Everyone wants to do some sort of team building, but people are finding it difficult to plan a team offsite when everyone on their team is available and many companies are still on limited budgets. So, what can you do to keep morale up and move your team toward greater harmony—without planning an offsite or spending much money? Here are 3 great ideas. Basically, you just need to get your team together and have some fun, positive interaction—hopefully on a regular basis.
- Potluck or Pizza Minute-to-Win-It Party—you can easily plan this for lunch or even late afternoon. Ask people to bring food to share and/or beverages. Organize a quick, fun activity to do during the get-together. We suggest taking an idea from the Minute-to-Win-It television show. They have fun challenges that can be done in a competitive team fashion, and they are very short. Here’s any easy one to try: “Hang Ten”—split your group into teams of about 4 people. Give each team a piece of string and 10 nails (the kind with heads on them). The challenge is that they must hang all 10 nails from the string in 1 minute. All nails must be hanging—not twisted or tied into the string. Teams can practice and strategize before you start the clock. You can easily dream up more challenges yourself. Making paper airplanes and flying them into a wastebasket is another one; sorting the cards in a deck is another. You are only limited by your imagination. Each time you get your team together, do a quick Minute-to-Win-It Challenge. Keep track of the teams who succeed (keep a score sheet). At the end of the quarter, give a small prize to the group with the most points.
- “You Create It” Team Challenge—before your next team meeting, divide your group into small teams of about 4-6 people. Tell each group they must devise a “Minute Team Challenge” for the next meeting. They need to decide upon the rules and bring whatever materials are necessary to do the challenge. It might be paper and pencils, golf balls, or whatever they can dream up. At your meeting, each team presents its “Minute Challenge” to the other teams. Everyone gets to try them out. Finally have everyone vote for the best, most creative challenge (you cannot vote for your own team). This provides fun, variety, creativity—at no cost at all.
- Creative Recycling—what do you have a lot of that just goes into the trash? It might be things like cheap pens, plastic bags or CD’s. Whatever it is, bring all of them to your next team meeting. Tell people in advance that they are going to be asked to create something useful out of items that would otherwise be disposed of. You can provide them with the names of their teammates so they can talk about it in advance. You should also tell them what the item(s) is so they can start thinking about it before the meeting. Encourage them to bring tools and other items to use in creating whatever it is their team decides upon. You should also provide scissors, tape, small saws, markers, etc. When everyone gets together, make this a 1-hour team competition to create the best new, useful item out of whatever is supplied. Teams will need to present their finished items, and all will vote on the best item at the end. Have a prize for the winning team members.
These ideas require just a little organization on your part, but can have excellent, positive impact on your team. All require practice in collaboration, group problem solving, clear communication and more; skills that people need to create successful teams.