Teambuilding activities are a perfect resource for companies that want to encourage, motivate and retain its employees. There are lots of activities that can be set up, it all depends on what goal the company wants to achieve and the number of people in the group.
Although there is an infinite number of activities and “games” for companies, it is by no means easy to choose the most appropriate ones. You wonder if you’ll achieve your goal, or if the activity will pose an interesting and fun challenge for the group.
In this article, we suggest 7 ideas so you can choose the ones that best suit your team and that you can put into practice during your conventions or incentive trips.
The first thing you should always keep in mind is the goal you want to achieve with the teambuilding activities. If you want to reward, motivate or generate a positive state of mind among the members of a department or company, the activities should be playful and dynamic; on the other hand, if you want to foster teamwork, to stimulate creativity, to improve productivity and organizational capacity, then you should choose activities where the team’s strategy and ability to solve problems are more to the fore.
The following are the main benefits that participants can obtain through teambuilding activities.
Benefits of teambuilding activities
– They promote a positive state of mind
– They increase motivation
– They improve leadership skills
– They stimulate creativity
– They encourage team work
– They create and strengthen links between co-workers
– They improve the ability to solve problems
– They force people to define goals and strategy
– They improve organization and work processes
– They improve communication between teams
– They reduce stress
There are some activities that have a little bit of everything in them and others in which the objective and the benefits for the group are clearly defined. It is advisable to prepare different types of challenges to make everything more complete and enjoyable for the participants.
This format is ideal for large companies, especially when groups from different cities get together; or for companies which usually have people from several countries. You can also take your team to a different city than the one in which your office is located; that always adds an extra element of motivation and emotion for all participants.
This is one of the most complete activities, as it encompasses very diverse challenges and it adapts very well to any type of group. It is ideal for achieving all the goals and benefits of teambuilding activities.
To organize an urban Gymkhana, you will have to form different teams of between 6 and 8 people. Each team will be given a map of the area and a list with a series of challenges they have to undertake within a given time. Each challenge has a score, so at the end you can work out which team is the winner, or the top three teams… Each team can decide which challenges they are going to undertake first and how to do them, so there is a previous component of strategy and planning.
These are some examples of challenges that can be included in an urban gymkhana:
– Locate a specific place and take a picture of the team at that spot.
– Find specific monuments and points of interest.
– Discover the history of certain places or of important characters through clues.
– Find answers about businesses with a history or iconic buildings.
– Reproduce pictures, images, scenes from movies or television shows that have been inspired by or shot in any point of the city.
– Buy original and typical local souvenirs.
– Make a human figure in a specific place in the city.
– Reproduce a monument with sticks, ropes, or any other type of material.
This type of activity is similar to the previous one, since it divides the group into different teams and they have to undertake a series of challenges in a given time. The winner or winning teams are also determined by their scores. A good idea is that challenges give points according to their difficulty, so you can add a little more emotion and the team that is successful in the most challenges does not necessarily end up winning.
The good thing about sports Gymkhanas is that they are very versatile. All kinds of agility, speed, strength, aiming, (etc.) challenges can be performed and are perfect if your goal is to encourage, motivate and bond a group.
There are multiple challenges: individual, relay races, or challenges involving several members of the team at the same time, who then have to help each other.
“Takeshi’s Castle” type circuits, Paint Ball circuits or even a military Boot Camp can be a good alternative, but tailor-made challenges can be set up for each group.
This activity reproduces the mythical board game in which a crime must be solved. The group is divided into teams and each one of them must solve the crime before the others do. Teams have to uncover clues through challenges, in order to finally solve the mystery.
If you want to make this activity a total experience, use props and costumes, and hire actors to give more realism to the game.
This is also quite a complete activity, but it is very focused on improving leadership skills, promoting team work, improving organization, strengthening the bonds between peers and improving communication.
The Toxic Waste challenge has different names and versions, so many variants can be considered. This challenge is quite difficult so it is recommended that you don’t start with it. It usually works better when the group has already bonded, when some roles have been defined and they have already passed other challenges.
This challenge focuses on improving creativity, leadership, team work, problem-solving and organization among peers.
This challenge puts teams to the test! They have to transfer water from one bucket to another, both of which are about 10 meters apart. The main difficulty is that they are not allowed to touch the cubes or the water with their hands; and there is also an area marked out on the ground that the contestants can’t enter. Normally this area is usually the area surrounding the bucket that is full of water and it’s supposed to be a “toxic” area that they can’t step on; hence the name “Toxic Waste”.
For the challenge, each team is provided with a series of materials so that they can create a system that will allow them to carry the water from the full bucket to the empty one. Those materials are usually rope, cutters, duct tape and some sort of container.
This activity can also have different variants. But our approach is that of the well-known Chinese game called Tangram.
In this challenge, the group has to form a series of figures by fitting together different pieces with geometric forms, in a limited time. A variant can be that the parts must form the letters of a word. The group is given a score for each figure or letter. The team with the highest score in the shortest possible time is the one that wins. Different scores can be assigned depending on the difficulty of the letter or figure, so the group will have to define a strategy to achieve the highest score within the defined time.
Your Face Sounds Familiar
This activity takes the same approach as the popular television programme. Imitating famous musical groups. We form different teams and each team has to imitate and perform a different song. For this challenge, it is very important to have costumes, props and makeup, a stage with lighting and appropriate sound equipment.
This can be set up as Playback or a Karaoke, so fun is the order of the day, especially if department heads and directors are also involved. In this type of activities, hierarchical barriers tend to be completely broken down, which helps teams to bond and to strengthen links between peers.
It requires a certain amount of planning and organization on the part of the teams, but above all it requires a lot of involvement as they have to rehearse to make sure the actual performance is successful.
This challenge can be a really fun and enriching experience for the participants. The aim is to help prepare a gala dinner. The group is divided into different teams and each is assigned a different station in the kitchen. The Chef and the person in charge of each station will guide and teach participants how to cook and serve the food.
Working in a kitchen can be very stressful because time is very tight, all the stations need to be coordinated and the time it takes to cook and prepare the food has to be controlled, especially when a large group is expected for dinner.
But this activity is usually very entertaining and exciting.
There is not just one single way to motivate, encourage, and achieve the loyalty of the employees of a company. Teambuilding activities are a great tool to achieve just that, but you have to be very clear about what your objectives are. Each one helps to achieve different results.
The best idea is to carry out a series of activities that help you achieve different goals. Here we have suggested 7 different activities, but we are sure that you can come up with many more, or that maybe you have already tried a few more in the past. We’d love it if you would tell us about your experience so please send us your comments and opinions.