There’s no better way to create a productive work environment than through the power of teamwork. When each person contributes to the joint success of a team, your workforce becomes significantly more than just the sum of its parts.
In this guide, you’ll learn five teamwork exercises that you can use to strengthen the bonds between your team members and encourage collaboration. From fun games to exercises for remote teams, read on to learn the secrets to creating a great team.
Are you new to management? Learn how to create professional teams that work together to overcome workplace obstacles in our course, Team Building: How to Build High-Performing Teams in 1 Day.
Why is teamwork important?
In the age of social media and digital collaboration, being able to work as part of a team is more important than ever before. From improved productivity to a better work environment, fostering team spirit is essential for every healthy business.
There are numerous benefits to teamwork beyond improved productivity. From providing helpful feedback to each other to learning each other’s roles, fostering your workforce’s teamwork skills makes working together a breeze.
Visit a climbing wall
Are you managing a small team that needs to work as one unit? Climbing is one of the best ways to develop bonds between pairs. Since one person is responsible for managing another’s ropes, your team members develop real trust for each other.
Most major cities have an indoor climbing wall, and the almost all climbing facilities are used to hosting corporate team building events. Physical activities where people need to work together to manage risks are fantastic for encouraging teamwork.
Besides, climbing is lots of fun! Instead of building trust through generic activities like office trust games, head to the climbing wall and encourage your team to work together and conquer their fears.
Afraid of heights? Other two-person activities where your team members compete against one another are great for fostering cooperation and healthy competition. If climbing feels too extreme, try orienteering or mountain biking instead.
Would you like more creative ideas for building a great team? Learn how you can use physical activities like rock climbing and orienteering to develop a great team spirit in our course, The Psychology of Team Development.
Play the identity game
Do you need a simple teamwork exercise to break the ice? Play the identity game and help your team members familiarize themselves with each other. You’ve seen this game before: it’s all about guessing your secret identity.
Ask your team members to write a famous person’s name on a post-it note and drop it into a hat. Each player picks a note and – without looking at it – attaches it to their back. Their goal is simple: work out their identity by talking to other people.
Make the identity game a challenge by only using yes or no questions. Since it’s all about talking to each other and working together to work out who you are, this is a great game for breaking the ice between team members that have only just met.
Want more fun social game ideas? From creative exercises to classic party games, learn six great games for building social bonds between team members with our blog post on the best team bonding games.
Play the honesty game
Here’s another fun social game for helping your team members get to know each other. Divide your group into two teams and get each team to nominate a member each. The member’s job is simple: tell an interesting fact about themselves, or just make one up!
The other team’s goal is simple: quiz the player to work out if their fact is real or made up. Since this game combines socialization with interesting facts about your team members, it’s a great social tool for helping people to get to know each other.
When a team gets the right answer, they score a point. If the other team outsmarts them – creative acting makes this game a lot of fun – they get the point. Equal parts party game and lighthearted interview, the honesty game is great for developing a friendly and well connected professional team.
Have a virtual coffee break
One of the best ways to create social links between your virtual team members is by having a virtual coffee break. Set aside a daily 15-20 minute break where you drink coffee together and discuss your goals, everyday life, and interests over Skype.
Coffee breaks have an informal atmosphere that’s much less structures than a work meeting, making them great for getting to know each other. Even when your team is on different continents, you’ll notice a serious productivity boost when your morale and cooperative attitude is high.
Do you need help managing an online team? Learn how to keep your team focused and motivated, no matter how many different time zones it’s spread over, with our Managing and Influencing Virtual Teams course.
Host social events in the office
Every Friday afternoon, global workplace output slows to a crawl. The pre-weekend hours are so infamous for slow productivity that even telemarketers put down their phones and avoid making sales calls after 2:39 PM on every Friday afternoon.
Instead of trying to fight Friday afternoon burnout, embrace it and make Friday the official office socialization day. Order pizzas to the office or host a potluck lunch and give your team members a chance to get to know each other.
Hosting a casual lunch rarely hurts productivity, and the improvement to teamwork it offers is more than worth it. The more time your team members spend with each other, the more productive and focused they’ll be when it’s time to collaborate.
Do you want a simple but effective framework for building a productive and focused workplace team? Learn the four stages of team building – as well as some excellent teamwork exercises – in our Team Building Training course.