12 quick and easy team building
Always looking for quick and simple team building but can’t seem to find a perfect fit? Fret not, because here is a list to satisfy your every (almost) need.
Quoting Forbes, team building is the most important investment that should be made. There is always room for improvement, and even the best teams can benefit from cohesion exercises to become even better and efficient teams who are more united. Such exercises not only helps increase productivity, improve communication, boost team morale, let team members learn more about each other and even learn about your own strengths and weaknesses. And this list of benefits can go on and on.
Team bonding can be used by literally anyone! From large organisations to small start-ups, such team building are effective to promote better teamwork in the workplace, and as any business owners or managers you meet would tell you, great teamwork in the workplace is critical to a company’s success. Just like the GIF below, the parrot is in-charged of picking out the biscuits and giving them to the dog who eats it! How brilliant! Teamwork is really applicable to everyone and everywhere, and allows you to accomplish greater things and definitely makes life easier!
Given the gloomy economic outlook globally, all the more team bonding efforts should be enhanced! Never estimate the power of such activities as they are really useful in boosting team morale and getting employees all pumped up and be more motivated in the upcoming year.
There are mainly 4 main types of team bonding activities, to help you achieve your different goals. which includes:
- activities that improve communication,
- problem-solving activities
- trust-building exercises
- activities which encompass some forms of adaptability
That said, one must first be clear about the difference between a goal and an objective. Simplifying things here, the former is a broad primary outcome you make about the future, while the latter is a measurable step you take to reach your goal.
Hence in the bonding activities, objectives have to be first identified, before delving headfirst into focused goals. This is done to increase chances of succeeding.
If purely having fun and enjoying some team bonding together is your objective, read on! But if you happen to have some budget to spare, want to save time and hassle on DIY-ing your own team bonding activity, and to ensure a fantastic experience for your colleagues (and boss!), consider outsourcing to team bonding professionals! Besides, by letting them who are good at it work their magic, you can also focus more on your core work without worrying for how the activities would work out! Browse for some team bonding ideas in Singapore to get some ideas and the best thing? You don’t have to decide right away on the spot. Ask for quotes to consider before making any decisions!
If your objective is to plan for something effective, have a chat with team building professionals! Have your problem diagnosed, identify the root cause and then come up with a customised solution to have it solved!
One of the most common mistakes made by managers new to team cohesion activities is to look for quick fixes, without first identifying the underlying root causes to the sub-optimal team performance. For instance, if the goals are not clearly defined by the team, and a common goal is not agreed upon, different members will have different interpretation of the goals. As a result, it is not possible for the members to coordinate their efforts towards one direction to achieve outstanding results. On a more serious scale, conflict may arise, which may appear to the manager as an issue with communication which is not true here. Hence in this case, planning for communication-focused activities would be a total waste of time, or in fact, do more harm than good since communication issue is not the root cause of disharmony or inefficiency in the team.
However in some cases of healthy teams, there is really no need to delve deeper to find issues where there aren’t any significant ones. In such cases, it is more about accelerating the process of getting to know each other better from 1 year to 3 or 6 months, together. This is done so that the team can enjoy the fruits of more productive teams. Such bonding would be especially useful if new senior management members join, mergers, regional or global teams get. But if you would like to plan for an activity all by yourself, you can consider involving your boss or your colleagues in the HR department to work together and get more suggestions, or you can request for a free guidebook (exclusive by emailing us!).
12 quick and easy team building ideas
Very quick activities (less than 30 minutes)
1. Spotlight on my Life
Materials needed: Nothing
Start off by getting participants to close their eyes for a minute and think about the most memorable or best moments of their lives. These moments can really include anything – from time spent with family or friends, exciting travels, a particular success or even some alone time..The next part will require participants to think about which 30 seconds of their lives they would like to relive if they had a chance. After which, participants would be requested to share what actually went through their minds during the reflection time.
These short private moments and sharing sessions actually enables participants to learn more about each other on a deeper level, such as what are their colleagues most treasured moments, what are they passionate about etc., other than the usual more formal relationships held during work.
