Let me confess something, from when I was working at my previous company. (Of course, I won’t reveal its name, and yes, it is also not updated on my Facebook profile). It was a software house to be more specific. We were building apps, developing websites, and whipping up social media marketing strategies for small businesses. Initially, our app developers were just starting out, so they were novice developers.
We created a game, and our managers asked us to market the game. In fact, to make it more intriguing, he announced bonuses for people who could coax more people into downloading the game. With a good intention, I downloaded the game and I guess that was my first mistake.
Games – by nature – are bound to engage people or entertain them. The one that our company built did neither. It was an awful game with average graphics. But, as helpless employees and under nerve-wracking pressure, we were left with no choice but to market the game. I spent two days pitching the game to every friend or so called acquaintance, I could find on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even WhatsApp.
I even forced my friends to download the game just because our manager said so. The result. A disaster! We were so disheartened by the very word “game”, that when I sought to introduce team building activities and games that are not only enjoyable but also educational for my team, I received many “Not another dumb company game” responses from my disgruntled employees!
Anyhow, since I wanted my team members to learn about each other – how a person solves problems, works, thinks, and has fun, I somehow convinced them to do so without more groans and whines by introducing these fun-filled team building games that they came around to love eventually:
Game of Possibilities
Remember your favorite childhood game Dumb Charade – the one in which you or your friend had to think up a movie and your friends ventured out guesses by your actions alone, without you having to utter a word. Yes, Games of Possibilities is the same game, touting the same rules, but with a little twist. This game is played with random objects.
One person in a group receives an object, and upon their turn, they have to go up front & demonstrate a possible use of that object, while maintaining an utter vow of silence. Only when someone in their group accurately guesses what it is, can the demonstrator sit down.
This team building exercise leads to individual innovation and creativity, since the demonstrations need to be whacky and completely original use of that object, something that nobody has tried before!
This game can be played by two or more players. The more, the better. Partner A opens their heart out and shares a negative experience that they have had, with Partner B. This could either be personal or something work related. In turn, Partner A shares the experience again, but focusing only on the positive aspects of the experience that they had deduced. Here Partner B points out the silver lining and helps partner A reframe a bad experience.
Here the participants will discover and figure out how to turn a negative experience into a learning opportunity.
- Scavenger hunt
You need to make two or more groups of people. Assign goofy tasks to each team which need to be completed as a group, not stand alone. This is often an outdoor activity and may involve strangers as well. The tasks can run the gamut from anything such as taking a selfie with a stranger, to taking a picture of a building near your office. The fun element of the game is to keep the task as humorous as possible. This helps your team establish a human connection with other people. Whichever group completes the most tasks within the deadline, wins.
This is a great team bonding exercise that goes a long way towards breaking up office cliques by encouraging people to work with colleagues from other social circles, departments, and teams.
The Perfect square
The theme of the game is to create a perfect square while everyone is blindfolded. At first, have your employees hold the rope in a perfect circle. Next, everyone will be asked to put the rope on the floor and get their blind folds up. Everyone will be asked to move away from the circle a little bit. Next comes the most difficult and interesting part. Now, ask everyone to form a perfect square without taking their blindfold off. To up the level of difficulty, set a timeline or have half the employees stay silent.
Here the communication and leadership skills of employees will come to play. By staying silent, it will be difficult for your team members to communicate and this helps to establish trust among peers, allowing the team members to guide each other in the right direction.
Here the objective of the game is to trust your pees to protect you from hitting the objects which act like a land mine. You can do this in an open area. A parking lot is preferred for this activity. Divide the employees in pairs. Ask one person to put on the blindfold and the other person has to guide that person verbally. Place random objects on the floor and ask the other person to guide his blindfolded friend to cross over to the other side of the field without hitting any object. To make it more difficult, create specific routes that the blindfolded team members need walk.
This game focuses on trust, communication skills, and effective listening. This activity makes a great team building beach game as well.
Team building is an important activity. While it is fun to play the game, it also establishes trust among peers, and enhances the leadership skills of every team member.
Are there any fun team building games you like that aren’t on this list? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!