Nothing is more integral to workplace success than building and supporting a team. Individuals each going their own way will only get the company so far. But a group of people, all dedicated to the same goal and maintaining strong communication will reach that goal far faster, and probably surpass it. Of course, creating real and lasting teamwork isn’t always easy. Each employee comes to the table with different personalities and styles of work, and they don’t always mesh. Although it may sound silly, sometimes the best way to get everyone together is to organize team building exercises. People might groan at first or think it’s a waste of time, but getting people to know each other better, trust each other and share themselves will never be a wasted effort. Of course, time is money, and even those organizing the events probably don’t want this to turn into several days away from the real work of the company. So take a look at some of these quick and easy team building exercises for the workplace you could try out right away.
Since most people will be a bit wary of team building exercises and probably think they’re unnecessary, your best bet is to start with some icebreaker exercises to build relationships and expand communication. One fun choice is called “Two Truths and a Lie”. It only takes about a half hour to play, but at the end of it your co-workers will know each other a heck of a lot better. Everyone writes down three things on a small piece of paper, two things about them that are true and one lie. Once each person is ready, have a ten or fifteen minute open, mingling conversation, where people get to talk about what they wrote down. The key of course is to act as if all three things are true. Once the open session is complete everyone sits together and repeats their statements. Everyone else votes on which of the three statements they think isn’t true. It’s sure to generate some laughs, get people to know each other better and encourage communication where it might not have been before.
Another great icebreaker game is called “The One Question Game”. In this case you come up with a subject that most people there can relate to. It could be about managing the company, going on a first date, getting married, weekend events or anything else you could think of. You split everyone into teams of two, and then each person has to ask one question of their partner that would help them uncover how suitable he or she is for the situation. In other words, how would you know if the other person is marriage material, or is up to leading a department at work? It will help people communicate, as well as show those asking questions how important it is to formulate their thoughts in advance of speaking them.
If you want to focus more on teamwork and problem solving skills, try the knot game. This is much more physically interactive and can be a lot of fun, but could also be uncomfortable for certain people. Make sure you consider that before putting this forth. Basically, everyone stands in a circle and joins hands with someone who isn’t standing next to them. A human knot is created with all those joined hands. The team now has to figure out how to untie the knot without letting go of any hands. It’s a unique way to figure out how to work together, while utilizing a skill set that people don’t often tap into.
In the end, don’t be afraid to suggest these or any other team building exercises to upper management. You’ll find plenty of great ideas online, and check out www.fradleycroft-events.co.uk for some outstanding examples. People may think it is odd or a waste of time at first, but they’ll always be happy you suggested it in the end.