Corporate Team Building Activities Your Team Will Love (for 2019)

group of business people shaking hands over conference table to confirm deal

Corporate team building activities are essential in order to make progress in the workplace. It’s a great way to improve company culture, reveal individual personalities and vulnerabilities, and become stronger and more efficient as a group.

Researchers have studied team behavior in the workplace for over 80 years. One of the earliest studies on workplace behavior was performed between 1927 and 1932 in Chicago, Illinois at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works. The research study, called the Hawthorne Experiment, was conducted by Professor Elton Mayo. The experiment focused on workplace productivity and conditions by analyzing physical and environmental influences in the workplace.

Today, companies focus on team building more than ever before. Researchers and organizations have come up with some fun, unique, and inspirational team building activities designed to uncover all kinds of workplace behaviors, enhance individual skills, and improve on any weaknesses. Team building activities can also help align and unify a team or organizational culture.

To help find perfect corporate team building activities in the workplace, we’ve chosen a few of our favorite activities that your organization is sure to love:

Corporate Team Building Activities Your Team Will Love

  1. Team Values
  2. Campfire Stories
  3. Organizational Jenga
  4. The Perfect Square

Team Values

five people fist bumping across a desk in office settingIf you’re planning an occasion such as a conference, corporate party, project, or workshop, this activity can help set the tone for shared employee values, and helps build better team chemistry along the way. To start, gather 10 to 30 participants in a room and sit them in front of a whiteboard. On the whiteboard, write the words “Meaningful” and “Pleasant.” Ask the participants to say what they think will make the occasion more meaningful and pleasant. As the answers come in from the participants, write them down in a mind mapping diagram using Post-it notes. Make sure that the participants are clear on the suggestions. If you get mixed responses, then provide clarity by giving some examples. Walk through each suggestion with the participants and ask them how they think each response should be carried out. Once the participants mutually agree upon suggestions, then use those suggestions as the code of conduct throughout the planned occasion.

Campfire Stories

group of people sitting around a campfire at nightThis is basically the age-old activity of storytelling. Gather participants in a room, and have them form a circle. Go around the room and have each participant talk about their experiences at the workplace. This is a great way for the group to learn more about one another. Use trigger words that will kick-start the participant’s stories. Examples of trigger words include “first day,” “work travel,” “partnerships,” “projects,” “team outings,” etc. Write these trigger words down on a whiteboard in two sections. Ask the participants to choose one of the trigger words from the whiteboard to tell their story and move the word to the other side of the board. As participants are telling their stories, ask the other participants to write down words that are related to this experience and add them to the whiteboard. Repeat this process and in the end, your group will have come up with a wall of words that tell interconnected stories. This activity helps build a community experience for the group while revealing information and how it’s passed informally within a group. Storytelling focused on work-related topics helps the group form a better bond by sharing like experiences.

Organizational Jenga

child playing a game of jenga and pulling a jenga piece from the towerIn this activity, you’ll want to use a Jenga set. Mark each block with a specific department name, such as HR, Management, IT, and Accounting. Make sure that the blocks are distributed by each organization’s size. For example, if Accounting represents 15 percent of the company, then 15 percent of the blocks should be marked Accounting. Then divide your group into equal teams, distributing an equal number of blocks and organization types to the teams. At this point in the activity, you have two options. The first option is to provide an example of a specific structure to build. The second option is to give the participants guidelines and allow them to build their own structure. A time limit must be implemented for building the structure. Once the time has elapsed, the teams begin to remove a block, one-by-one, without destroying their structures. If time permits, the activity can be restarted, and the teams begin to formulate better structures the second, third, and fourth time around. This activity shows the participants how important each department is when it comes to completing tasks. The participants begin to decide which roles are not important while deconstructing the structure without destroying it.

The Perfect Square

holding thick blue ropeThis is a great trust activity for your team. The perfect square activity can be performed indoors or outdoors. For this example, we’ll say indoors at the workplace. Schedule a big enough meeting space for this activity. The first item you’ll need is a rope long enough for each participant to hold onto. Then tie the ends of the rope together and ask the participants to form a circle. Place a blindfold over the participants’ eyes, and hand the rope to each of them. Tell the group they must create a square without their hands leaving the rope. To add challenges, one at a time, begin restricting certain participants from speaking. Over time, they begin to use their critical thinking skills. You could also allow the participants to come up with a plan prior to the blindfold, and then them them that they can’t speak throughout the activity. This is a great activity for communication, critical-thinking, problem solving, and leadership building. During the activity, certain participants will want to lead the group and others will want to be directed. By muting the group, they begin to build trust in one another to create a perfect square.

Corporate Team Building Activities FAQ

What are the Best Team Building Activities for Work?

There are many great team building activities for work. Beyond what has already been mentioned above, here’s a perfect activity for workplace team building. In the activity, take small sheets of paper, then come up with open-ended problems. The problems could be related to the business, a specific project, team culture, etc. Then organize teams in sets of two to four participants. Give each team a folded piece of paper and pen. Then ask the participants to draw a solution to the problem on a flow chart, sketch, or graph. Ask the participants to evaluate the solutions and pick the best option. This activity has been widely used by startups and product developers. This is a fun corporate-level team building activity that harnesses an organization’s critical-thinking skills. In addition, here’s a more in-depth list of team building activities.

What is a Fun Team Building Activity?

There are many options for a fun team building activity, including campfire stories, the perfect square, and organizational Jenga. But how about an outside-the-box option? Sign up with Team Building Kits for a one-of-a-kind murder mystery story sent right to your office door. Our immersive group activities will test your team’s limits while bringing your team together all at the same time.

How do you Conduct Team Building Activities?

It really depends on the amount of time required for the activity, the number of participants, and the team building objective. Any team building activity that warrants more time, say one and a half hours or more, means that offering a prize to keep motivation high will be key. Once you have defined the time, number of participants, and the outcome from the activity, choose a fun activity that meets the requirements, and can be performed in or out of the workplace, depending on the activity. Once you have selected an activity, then schedule and coordinate any necessary materials for the activity, ample activity space, and formulating the participants. Now that you have scheduled the activity details, begin to design the activity, how you intend on communicating to participants, any challenge add-ins, and final outcome goals. Some activities can be performed more than once, which provides an opportunity to really hammer home the team building objectives. If motivation is a big factor in the activity, think about a prize such as gift cards, a lunch with the manager, or an additional Paid-Time-Off (PTO) day.

Why is Team Building so Important in the Workplace?

Team building is a great way to open up critical-thinking within a team. Many team building activities take place outside of the general work space, freeing up conversation and thus a common ground where participants can really get to know each other. Team building activities help uncover individual and group skills, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Team building can also improve culture within a team or organization.

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