When people work hard, they often focus on their own responsibilities and don’t take time to connect with coworkers. Many workplace social events—such as the occasional happy hour or yearly Secret Santa—don’t deepen interpersonal bonds in ways that increase your team’s communication, cohesion, or synergy. Luckily, there are team building exercises for work that are shown to make the workplace more harmonious while boosting employee morale.
You should hold team building exercises for work on a regular basis and make the formation of working relationships part of your corporate culture. No relationship is formed overnight, and strengthening interpersonal bonds will take time and dedication. But it’s worth it. Team building, as noted by Forbes magazine, is an important way to invest time and resources into your workforce that pays off with greater levels of trust, collaboration, and reduced amounts of conflict. The results are even more powerful when coupled with an employee recognition and rewards program that promotes employee engagement at all levels of your company. And happy, engaged employees lead to better products and satisfied customers.
Organize Team Building Exercises to Recognize and Reward Employees
Team building exercises work best when they are integrated into a robust rewards and recognition program. So before you even consider taking your employees out for a fun day of team building games, consider the specific goals you want to achieve. At the end of the day, employees should feel inspired to work harder, stand out among their fellow employees, and participate in other company-led events and initiatives.
A day of team building exercises is the perfect stepping stone to increase employee involvement in your company incentive program. Once you have a robust employee incentive plan in place, organize a memorable rewards-driven team building experience so your employees can experience, firsthand, what it feels like to be recognized for their efforts. Your employees will be grateful for the spotlight and, after a fun day of team building exercises, emerge as enthusiastic participants of your long-term company incentive program.
Team Building Exercises for Work That Boost Employee Morale
In order to be effective, team building exercises must be fun and interactive. You don’t want to push your team into playing games that feel like work, or into boring games that force them to crack a smile. When you’re organizing team building exercises, think about the personalities you’re working with and pick activities they will like. You can even create a poll to ask people what games they’d like to play. This is a great way to include your team in decisions that are relevant to them and show how much you value your team member’s input—before the team building exercises even begin.
Tried and true, here are some of the best team building exercises for work that will help your team enhance their skills, form deeper interpersonal bonds, and give your people a much-needed break from a stressful work environment.
Truth and Lies
This is a classic team building activity that serves as a great opening event for a day of workshopping. People tend to come up with funny answers that break the ice and get everyone in a chatty mood.
Truth and Lies puts people in a sociable mood. It’s especially helpful for new team members, or for introverts who worry about finding topics of conversation. It gives everyone something to talk about and share, and helps co-workers get to know each other.
How creative is your team? Here’s an exercise that will let your group practice its creative and problem solving skills while having a blast.
Telling a chain story leads to some wacky, funny stories and can uncover creativity you didn’t know members of your group had. Not only does it foster a shared sense of ownership in the story-telling project, but it requires that every person listens closely to the story before their turn begins, emphasizing the importance of listening.
The Perfect Square
The Perfect Square requires everyone to depend on their teammates. People must communicate to agree upon the rope’s shape and position and must coordinate their actions. It’s a strong, classic team building activity that allows people to practice their listening, leadership, and communication skills.
The Mine Field
The Mine Field is a lively game that can be played in- or outdoors and offers light physical activity that’s accessible to most people. It is another great team building activity that emphasizes teamwork, listening skills, and the ability to give good directions.
The Puzzle Project
The Puzzle Project requires high levels of strategy and organization. Teams need to assign each other roles, such as puzzle builder or barterer. It gets people thinking about bartering strategies and markets. And, of course, it demands strong communication from all players. This is a great game to play with sales departments to exercise their negotiation skills.
When it comes to boosting employee morale, team building exercises are just the beginning. Remember that your ultimate goal is to make employees feel included and appreciated so you can retain your best talent and achieve long-term business success. Offer rewards your employees actually want, whether it’s during the aftermath of a thrilling game or a successful sales season. Rewarding your top performers may seem like the logical conclusion; however, it is important to recognize employees at all levels. Just like with team building games, offer memorable prizes like branded apparel to recognize exemplary employees and give them bragging rights.
Award Prizes to the Winners—and Everyone Who Participated
Make your team building exercises for work even more effective by awarding incentives. Research has shown that non-monetary incentives are significantly more effective in the long run than monetary rewards, which are often forgotten as quickly as the check is cashed. Inproma’s employee recognition and rewards programs are customized to enhance your organization’s management strategies and fit your budget. Our rewards programs don’t just benefit your employees, however. They deliver continuous ROI through employee retention and increased productivity rates that are greater than a program’s initial cost. Furthermore, they’re a unique way to reward members of your organization at all levels—not just those at the top.
Our rewards programs reinforce the goodwill created by team building exercises and show your organization’s appreciation for employees. Want to learn how we can design a program to incentivize, recognize and reward your team? Let’s talk.