Team-building isn't always an easy task for any manager or supervisor in an organization. However, implementing interesting and innovative techniques, such as scavenger hunts, during retreats, meetings or other events, can help foster a spirit of cooperation, trust and team-work. A scavenger hunt can be a fun experience for supervisors and staff members alike.
Scavenger Hunt Instructions
Scavenger hunts usually work best when teams are kept small, with no more than five or six members to a team. Each team should choose a team captain. Before your scavenger hunt, choose a maximum time length for the scavenger hunt, generally no more than 90 minutes. Before the event, decide what the teams should look for. Make the objects something connected to your company or organization, such as company logos placed on secret spots or business cards hidden in unlikely areas. Print out lists of items and provide them to your team captains, along with a pen or another writing tool to check off items as they are found.
Indoor Treasure Hunt
Hold an indoor treasure hunt in your office, a local indoor attraction, such as an aquarium or indoor amusement park, or a convention hall, provided that you have the permission of the facility to do so. Place stickers or labels with your company logo or business cards under items, such as garbage cans, chairs, doors and so forth. Provide team members with fun hints, such as puzzles or riddles, to help them find the objects with the stickers or labels.
GPS Treasure Hunt
GPS scavenger hunts, a variation on geocaching, can be an enjoyable method for team building, especially during the warmer months or pleasant weather. They can be played in a city, park or other large outdoor area. The idea is that each team uses a GPS-enabled device to help them find an item in a specific container of some kind, which is known as a geocache. Place something related to your company in the container, such as a t-shirt or hat with your company logo. According to author Mike Dyer in his book, "The Essential Guide to Geocaching: Tracking Treasure with Your GPS," each team will need at least a GPS, a compass and coordinates to the hidden object. The team that finds the hidden container first wins.
In-House Scavenger Hunts
In-house scavenger hunts can help break up the day or be implemented after-hours in conjunction with an informal work get-together or party at the office. In his book, "Virtual Team Building Exercises: A Guide to Managing Human Resources over Space and Time," author Robert Andrejev provides an example of ways to hold an in-house scavenger hunt. Choose items that you can normally find in an office, such as staplers, coffee cups, boxes of pens, etc. Hide these items in unusual places throughout your office or building. Provide teams with a list of hints about how to find these items, using riddles, puzzles, or other types of humorous clues.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.