Teamwork can create a successful work environment and foster relationships that lead to less turnover and productive employees. While team-building can cost money, several free exercises can build successful teams without creating budget havoc. Team-building activites can lead to increased skills in group functions, problem-solving and general employee relations.
Icebreakers are good exercises for people to mingle and get to know each other. They work great for interdepartment meetings and new employee orientations. Some great icebreaker teamwork building activities include:
Have you ever -- good for breaking the ice and finding things in common. Make a pre-created listed to explore other people's personalities.
Famous people -- tape a famous person name on each person's back. They are challenged to ask participants yes or no questions about themselves to figure out their own identity.
Introductions -- have staff stand and introduce themselves and then add something personal like favorite restaurant, dream vacation or other creative questions.
Trust-building games can build a teamwork environment, versus one that shows animosity. Some trust-building exercises include:
Minefield -- one blindfolded person must go through an obstacle course guided only by his or her teammates' eyes and directions.
Eye contact -- pairs of people must stare at each other for 60 seconds to stress the importance of eye contact.
Group games can be challenging but rewarding. When teamwork is important to the activities of the company, group activities can quickly build teams and promote relationship-building. Here are a few ideas:
Hobby charades -- small groups are together trying to solve the person acting out his or her hobby.
Tug of war -- good group activity that only requires a rope.
Group lists -- Break off into small groups and assign a writer who can answer word questions. Ideas include: things needed to survive on a desert island; words from your companies' names; popular gifts for (holiday).
Other Team Building Tips
Create a contest for employees to pick the prize. This is one way to expand on one idea. Be creative in your search for team-building activities and you will not have to spend any money. You'll also bring an important skill to your company.
Charline King is a corporate travel coordinator for a health care facility. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, event planning, travel coordination, and public relations. She currently publishes on eHow, Examiner.com and writes five blogs. King attend Minnesota State University Moorhead and has a degree in mass communications.