What Are Quick Team Building Activities?

Quick team building activities for companies are games and contests aimed at creating a bond among employees and helping them relax, build relationships, and gain confidence. They are great for new and old diverse teams, as they allow members to learn more about each than they would during work. It also encourages collaborative problem-solving. Using huddles and time out in a fun environment can improve team cohesion, morale, and productivity.

Team building exercises are great for gaining commitment and aligning personal goals with those of the team. Learning about each other's values, strengths, and weaknesses is beneficial for all members.

Team building activities can be beneficial for small and large companies, and drive up the motivation.

Several types of team building activities exist; from fun games to challenges and competitions. They improve the team's overall decision-making skills, and increase the acceptance of diversity at the workplace. As a result, team members will be able to communicate more effectively in the workplace, support each other better, and – consequently – achieve better productivity and improved performance. Below you will find some examples of great tried and tested team building games and activities that will help you raise team spirit and improve collaboration.

Examples of Team Building Activities

  • Team Building Activity: A Game of Possibilities

This 5-minute fun team building game is based on creating small groups. All you need is a random tool or object. After a group discussion, one person from each team will need to demonstrate the possible use of the tool or object. The rest of the team will need to guess the use. The person who demonstrates is not allowed to speak or communicate with the rest of the team. The game of possibilities helps improve communication, teamwork, innovation, and creativity in the workplace.

  • Team Building Activity: A Game of Winner/Loser

This game lasts for about 5-6 minutes. Two or more participants are needed. Partner A needs to share something negative that happened to them in their lives with Partner B and this has to be true. Next, they need to share the same event focusing only on the positive side, giving it another perspective. The role of Partner B is to help the other person discover the positives in negative events. After the first event is discussed, the partners switch roles.

The main aim of this game is to encourage positive thinking and help discover the silver lining in negative events. It helps team members learn skills that help them deal with future negative experiences.

  • Team Building Activity:  A Game of Purpose Mingle

You can make your team meetings livelier and more purposeful with this quick game. It involves every person walking around and sharing what they would like to achieve or discuss during the meeting. It's a very short, 1-2-minute exercise involving two or more participants, and it's perfect before huddles or discussions. It is also great to ease the pressure of regular target reviews and appraisals. 

This is a great game to help individuals in the team define their objectives and become more assertive. To further encourage teamwork and participation, you might want to offer a prize to people who share the most ideas with the rest of the team. 

  • Team Building Activity:  A Game of Scavenger Hunt

This game lasts for around one hour, so make sure that you schedule time out for your team. You need to form two or more groups and get some pens and paper for each member.

Simply make two or more competing groups of team members, and create a list of tasks to complete or items to find. Some of these can be challenging or fun, for example, getting a selfie with the security guard, or building something of paper clips, taking photocopies of strange objects, or anything you can come up with. The team that completes the most tasks will win the game.

This team bonding exercise is great for new teams and those that are under a lot of pressure. It eases conflict and gets people together, while encouraging creativity and group cohesion.

  • Team Building Activity: A Game of Human Knot

This game will last for 15-20 minutes. You need 8-20 team members to participate.

You start by getting all your team members to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. You ask every person to grab another team member's hand with their right hand, and then another person's hand with their left hand. The main goal of this game is to untangle the human knot in the shortest possible time. This game is fun and great for improving communication and collaboration within teams. You will need to get people to organize the release of hands, and – if you pay attention – you will discover who the real leaders and followers are in your team.

  • Team Building Activity: A Game of the Mine Field

This is a great idea for getting some fresh air with your team. Find an open space near the office, such as a park or parking lot, and scatter random items while one person is blindfolded. Another person will need to guide the blindfolded individual through the area without making them touch the items.

This game is good for developing communication and listening skills. You can even have two teams to compete with each other for prizes. The game will also improve trust among team members and help discover special talent. There is no time limit for completing the task.

  • Team Building Activity: The Object Memory

For this indoor exercise, all you need is a list of around 30 words. You can pick the words based on the topic of the meeting, the area of your work, or a topic that interests most team members, such as baseball or football. You can project the list on the screen of the meeting room, and give members 60 seconds to remember as many as possible. After the time is up, give them a piece of paper and pen each, and ask them to write down all the words they remember.

