Team building activities offer realistic experiences that help people to work together, communicate, and engage in creative problem-solving. However, choosing activities that won’t inspire groans and eyerolls from your attendees can sometimes be a daunting task. Below are some of the best exercises to encourage teamwork and help colleagues to bond with each other in order to reach a common goal.
Salt and Pepper
One event planner that we’ve worked with at our event venue in Orange County has found great success with an activity called “Salt and Pepper”. She had the following to say about the game:
“Salt and Pepper is a great activity for encouraging communication between colleagues and team building. It is an easy but enjoyable exercise that requires only a pen, some small pieces of paper and ordinary tape. The basic idea is to have your employees come up with classic things that are typically “paired” together, whether metaphorically or in real life, such as eggs and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, sand and surf, and of course, salt and pepper.”
Here’s how you play:
Write each word on a paper and tape one paper to each person’s back. Instruct the groups to mingle with each other and ask for clues regarding which word is taped on each person’s back. Instruct the groups that they can only answer yes or no questions. Once the word is figured out, the person must discover who has the other half of that combination. To make this activity extra fun, set a timer to create a deadline for completing the exercise.
Minefield is the perfect choice of activities if you are looking for a collaboration exercise that is focused on creative problem-solving. You don’t need many materials to play this, and whether you are in a small conference room, or a large banquet hall in Orange County, you should have more than enough room to play.
For this activity, use simple objects such as water bottles, chairs, or even a few empty boxes to create a “minefield” within the room. Divide the attendees into pairs of two, and have one partner blindfolded so that one individual must guide the other through the course to the end without setting off any “mines.” The person who is not blindfolded cannot go through the course with the other individual. Rather, he or she must call verbal instructions to guide the person to the end.
Spider Web is a terrific collaboration exercise that helps people work together as a team. It also encourages them to get creative when solving problems. All that is necessary for this exercise is tape and string. Tape several pieces of string across a doorway, going both vertically and horizontally, with the string symbolizing a poisonous spider web.
Divide the group into teams and make the challenge to ensure that all the members of their team get through the openings without touching the “poisonous web.” You can make this as easy or difficult as you like, simply by how many pieces of string you place in the doorway and the amount of space between each one.
If you are looking for a simple but interesting activity to serve as a team building exercise at your event, consider having your attendees work together to see how much they actually know about their workplace. To complete this activity, generate a list of questions that are work area specific, such as the brand of the computer monitors, the color of the carpet or tiles in the reception area, how many individuals work in the human resources department, or even which company brings the jugs for the water cooler.
One event marketer in Irvine mentions; “I was doing an event for a corporation a few months back, and they organized a ‘company Jeopardy’ game that featured trivia about their company, office, and employees. The attendees got a huge kick out of it, and everyone was actively participating.”