Effective Team Building Activities

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When operating a business, you will have employees with a variety of backgrounds. Each employee brings a variety of skills to the position, but working as a team might not come naturally to them. Creating activities and games to learn to work together will help your employees learn about these skills each individual brings to the office.

Partnership Building Landmine Game

The Landmine game teaches communication and partnership. In this game, an obstacle course is set up with items such as balls, poles, sticks and boxes as obstacles or landmines. The goal is for one partner to guide his blindfolded partner through the course without touching any obstacles. If the blindfolded partner touches an obstacle, the team fails the challenge. The non-blindfolded partner uses verbal commands to help her partner navigate the minefield. The partnership that successfully navigates the minefield without touching an object in the shortest amount of time wins. Play with multiple teams in the minefield at once or one team at a time.

Keypunch

This game is for teams of five to 15 people. The game uses circles with the numbers one through 30 distributed on a playing field or large open area. The goal is for each team to work together and step on the numbers in numerical order as fast as possible. One person can step on all 30 numbers or just one; strategy is up to each team. After seeing the layout of the numbers, a team has three minutes to position their players on the field. The team must then communicate to facilitate stepping on the numbers in the correct sequence. If the numbers are stepped on out of order, the team fails to score for that round. The winner is the team that steps on all 30 numbers in sequence in the shortest amount of time. Each team has as many chances as it can conduct in 30 minutes. Each team should have its own playing field.

Survival Equipment

The team is given a scenario where they have crashed on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, and they must survive with a specific list of supplies. The person creating the scenario decides the supply list, but there must be one item for each team member. Each team member is given one minute to explain why his item is important to the team's survival on the island. After each player speaks, each team member must create a new list of items using only half of the items available. Teams are scored based on how many team members choose the same items. Any item chosen by every team member scores 10 points. Any item chosen by at least 75 percent of the team scores six points. No other points are scored. The team with the highest score wins. The game encourages team members to think alike for the good of the whole group.

Scavenger Hunt

Organize teams in a central location and give each team a list of items for a scavenger hunt. Items can include physical items to find such as a collection of magic markers, or a task such as finding the names of all senior managers within the Human Resources Department. Team sizes should be between two and six people to encourage everyone participating on the team and working together in a small group. The list includes items with point values assigned to each item, with point values reflecting how challenging each item is to find. The team is given an amount of time determined by the event organizer. Each team must decide which items to try to find based on the limited amount of time available, along with the point values of each of the items, and the skills of the team members for finding those items. The encourages team decision making and time management. Teams must return to the starting point by the deadline announced. For each minute after that time, a team loses five points, and is disqualified if they are over 10 minutes late. This type of scavenger hunt can be conducted within an office, at a retail establishment such as a mall, or even within an entire city.

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About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.

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