2. Create your own Coin-go (Coin Logo)
Materials needed: coins, note pads, pens/pencils etc. (whatever that is readily available)
Instruct participants to empty their pockets and wallets. and take out any available coins they have. Next, each individual will have to work their creative juices and create a logo exclusive to themselves within a minute. Other materials that are readily available could be used too (items such as note pads, pens, cups etc.) in the creation of their logo. Alternatively, you can also divide the participants into groups, whereby the group will have to work together to come up with a group logo. Next, each group will be given time to explain their logo, such as the reasons behind the design etc.
This simple team building activity not only promotes self-awareness, but also allows for communication where participants will get to know their group mates on a more personal level when they work together to create the group logo!
3. Classification Game
Materials needed: Nothing
“Pigeon-holing” somebody means stereotyping somebody, or by putting somebody in a particular category.
It should also be made known to participants that such judgemental behaviour is subjective and harmful. Explain all of the above to the participants first, before splitting them into small groups (of about 5 per group). Next, get participants to do a short self introduction (talk about likes, dislikes, hobbies etc.). After a round of introductions, instruct the teams that they are supposed to classify themselves within the group, into 2 or 3 sub-groups based on common factors. Emphasise that the classifications made should not be based on discriminatory or negative judgements. Some examples include: morning/night person, prefer indoors/outdoors, love sushi to pasta etc.
A really effective team bonding ice-breaker which gets people talking and to learn more about each other by first identifying similarities among the team!
4. Two Truths and a Lie
Materials needed: pen, paper
Kick start this simple game by asking everyone to write down 2 truths and a lie (as the name of the game suggests) about themselves on a small piece of paper. Take note that this step is to be done secretly ie. participants should keep whatever they have written to themselves and not reveal to fellow participants! After which, there will be an open conversation where participants will quiz each other on the 3 statements they had written down. Participants should try to convince others that their lie is a truth, and also to correctly guess the truths/lie about other colleagues by asking them strategic questions. To make it more exciting, points can be awarded for every correct guess.
This team building activity is really easy to conduct and facilitates communication among employees. Employees would be able to gain a better understanding of each other after a round of questions asking, and trying to figure out which are truths and which is the lie!
5. That One Question
Materials needed: Nothing
This is a simple ice-breaker exercise. Firstly, the game master will come up with a situation that subsequent questions will be relevant to. Some examples include: getting married, cooking or babysitting. After participants have formed pairs, the game master will ask this question: If you can only ask one question to find out about a person’s suitability for *inserts topic here*, what would you ask? For instance, if the game master picks the cooking situation, each member will have to ask their partner one question which will help them determine whether or not he/she is suitable to be good cooks. The same process would repeat with different topics. Think of really creative topics and this simple team bonding ice-breaker would be a really interesting and hilarious one! Not only that, this activity will be filled with laughter,
Quick activities about 1-2 hours
6. Cling on together!
Materials needed: lots of cling-wrap
Start off by introducing the team building activity as a very fun one that may require some movement! Mark out a starting point and an ending point which the activity will take place (any distance is fine). Participants will have to move together as a group from the starting point to the ending point, being bound together by yes, cling-wrap. Some time will be given to participants (10-15 min) to come together to discuss and strategise, to devise the best way to move as one in the shortest time possible. Then, assign some time for the groups to be “bonded” together with cling-wrap. Do take note and advise participants that cling-wrap should only be wrapped at waist height, and of suitable tightness. Inform participants to sound out if they are not feeling well. The race can be started off now! Take down the timing the group used to reach the ending point. Allow several attempts if the group wants to try again with a different strategy.
This is a really engaging team bonding activity which involves every member of the group. Communication is enhanced when group members discuss about which would be the best strategy to employ, and when they are working as one to move towards the ending point together.
7. Don’t break the tape!
Materials needed: masking tapes
Mark out a starting point and ending point (about 3m apart).In between the starting and ending point, tape 3 squares with each side measuring approximately 0.5-0.6m in a straight line, or in a zig-zag manner. Squares should not be more than 12 inches apart from each other for safety concerns. (something similar to the illustration above)
Group participants into groups of 4-5 and hand each group masking tape. Within their groups, participants are required to tape their right ankle to their neighbour’s left ankle with the given masking tape. When the taping is done, teams should stand behind the starting line to prepare to start. The aim of this game is for teams to work together to move to the ending point while being bounded together at the ankle, without the masking tape breaking. Once the tape breaks, the team has to return to the starting point and start all over again.
