It can be hard to find corporate team building ideas your employees will love. Before I began facilitating my own team programs I always tried to steer clear of those organized activities that can be quite uncomfortable.
Too often, when you announce that you’ve planned a team building event your employees reactions may be akin to something like, “Hey, wish I could make it, but I think I’m gonna go to the dentist that day”. It really is a challenge to find corporate team building ideas you’ll all love. But it can be done.
Before I share some specific guidelines for you a reality check is in order. You’ll never find any one event that everyone of your employees will get behind. However, there are good programs out there that will appeal to the vast majority of your workforce. That’s a win!
In addition this post with specific program ideas, you may also want to read my tips for planning a team event to help you focus on the initial planning process as a whole.
Is Team Building Even A Good Idea?
There’s always debate around the basic question of team building itself. Is it a good idea or a waste of time? I think it’s definitely a good idea. A team program can help high performing groups re-energize and re-connect. And for struggling teams, it can help mend fences and improve relationships. Actually, most groups share a little of both attributes. You may be working well as a team overall but still be in need of quality relationship time to reset.
Anything that boosts engagement and builds trust is a good idea. The best team building programs will help you achieve your goals.
Types Of Events
As a lifelong creative type I’m naturally biased toward creative team events. But even without a personal bias there’s good reason to choose an activity that involves creativity.
- Creativity is fun – In our personal lives, we often choose creative activities for recreation. Painting pottery, cooking, dancing or making music are examples of things you might do with friends on the weekend. All of these fun activities are also great corporate team building ideas.
- Creativity and innovation – A creative program will encourage your team to think and talk about innovation with less hesitation. For most companies, the only real constant is change. To meet the demands of change successfully you have to integrate an innovation mindset into your corporate culture. So a program that boosts your innovative abilities yields benefit.
If your group is a potential fit for physical activities, there’s good reasons to go this route. Programs like trapeze, ropes courses or white water rafting can be thrilling.
- A bit of fear’s okay – The right amount of fear sets you up for the right amount of accomplishment. When something is too easy, getting it done just isn’t that satisfying. But to move from fear, to team work to success; well that’s a worthwhile thing.
- Celebrate accomplishments – And when you’re off the river, or back on the ground, you get to celebrate with the shared camaraderie that comes from tackling a daunting task as a group and succeeding at it.
Then there’s the group of programs that fall under the brain teaser category. That’s not an official team building category. It’s just the way I think about programs such as scavenger hunts or escaping from a maze.
- Working with roles – Programs like this will enable you to define roles within your team and if you’re smart, you’ll mix up your usual roles. You’ll have opportunity for people who may not be leaders on your team to establish leadership roles. Your teammates can demonstrate skills you may not have known they possessed.
- Team strategy – In order to succeed at these types of programs, you have to develop a successful strategy as a team. Without a bit of planning, dialogue and follow through you won’t be successful. So these programs are rich in metaphor to bring back to your day to day work life.
Five Great Corporate Team Building Ideas
I did promise you some team building ideas you could love so now that you have context, here we go:
- Music – I’ll start by blowing my own horn (pardon the music metaphor) and mention the team building programs Kidbilly Music delivers. Our clients actually love our events. Music taps into our universal experience and songwriting combines emotion with intellect. You get to think, to feel and to perform. It’s the right brain/left brain mash up that makes this fun and rewarding. This is a creative program that’s accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be musical to dive into this. But by the time the programs over, you’ll feel musical.
- Movies – I’ve always wanted to make a movie or be in one. I bet almost everyone you know has that same longing. There are now a few good movie making team building programs. You’ll need time for this and more than just a couple of hours. Creating a movie combines the aspects of creative team building with the brain teaser planning and collaboration I’ve described above. You may argue and work through frustration, but the final result culminates in a genuine feeling of pride and accomplishment.
- Dance – It’s not easy to find good providers of dance programs for team building but they are out there. This program is not for everyone. But if you have a group that can embrace physical activity this uniquely rewarding. What I love about dance programs is that they’re highly collaborative in a visceral way. You won’t talk much or discuss much but you’ll work together to create a unified expression that represents team work at it’s best.
- Trapeze – I mentioned this program above in passing. It’s another niche team building program that’s not well-known but is really fun. It falls into the physical activity category and yet you don’t have to be in tip top shape. I love this program because you and everyone on your team will move from emotions of fear, to accepting challenge, to succeeding at something that’s actually quite thrilling. Afterwards, you can celebrate together with the well earned feeling of having survived something completely different.
- The Modern Scavenger – I’m not a big fan of scavenger hunts. Too many of us have been there, done that and not been thrilled. However…if you have a group that’s technically oriented, there are now some very sophisticated GPS, techno based scavenger hunts that are fun. If you do an online search for GPS scavenger hunts you’ll find some good sources.
Before I let you go; the most important way to find team building your employees will love is to find a really good team building company. Make sure your program is facilitated with expertise and passion. The delivery of your program is as least as important as the content.