One way of forging your employees into a strong team that works very well together is to send them to participate in team building events. These events help team members get to know each other and help them get comfortable working together. The more comfortable they are with each other, the more likely they are to speak up and share ideas. Small businesses can particularly benefit from creating strong teams because that team is often the entire business staff. A small business may only have five or six employees, so it’s vital that they work very well together. Here are several of the best team building events that will help make your small business team stronger and more efficient.
You and your team can spend a day at a shooting range or out in the country doing novice game shooting. This event can include professional coaching in how to use shotguns and how to accurately sight and shoot your target. If you don’t want to actually do anything that could harm animals, you can take your team clay pigeon shooting. There are a range of other options, however, including pheasant shooting and target practice, and individual or team scores can be tallied to add a competitive edge. Taking otherwise quiet staff members out into the country and engaging in some rather loud target practice, or clay pigeons shooting, can really help bring people out of their shell. This type of team building also makes use of friendly competition and team encouragement to bring everyone together.
The Escape Room
One popular new team building exercise is the escape room. These activities have popped up in a number of cities and let groups of friends as well as small business teams try to find their way out of a locked room. You’re given a set of clues that, when solved, provide you with the access code to escape the room (of course there’s also an emergency escape if you need it). If you can solve all of the puzzles and get out of the room within the time limit, your team wins. This type of team building event requires the group to actively work together to solve problems.
A scavenger hunt can work in two different ways. If you work with an outside coordinator, your entire team can work together to complete the scavenger hunt. This pits your group against the hunt itself with the goal of completing it. You can also split your team into two if you have enough people, adding a bit of friendly competition to the hunt. The scavenger hunt might include finding things in your office complex, or it may involve searching through the neighborhood or even the entire city. You may need to find actual items, or the teams may be tasked with taking pictures on their cell phones.
The Trust Walk
If your company budget is tight and there are no funds available to attend a professional team building event you can still engage in useful activates in the office. The Trust Walk is a traditional team building exercise, and it’s regularly used because it is so effective. The team splits into pairs. One person is blindfolded, and the other has to be their guide through a set course. This course may not necessarily be challenging to walk through if you can see, but the blindfolded person may find it very difficult if their guide doesn’t provide them with good instructions or help them along the path. Once the team completes one course, they switch roles. This exercise builds up trust, communication skills, and empathy.
Directed building, drawing, or some other activity is somewhat similar to the trust walk in that one person acts as the guide and is the only one with the instructions. It’s also a great team building exercise for the work place. The rest of the team are the builders and have to follow the leader’s directions exactly as given. Often, the leader can only provide limited instructions—for example, if they need to get the team to use blocks to build a house, they may not be able to simply say “build a house.” Instead, they have to give instructions regarding the placement of blocks. It shows teams that communication is absolutely essential and teaches that sometimes, what seems like clear instructions to one person isn’t clear to another.
Whether it’s a professional team building event, a trip out into the countryside, or a couple of fun challenging tasks set in the office, team building is proven to help improve staff moral, communications, understanding and bonding.