Team Building Activities To Be Designed For A Definitive Purpose
Poor communication among team members, conflicts, egos and tempers flying lead to project failures. When the project leader gets together a team to fullfill a project, the weak productivity of the team members, probably due to overwork or poor selection can always spell doom to the company. If the company’s vision and goals are not aligned with that of the employees, then there is failure and the company sinks. Many companies go through a feeble attempt at team building activities, but since they do not know how to go about it properly, the whole effort is wasted. After a day of activities and games in which the employees seemingly buried their hatchet, they come back the next day, with the aim of getting back at their colleagues. So when you are planning team building activities, make sure it is effective and not a waste of time. Team building activities can be a waste of time, money and resources if
- The strengths of the team are not highlighted
- The top management grudgingly gives in a day for activities and later, they pressurize the team for losing a day
- The entire focus is on winning, which only increases rivalry among team members
- There is unhealthy competition which brings out the worst in people
- There is only a temporary fix to the problems among team members, the root problem doesn’t get addressed
Team building games must be planned carefully because they have to be within the company’s budget and prove to be successful. Here are some activities that you can plan at your workplace and inspire your team to work as a ‘team’.
This works ideally in a wide open field. If you have something like that in your office compound, then that would be a great place to play this game. This game is played as pairs and is based on mutual trust and strong partnership. So rather than getting people who are friends to make pairs, you can get people who have trust problems to pair with each other. Though there may be slight hesitations in the initial stages of the game, these pairs would eventually catch up each other, especially if the problems are not personal. The game works when one of the pair is blindfolded and the other directs him/her to cross through obstacles.
- Time required: 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the field, of course)
- Played outdoors
Tag Team Game
This is an interesting game that would build trust among team members. It can be played indoors with just a few tools and several groups of 4-8 people. Each person would be given sheets of paper and a pencil each so they can write down their strengths and highlight the personal attributes that would bring success to their projects. Once each person has written down his strengths, a new sheet of paper would be handed over where they have to draw the picture of an imaginary person who would have all these strengths and positive attributes. During this process, the entire team members would sit down and discuss their strengths and even recognize and adapt to their weakness. Ideally, this team should be made up of people who are actually team members at work.
- Time Required: 20-30 minutes
- Played indoors
The paper and straws game
This game may sound like a kindergarten activity, but to do it successfully, your team members should be properly coordinated and make a group effort. All this game requires would be some drinking straws, several large sheets of paper and several small wads of paper rolled up into the size of a dime. Make groups of your team members and give them a large piece of paper in which you have a large piece of paper and several concentric circles within it. The circles would have a particular score each, while the paper itself would be taped to a table. The goal of the team members would be to direct these wads of paper within the straw with the help of the drinking straw. Though it may sound easy and quickly accomplished, the team members would quickly realize the subtle team effort behind it. This would prove beneficial to their work as well.
- Time Required: 15 minutes
- Played indoors
Knot a team
This is a mildly active group activity that would require 8-16 participants. The aim of this game is to help people rely on the skills of their fellow team members while maintaining excellent communication. It also breaks the ice between team members, while cohesiveness and teamwork are generated. The team members within the group are encouraged to form a circle, where they raise their hands and grab the hand of anyone who is standing across from them. Do this with both hands and once each person has grabbed the hand of someone in their group, they must try to untangle them by not breaking the ‘knot’.
- Total Time: 20-30 minutes
- Played indoors or outdoors
The objective of this mildly active game would be to increase cooperation and communication among team members. It can be played by groups of 3 and 5. There would be a robot in the group and the rest of the members would be to guide the robot to retrieve a bomb or a football. The robot would be facing the activity area, while there would be an observer who faces the area, but does not talk. The talking is done by the communicator who faces away from the activity area.
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Played Outdoors
After each of these games is played, it would be ideal if the teams got together and discussed the difficulties they faced and how they solved them. This would help the teams to break ice and plan new strategies in their work-related projects as well.
Pictures: Flickr.com/ Cardus/ keys
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.