This fun activity promotes teamwork and enables communication when participants in the team have to communicate with each other to synchronise their movement to prevent the breakage of the masking tape, and to complete the game as quickly as possible.
Very quick activities (less than 30 minutes)
8. Peek and Construct!
Materials needed: children’s building blocks or plasticine
Participants are divided into small groups of equal numbers (at least 4 in a group) if you would like the activity to be competitive. Otherwise, a single group of at least 4 people would be fine too. Each participant would be given sufficient building material (be it building blocks or plasticine) so that they can mold identical sculptures as that made by the game master. The game master should place the original sculpture on a table that is of equal distance to the respective groups (participants should stand in a line, back-facing the table). The first player will go forward to the game master’s table and have a sneak peek of the original sculpture for about 5-10 seconds. Then, they will return to their group and try to make a sculpture as closely identical to the game master’s sculpture within about 5-10 seconds. Next, the first player will tap the second player, who will then turn around to look at what the first played has molded for 5-10 seconds, and then try to mold a similar sculpture. This goes on till the last player, who will then make a guess what is the sculpture exactly is. Throughout the activity, no talking should be allowed.
Materials needed: Zoom
This activity would require the use of a wordless picture book titled “Zoom” by Istvan Banyai, consisting of sequential “pictures within pictures”. This book should be readily available in major book stores or even online. Each participant would be handed a picture each, ensuring that there is a continuous sequence. Participants should keep their pictures to themselves, and are not allowed to show anybody their picture. Some time (about 3 minutes) should be given for participants to carefully analyse their individual picture as each picture will contain crucial information that will help participants solve the problem by putting the pictures into the right order. The ultimate aim of this problem-solving game is for participants to communicate with each other only by describing the picture they have on hand, and arranging the pictures in order.
10. Solve the Picture Puzzle
Materials needed: a popular picture/cartoon (with a lot of details), pens/pencils/markers, paper
Depending on the number of participants, cut the corresponding number of squares of the puzzle. Hand each square to each participant. Participants will be tasked to duplicate an exact copy of the puzzle piece they received, but 5 times larger than its original size. When the enlargements are completed, participants will be asked to gather and to assemble their enlarged pieces into a huge copy.
This activity actually teaches participants the possible detriments of departmentalised working styles, where problems may arise if employees work too independently, without much communication within themselves. The interesting part is that, this activity also demonstrates that each individual’s working contributes to the overall end product, highlighting the importance of great teamwork!
Quick activities about 1-2 hours
11. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
Materials needed: pieces of card board, newspapers, cling-wrap, rubber bands, straws, tapes etc.
Some warnings ahead: A really classic and fun team building game that may get a little messy. So first, participants will be divided into groups (depending on group size) and will be tasked to work together in creating a package that can sustain a drop from about 2m high. Some basic materials suggested (as seen above) and whatever you think would be suitable, should be provided. To further increase teamwork, groups will have to brainstorm and come up with a creative 30 seconds advertisement, promoting about the unique features of their end product! Lastly, end products of each group will be put to the test! Each group will have to drop their egg using their self-created packages from a height of 2m to see if their creation really works. (A really creative one seen in the picture below!)
Through this, participants will have to communicate with one another especially when discussing about the design of their egg package, to ensure that they will all work towards a common goal in creating the best package which will prevent their egg from cracking.
12. Create your very own one-of-a-kind activity!
Materials needed: pen and paper (to note down ideas)
Very effective activity which gets everyone thinking and creative juices flowing! Certainly, we don’t want to do team building that others have done before. The best way to counter this? Get participants to form groups and instruct them to brainstorm and think of an innovation problem solving activity that must be original! You would be surprised at how creative participants are when they think out of the box to come up with the most interesting problem solving game! At the end of the session, participants will present their ideas in front of everyone else and of time permits, their new ideas can be tested out!
This is indeed a problem solving exercise within another problem solving exercise! Not only it builds critical thinking skills, communication is promoted as participants engage in discussion.
With that, we hope your team will be more bonded than ever, and emerge as happier team players.
Sit down, and pick out an team building activity that suits you (and your colleagues) the best, and give it a try! If you are going to do cohesion in Singapore, here are more ideas about team building in Singapore. Hop over to our guide to the top 10 most affordable team building activities now to browse for more!
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