Corporate team building has gotten a black-eye recently for a lot of reasons, but primarily because the activities don’t really measure up to workplace improvements. In the world of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measurable outcomes, senior management wants team building activities that translate into a productive workforce.
Below is a guide to today’s popular team building activities, the benefits of each when developing a team and whether I offer it to corporate clients.
Current Corporate Team Building Activities
Charitable Bike Building
Definition: Teams race against each other to build children’s bicycles to be given to non-profit organizations. The team that assembles the most bikes over the course of the time, wins a prize.
Benefits: Employees work on an altruistic cause; team members can converse and get to know each other on personal level by the end of the program.
Fun Team Building Offering: No, I do not offer this program. This really falls into the category of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and should remain there. While building bikes, cleaning up veterans yards or donating to food banks are all great causes, they probably won’t further the trust and definitely won’t improve the performance of employees.
Definition: An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the room.
Benefits: They encourage participants to think outside the box, employees get to know each other better and it is said to improve the efficiency of the team.
Fun Team Building Offering: No, I do not offer this program. I don’t believe an hour or 90-minute game where participants are locked into a room translates into workforce productivity. Eduardo Salas, Organizational Psychology Professor at Rice University said it best when referring to escape rooms, “It’s not clear yet what are the benefits of it other than people love it because it is something outside of work.”
Definition: Improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started.
Benefits: Enhance presentation skills, reduce barriers, increase employee acceptance of each other and lower anxiety.
Fun Team Building Offering: Yes, I do a lot of improv work with employees throughout the day to increase acceptance and build trust.
Definition: A ropes course is a challenging outdoor team building activity which can consist of high and/or low elements. Low elements take place on the ground or just above the ground. High elements are usually constructed in trees or made of utility poles and require a belay for safety.
Benefits: These activities are designed to break down barriers and reduce self-consciousness. They challenge a team to pool their resources and work together to find solutions.
Fun Team Building Offering: Yes, I offer a low ropes course option and find it very useful.
Definition: A team building activity conducted as a group exercise in which one person deliberately allows themselves to fall, relying on the other members of the group to catch them.
Benefits: This activity effectively helps a team explore both how it feels to trust and be trusted. The experience creates an opening for the team and the facilitator to have a real and meaningful discussion about how to create a high trust environment, especially if there is not one.
Fun Team Building Offering: Yes, I use it often.
I customize all my team building activities to meet your objectives. For example, if lack of trust is the overriding issue with your team members, I will spend the day working on team building activities to help them build and retain trust. Whatever your issue, I have a solution and am more than willing to help create a program that will meet your needs.
Fun Team Building is a Corporate Team Builder
I have facilitated team building days for a number of corporations including AT&T, Allstate, Coca-Cola Credit Union, Sun Trust and Omni Hotels and Resorts.