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Sally’s Pro Tip: Effective Team Building Exercises

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Team building exercises are not only beneficial in business, they’re coming to be a necessary part of working with personnel.

Why Team Building Exercises are Important

Suzi is an HR manager for her company. She has been receiving an increasing number of employee complaints and has noticed that spirits are low. Suzi is puzzled; things have been going smoothly, and they just ramped up their training program. What she has noticed is the lack of teamwork in the company. Communication and collaboration has broken down, and that environment is causing a negative attitude among employees. Suzi needs to call for some team building exercises, and fast!

Team Building Exercises can Boost Your Business

team building exercises

Team building fosters a positive work environment that focuses on communication, collaboration, trust, motivation. By bringing people together, and removing the barriers to effective interaction, team building exercises unlock the true potential of any workforce. Here is a list of exercises we’ve found to be effective:

Salt and PepperThis is an excellent activity for enhancing communication skills and creativity.

  • Come up with a list of well-known pairs (salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, yin and yang).
  • On pieces of paper, write one half of each pair (salt on one piece, pepper on another) and repeat for the rest.
  • Tape one to the back of every person and release them to mingle. The key is to figure out the word you have taped to you through asking only yes or no questions.
  • After figuring that out, they must find their other pair.
  • Once paired correctly, the two sit down and learn three interesting things about the other, or three things they have in common, while the rest of the group finishes.

Mine fieldBuilding trust and interdependence is another key area in getting individuals to work together, and this team building exercise does just that. The mine field activity is also useful for creative problem solving and collaboration skills.

  • In an empty room, hallway, or other large open area, use such as chairs, cones, water bottles or other items to create obstacles. Leave enough space between them to walk through. These are the “mines.”
  • Divide the group into pairs (this is a good opportunity to work on relationships) with one person blindfolded. The blindfolded individual is “the walker.” They aren’t allowed to talk, and are guided by verbal directions from their partner, who is outside the mine field.
  • Give the team some time to work out a strategy beforehand, and make sure there are clear consequences when someone hits a mine.

Common ThreadStereotyping and labeling are common hurdles in building and maintaining interpersonal relationship and often go unaddressed. Common Thread forces your team to confront stereotyping while facilitating the discovery of commonalities.

  • Break the team into groups, and instruct them to talk about their likes and dislikes.
  • Ask them to find one commonality that applies to everyone and use it to classify themselves as a group (no discriminatory or judgmental groupings). A few examples would be Shakesperians, car buffs, or early birds.
  • Once a classification is agreed upon, the group creates a list of things that would be stereotypical qualities of that group of people. The groups come together to announce who they are, and for the rest of the meeting (or the rest of the day), members of the group must act in such a way that satisfies the stereotypes they listed. For example, the early birds may be extremely bright and cheery and over the top. The Shakesperian group may speak in an English accent and rephrase all of their speech into prose.
  • At the end of the activity, discuss the stereotypes and how they affected not only how you were treated, but your ability to perceive others.

team building exercises

PayTech Can Help Build YOUR Team

Suzi decided she wanted to organize a team building event, but wasn’t able to find the time to fit the extra work into her already busy schedule. Luckily, she was referred to PayTech, the HR experts. Thanks to a comprehensive HR solutions package, she was able to focus on bringing everyone together while PayTech handled the rest. Suzi’s Company Cooperation Day, which made use of the team building exercises we’ve outlined, was a smashing success. The number of complaints and mediation requests are decreasing, and productivity is back on the rise. PayTech helps you get back to do what you do best, run your business! If you’d like to know more about how to optimize your business contact us at 602.892.4796.


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