Easy team-building games to try with your team
Teamwork is vital to the successful running of a business, as research has consistently proven. Indeed, a whopping 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team negatively impacts the outcome of a task or project – or, to put it more simply, that success can only be achieved with a strong and collaborative team.
As if that weren’t enough to convince you, it’s also worth noting that businesses that invest in team-building are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover.
Why? Well, because a well-connected team encourages loyalty; 27% of employees who plan to leave within the first year cite feeling “disconnected” from the organisation, while 37% of employees say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying with a company.
Essentially, teamwork makes the dream work. And, 50% of the positive changes in communication patterns within the workplace can be accredited to social interaction outside of the workplace.
You don’t need lots of time to achieve this, though; just 15 minutes will do if you have the right activity to hand.
Here are just a few of our favourite activities to do with your team.
This one is easy; you just need a (virtual or non-virtual) whiteboard, and 30-40 sticky notes (10 or 20 more than the number of people taking part in the activity). On each sticky note, write down a word or phrase that’s related to a work milestone – such as “first day”, or “teamwork”, or “success” – and pop them on the whiteboard. Then, ask your team to select one (or two, or three) and peel them off, sharing their personal memories connected to that word as they do so.
It’s a great way to get everyone sharing and chatting with one another – and it’s a little like the office-based version of gathering around a campfire with friends!
Divide the office into teams, write some words and / or phrases down, and grab yourselves a timer; you’re going to play charades!
Essentially, whoever is “it” will have to draw a card and "act out" what’s written on it without speaking, while the other members of their team try to guess what the phrase is. The objective is for your team to guess the phrase as quickly as possible.
Show and tell
This is a fun one to incorporate regularly into your working week! Just as you did in school, one or two people will be selected to bring something in from home and tell everyone the story behind it. It might be nice to add a theme each week, such as “something that inspires you” or “something that calms you” – but it can be fun to let people have free rein and use their imaginations!
Make sure you leave some time at the end of each presentation for a team-building Q&A.
This one requires you to break everyone off into teams of two or three. Set a timer and have them concoct a story out loud – one word at a time.
Person A: “once”
Person B: “upon”
Person A: “a”
Person B: “time”
It’s a fun thought game and a brilliant way for your employees to let their guards down and have fun together!
This is a team-building classic; write down a series of work-related words or key phrases, pop them in a bowl, and pull one out at random. It’s up to each employee to use this as a prompt and share a word or phrase of their own that they strongly associate with it and why.
An oldie but a goodie, this is a team-building game with oodles of appeal. Write down 50 or so names of famous individuals – these can be historical figures, musicians, actors or authors – and pop them in a hat.
Each week, have 3-4 people select a name at random and challenge everyone else to figure out who they are by asking just 20 questions.
The catch? They can only respond with yes or no answers!
Fans of Schitt’s Creek will recognise this unusual (but very fun) team-building exercise from the episodes focused on Moira and Stevie’s rehearsals for Cabaret.
The aim is simple: everyone taking part in the activity needs to come up with a “character” – for example, a jealous significant other, someone desperate to use the toilet, a police officer at 3 am, a student who has been summoned to their headteacher’s office, or someone picking up a date – and write them down on a piece of paper.
Next, pop all of the papers in a hat, and have each employee come up and pick a character out (without showing anyone who they have). They leave the room, close the door, and knock on the door as the character.
The objective is to communicate who they are solely by how they knock on the door, so they can’t add any dialogue. They’re allowed to come in when everyone in the room guesses who they are.
Working remotely? This one works well on Zoom; just be sure to mute whoever it is knocking so they can’t cheat!