this is team building that doesn't suck, a group writing a song

Team building can quite frankly, seriously suck! Everyone is tired of doing trust falls that don’t actually build trust, and attending boring presentations that definitely aren’t getting anyone motivated to participate. But there are team building activities that don’t suck. Working together doesn’t have to be dull or lame! 

Workshopping skills and having fun can co-exist. The goal of team building is to create a strong bond between members, and the only way to do that is to make it exciting for everyone involved. So I’ve created a list of non-stereotypical exercises to spice up your next group bonding experience. 

1) Create a team playlist 

Who doesn’t love a good playlist to get them jazzed about their day? Studies have shown that listening to positive music first thing in the morning can have amazing health benefits. It  stimulates your brain by increasing blood flow, which effectively reduces anxiety, improves mental health, and enhances your mood.

Creating a positive playlist together is a great way for your group to share interests and make connections. Getting together to build the ultimate playlist will generate great conversation about music choices, memories of favorite songs and more. It’s great team bonding. And once your play list is in use, when you hear it, you’ll think of your colleagues in a more personal way.

2) Songwriting

While I’m on the subject of music; are you itching to exercise your songwriting abilities? Maybe not yet! But if you’ve never experienced team building through song, you’re in for a treat. Disclaimer, this is what my company does. But our track record definitely does not suck! Choosing a program that’s different ,and actually fun, will help inspire your team. That is, after you get through the jitters. But the pre-program jitters and the feeling of accomplishing something new, are part of the deep satisfaction that comes from successfully completing a great team program. 

Songwriting can help refine creative thinking skills and problem solving in a fun and unique fashion. And making music together is highly collaborative. You don’t have to have musical ability to take part in this program. In fact, part of what we do is help you tap into your own innate ability and take pride in it. 

2) Company retreat 

Employers always expect team members to be on their A game. How do you make sure that happens? Sometimes a change in scenery can really get the gears turning. If you’re looking for a less dreadful way of helping your team build trust, company retreats can achieve this better than the well worn trust fall. Instead, plan a few days of fun low pressure activities in a relaxing location to encourage working together in a real-life setting. 

To really get the most out of it, there needs to be a healthy balance of structured time and free time. If you take your team to a new location, plan to try the local cuisine and explore its wonders as a group. Make sure to also give them time to socialize and explore on their own terms.

Retreats take lots of advance planning in order to coordinate employee schedules. So you have to make your destination appealing. But it’s well worth it. Successful retreats are definitely team building activities that don’t suck. They have the potential to rank right up there with everyone’s memories of their own personal vacation trips. 

4) Office Olympics

An entertaining way of getting everyone moving can be accomplished right in the office! Office olympics can generate ongoing conversation and healthy competition. There are simple indoor activities that will level the playing field since most people will not have done them. For example, rubber band archery is just the thing to ensure everyone gets their daily dose of laughter. There’s desk soccer, table tennis, and paper plate discus.

You get the idea. Research your own games and organize teams to host in office olympics and make it an annual event. Don’t forget, you’ll need medals too!

5) Lunch on you  

They say that the best way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Let’s be honest, no one is going to turn down free food. I know that I’m always excited when someone offers to pay for my lunch. It’s time to take your team out, treating them to a nice meal on you. It’s an easy way to show your appreciation for the hard work that they do every day. Everyone deserves a simple thank you once in a while. Plus taking a break from the regular workday lunch break can boost company morale and energize the group. 

You can also plan a more structured lunch to help inspire everyone with work challenges. You can add in a discussion about the importance of work-life balance and how to avoid potential burnout. When you want a fail safe team building program that doesn’t suck, good food can’t go wrong. 

6) Tie-dye day

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get everyone together, plan a tie-dyeing day! This is a great low stress activity that allows creativity to flourish. All you have to do is collect the supplies and find a location, like a park or your backyard. You’ll need some tie-dying kits, gloves, rubber bands, and some custom t-shirts. To really get into the company spirit, order custom t-shirts with your logo or slogan on them. If you’ve never used tie-dye before, there are plenty of how to guides out there to get the group started.  

This activity is what I like to call a controlled mess. And making a mess helps us tap into our childlike side. Getting into tie-dying is like stepping into the unknown but where you almost can’t go wrong. Almost, haha… 

7) Team Jeopardy

One of the best game shows for all you trivia fiends out there is Jeopardy. We all know and love this famous quiz show and the beloved Alex Trebek. It’s incredibly easy to build your own Jeopardy game. 

First, select five interesting categories such as unusual foods, pop culture, infamous bank robbers, urban legends, and world wonders. Make sure to select categories based on the group’s interests to create an inclusive experience for everyone. After you know what your categories are, you can build your game board with questions and points. When getting started, you have the choice to be able to break the group up into smaller teams to play a short game or create a tournament out of it. Make it even more interesting and put prizes on the line. Get creative with it and have fun! 

Remember, team building doesn’t have to suck!

There are plenty of team programs out there that get everyone motivated and inspired to work together while honing skills to better serve the company. Bonding can be hard, so make sure to find team building activities that don’t suck. They’re out there, you just need to look under a few rocks.

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.