Are you ready to bring out the best in your team and relieve some of the stress and tension at the workplace? Do you need to increase collaboration with other departments at your organization to improve project completion rates? Keeping a team motivated and improving employee engagement sometimes seems like a daunting task, but then no one ever said that management would be easy.
Last month, we focused on sprucing up the office, which is a great way to improve attitudes and boost motivation, but let’s talk about taking that a step further.
Let’s face it, sometimes work is just…. too much like work. Meeting after meeting and phone call after phone call can become repetitive, and I would even dare to say, boring and monotonous. Time after time, we have heard about how important employee engagement and culture is for our organizations. However, maintaining and even increasing those key factors can leave us puzzled and searching for answers.
What’s one of the easiest things a manager can do when they can’t find a solution to their problem? In the management world, delegation is key. So, I’m pretty sure the answer is to create a committee, appoint a chairperson, and let them hash out all the details on how to incorporate team building activities at work.
Everyone in the office nominated you to be the new Chairman of the Activity Committee! Woohoo! You head back to your new desk from the big office spruce up, sit in front of your computer staring at the blank white document on the screen entitled, “Team Building Activities to Increase Employee Engagement and Improve Culture”, and attempt to get the creative juices flowing.
How in the world are you going to come up with a monumental idea that has everyone high fiving? Your mind slowly starts to wander off and you begin to wrack your brain to recall what has been done in the past. But, what if repeating what has already been done is not a viable option … because nothing thus far has worked.
It seems to be so easy for the mega employers to come up with these amazing ideas and contests that go viral and you begin to feel a little jealous and wish you worked at an amazing place like that, or had a friend on one of those activity committees to consult? Who comes up with those ideas anyway? Do those companies have unlimited resources, creative super teams, magic carpets and wands with unicorns dancing through their office while offering lunchtime rainbows? After some daydreaming, reality kicks in and you are still staring at the blank document on your screen.
Now what? The lightbulb goes off and you suddenly know where to find your answer! The magical ten letter sequence of characters that solves every problem in the world, or at least can give you millions of solutions. You guessed it–Google.com. Surely, an accurate Google search will be the answer to fix your creative idea block. So, you begin frantically searching for every activity under the sun that will fit in your budget and create a rave that everyone in the office will be talking about for weeks. Four hours later, your document is filled with hyperlinks, and your favorite pages span the entire length of your screen.
FOUR HOURS? Who has time for that? If you are looking for a quick fix, you have come to the right spot. I have narrowed down that exhaustive search to just a few fabulous team-building activities that will guarantee you the chairman position on the committee for years to come! (Just what you wanted right?)
AMAZING RACE DAY
Hold your own amazing race with a fun-filled scavenger hunt across the city. Use cryptic clues to challenge the teams to decode where they need to go and what they need to find. Encourage creative photos to document the success of the findings to ensure you have the great makings for an “employees only” private viewing, red-carpet debut event that includes lots of buttery popcorn and snacks. Don’t forget the awards for the winning teams and possibly a best photo award for capturing the best moment on film.
There are multiple ways to build excitement surrounding this type of event. Start spreading the news early by offering a weekly theme leading up to race day, contests for team names, racing trivia, etc. Allow teams to “earn” checkered flags that they can use to “buy” extra clues on race day by receiving excellent customer feedback scores, meeting a tight project deadline, increasing sales, achieving specific goals, and any other metrics that will boost a flurry of excitement and motivation. If you prefer some outside assistance with planning, give The Go Game a try.
The clock is counting down…. how well does your team operate under pressure? Can they use their logic and work together to get out before time is up? An escape room is one of the most exciting and fast-paced ways for your team to forget about the office for a while and experience a different kind of stress while having fun and using their problem-solving skills to beat the clock and escape. If your team likes competition, then give awards to the quickest escape artists. To build up some enthusiasm around this event, create some brain twisters of your own for teams to solve prior to the event and give coupons for a deduction off their final time. There are a multitude of differently themed rooms to choose from in Missouri, explore the top 10.
If you are looking for something a bit simpler and more budget friendly, try one of these ideas.
If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Where are the chefs just waiting to be discovered at your company? Everyone loves to eat, and a friendly team cooking contest could be just the competition you need to spark some tasty inspiration around the office. Explore the plethora of cuisine ideas for creating the perfect Chef of the Year contest. Of course, you will need a fabulous antimicrobial edge table to place the goodies on.
- Great Bowls of Fire – Chili Cook Off
- Breakfast of Champions – Calling all breakfast chefs
- Grilling and Chilling – Anything on the grill
- Cake me away – Fancy and creative cake contest
- Cookie monsters – You can’t eat just one…cookies are better by the dozen
- Crock Pot top spot – Slow cooking competition
- Appetizers Galore – Game time, snack time, party time.
Is there a Rock or Country Superstar just waiting to be found at your office? Have a Karaoke Party and find out. Dial up the fun a notch by letting teams come up with the playlists and randomly draw who gets to sing next or make it a team event and let the teams pick their playlists. For a unique spin on this event, add some groovy or funky costumes to match the songs and have the groupies guess what song is coming up next by the attire of the singers. If yours team aren’t into signing, grab a gaming console and try a Rock Band festival instead and have teams compete against each other. Draw up brackets on an impromptu whiteboard that you can roll around the office and create your own musical mayhem playoffs.
The key to having an awesome team building event is being creative. Think outside the box. Look for ways to span your event over the whole month, instead of just doing a one-day thing. This will give your teams the chance to collaborate with each other in a fun way that builds culture, improves attitudes and boosts motivation all while having fun.