Today's executives give team building activities an increasingly important place in the workplace. Management strategy calls for strong teams to increase productivity, efficiency and workplace satisfaction. As a result, companies have their employees participate in a number of exercises that help them mesh together as a team and operate in a more unified manner.
Blind Folded Exercises
Work with blindfolds in your team building exercises to build strong partnerships and trust. There are a number of team building activities that are based around this basic concept. The team divides into pairs. One member of the pair wears a blindfold. The blindfolded member then has to complete a task while his or her partner verbally guides him or her safely through it.
One version of this exercise is called "minefield." For this exercise, you need a large empty area. Fill the area with obstacles such as chairs, boxes or anything else you have on hand. The blindfolded partner needs to navigate the area without bumping into anything, while his or her partner guides him or her safely through the obstacle course.
Physical Team Building
Most corporate work environments do not require much physical contact. Team building activities incorporate the element of physical contact in order to create a tactile connection and trust with other members of the team. "Trust falls," in which a participant deliberately falls on the expectation that an unseen colleague will catch him or her are common examples of this type of exercise, but can be dangerous if not supervised properly.
The "human knot" is a good exercise for promoting teamwork and unity. Have a group of people stand in a circle facing each other. Each person should lift his or left hand, and reach out and grab the hand of someone who is not standing adjacent to him or her in the circle. Repeat the process with the right hands. The group must then work together to untangle the knot without anyone ever letting go of a hand.
In companies with larger groups of employees who need to function in individual teams, competitive activities can help bring the teams together as they compete against each other.
Tug-of-wars are one simple example of this type of activity. A variation on this is the multi-way tug-of-war. In this exercise, you tie four ropes to a central steel ring. You then have all four teams compete to try and move the ring over their finish line. This variation depends more on unification and tactics than brute strength. If the facilities and time are available, more complex activities such as team based scavenger hunts can be used as unification activities.
- business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com