This game improves concentration, memory, and focusing skills, while awakening team members' competitive spirit. After each individual team member has created their list, you can ask members to create a "master list" to see how many words the team got right collaborating with each other.

  • Team Building Activity: The Missing Piece

All you need for this game is a copy of a simple picture stuck on a heavy card. Create a jigsaw of the card making 7-9 pieces, or 12 pieces if you want to challenge them. Create two or more groups who will compete with each other. You can choose a funny picture, or even a group picture of the team.

If you have a small team, you might even let members compete individually. This will encourage the development of competitive spirit. If you create two or more competing teams, you can improve collaboration among members and reap the benefits of better productivity as a unit at the workplace.

  • Team Building Activity: The Zoom Game

You have to allocate around 30 minutes for this game. It improves the problem-solving skills of members on the individual and team level.

You will need to get the picture book of "Zoom" by Istvan Banyai, published in several countries. There are 30 pictures in the book that together create a story. Give each member a picture and ask them to study it without showing them to other team members. The goal of the game is to put the pictures into a sequential order by discussing individual images without showing them to other members. You can set a time limit for completion, or make different teams compete with each other. The game improves collaboration skills and communication within the group. You can encourage the shyest of members to speak up and express themselves in front of other people.

  • Team Building Activity: The Classification Game

You can use this 10-15-minute game in the beginning of a team meeting as an ice breaker. You have to split the team into groups of four, and try to explain to every member what "pigeonhole" means. Pigeonholing in this game will mean classifying individuals into groups, based on stereotypes and pre-existing knowledge. Ask the teams to classify their members in a non-prejudicial and positive way, creating descriptions of categories that focus on the positives instead of negatives.

This activity is extremely useful in multicultural and diverse teams, where accepting uniqueness and different views is a challenge. You can encourage team members to look at the benefits of being different, instead of focusing on the negatives. Most middle managers need to fight stereotypes and diversity issues at the workplace, and this game can help them ease tensions. However, they need to make sure that no negative comments are made and no feelings are hurt.

  • Team Building Activity: A Coin Logo Game

This is a short, 5-10-minute game. You need to ask all team members to empty their bags, pockets, purses, and wallets of all coins they have. You can play this game on an individual level or as a team, with members sharing the coins. The aim of the game is to create a logo for the individual or the team using only the coins on the table in the shortest time.

Begin by asking all participants to empty their pockets, purses, and wallets of any coins they may have and place them on the table in front of them. This game can also be played using other items, such as pens, tissues, or even makeup. Make sure that you take a photo of the logos created and use it in other exercises or on the target board.

Create Your Own Team Building Activities

Team building exercises can help middle managers reduce the stress level of their members, and create a better cohesion among individuals. They are extremely beneficial for new teams and those that are culturally and demographically diverse. In some cases, older employees and younger workers do not see eye to eye, and putting them into the same team will help them understand the positive aspects of each other, while teaching them how to communicate with different people.

Designing team building activities is fun for middle managers, and activities that hit it off with the team can be used as a reward. You will find that some activities will be more popular among your team members than others, and you can play these if the group is on target, or for special celebrations.

Individual challenges of team building activities encourage creativity, taking the initiative, expressing one's self, and speaking in front of others. It is also great for finding out who the most competitive team members are.

Group-based team building exercises can be used to mix people from different walks of life, and help them communicate with each other more effectively. They encourage collaboration and communication, while helping the middle manager spot leaders, people who prefer to stay in the background, or identify possible conflicts that might affect relationships at the workplace.

Having team building activities is not only good for team members, but also managers. It helps team leaders develop their leadership skills further, understand their team members' preferences, and learn new ways of motivating individuals.

There are plenty of team building activities that managers can use to reduce stress, break the ice, and improve interpersonal relationships at the workplace. You can have a 5-minute warm up before every meeting, or reward your team for meeting/exceeding targets with a longer, one-hour outdoor activity. Make sure that you consult with experienced managers before you create the activities, and do not cause distress to members that might result in legal challenges. Keep the atmosphere positive and inclusive, and try to prevent conflict, exclusion, and discrimination.

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