Team Building Activities
This page provides you with a comprehensive overview of team building activities. They will give you some ideas on what you can do in your team. There is a related article on how to choose team building activities.
We also have an online team assessment. This helps you identify 'team complexes', team dynamics that may be inhibiting good teamwork in your team.
There are many other team building articles/resources at this site. You can explore them through the menus (above) or by searching our site.
Ideas for Team Building
There are many different types of team building activities that you can consider doing in your team, falling into the categories of:
- Outdoor/Indoor Pursuits
- Social Events
- Community Service or Charitable Work
- Changes to Work Practices
- Individual Training/Development
There are a wide variety of pursuits available, from conventional ones such as canoeing or rock climbing, to more unusual ones, such as blind-four-wheel-driving or sheep-driving. We can't list them all here, because there are so many, but there is a selection on our outdoor team building activities page. These pursuits are often expensive (typically starting in excess of £100/person).
If physical activity is a problem for some members of the group, then there are some outdoor pursuits that are less active, such as:
- treasure hunt
- making a video
- hot air ballooning
If those are too active, you could then try indoor pursuits, such as:
- 10-pin bowling
- Casino games
Workshops (preferably offsite) enables a group to focus on a particular topic without interruption.
In many situations, the most effective type of workshop is one that involves everyone in forming collective goals or developing strategic or tactical plans. This engenders ownership amongst all members, and is one of the most powerful team building activities you can use.
Other types of workshops can help to develop better relationships, mutual understanding or solve particular business issues:
- Group games and exercises (that have learning points)
- Psychometrics or personality questionnaires (to develop better interpersonal understanding)
- Business problem solving, or information exchange
- Customer interaction forums (eg: ask customers to provide feedback on the service, or what they want from you in the future
- Technology exchange (invite leading figures from the industry to present their vision of the future)
These are often the most cost-effective form of team building activities, because they are low cost and high impact. It is often important to make sure that people mix, especially with larger groups, otherwise people just stick with their friends.
Here are some ideas for social events:
- Lunchtime drink
- Evening meal/BBQ
- Family picnic
- Quiz nights
Social events can be organised for very little cost and are like the oil in an engine: they can help keep the heat down and things running smoothly.
Why not choose to do something that has a benefit to the community? Achieving something worthwhile can help to unite the group even more, providing it is not too difficult a task and does not create too much pressure.
Changes to work practices
Having a day offsite or doing something that is fun may have a short term impact, but to improve communication, co-operation, etc. in the long term, you may need to introduce new work practices, such as:
- Team meetings/Cascade briefings
- Job swapping
- Team newsletter (for larger teams)
- Open door policy
- MBWA (Management By Walk About), for all staff, not just management
Training and Development
It can be beneficial to combine team building activities with individual training. That is, the group receives training, but does so as a group. This has the dual benefit of developing the individuals whilst going through the experience collectively.
Such courses could include:
- Technical training
Some of the options we have outlined above are very effective and don't cost a lot of money. Social events are particularly valuable because they can be arranged to suit most people's diaries/tastes, are relatively cheap, and have a big impact. However, the best approach is often to have a "mixed portfolio" and do something in all the above areas.