
The Internet is full of great ideas for team building days, with many suggestions being specifically targeted towards particular competencies for example team building exercises for sales people, so it's worth having a look around to find the ideal exercises for your day.
If this is something you may want to repeat it can be worth looking at some of the other resources on the market such as Team Building Ideas books to ensure you never have to repeat the same exercise twice.
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