It’s that time of year again when you need to come up with an original, inclusive and fun team building activity.  You’ve done go-karting, paintballing, cocktail-making and inflatable sports day and are looking for new ideas.  But has your organisation ever been left wondering whether your all-day paint-balling excursion was worth the expense?  Perhaps a different approach to team building activities is in order.


Ask yourself some key questions


1. What is the purpose of the team building day? Is it just to have fun and make people more friendly with each other, or is it to build skills that could add value to the organisation and working environment?

2. What attributes do you want your people/teams to have and what activities or team building games would help build these attributes?

3. How can you derive the most value out of team building while still allowing people to have fun?

4. How much time should you allocate? Is this to be a whole day activity or a series of much smaller activities that take place over weeks or months?

5. Is the activity compulsory or is there a choice?  If you are looking to build skills then providing a choice of activities that meet different development needs is a smart decision.


Interesting and fun team building activities that build skills and add value


A quick online search will tell you that a mind-boggling array of possible team building activities are available but many of these aren’t going to appeal to more than a handful of staff, let alone a majority.  So, if the idea of ‘Messy Twister’, sumo wrestling, or cooking classes make your blood curdle, read on for some alternative team building activity ideas that will build skills and provide value for money.

1. Acting classes

Learning to perform on stage builds confidence and self-esteem.  Acting also helps people improve their communication and public speaking skills, as well as creativity and expression.  Furthermore, a small staff skit will provide entertainment to others.

2. Survival training

Getting outdoors and into nature is a great way to boost health and mental wellbeing.  A day of survival training can help people build resilience, teamwork and communication skills, and learn something new that could benefit themselves or their community in the future.

3. Conflict resolution training

Nobody gets through their career (or even their week) without some form of conflict.  Giving people the skills to resolve these challenges efficiently will help foster a more cohesive environment at work and provide employees with a lifelong skill that they can use in and out of work.

4. Learn a new sport

Set up a weekly session of sport that is gender neutral and inclusive to all ages.  Finding a game where most people are a beginner level, means that everyone will fit in.  Getting your staff involved in sport gives people the opportunity to improve their fitness, mental wellbeing, communication and teamwork skills.

5. Communication coaching

People that are able to communicate effectively and listen to other people’s needs are the most effective managers, negotiators and operators.  Using participatory learning and a set of fun communication games, a communications coach will help staff build their ability to assert themselves, provide clear instructions, listen fully and approach difficult topics of conversation with ease.

Brain Happy coaches people on how to build good relationships at work and teaches a range of tools to build mental health, wellbeing and efficiency in the workplace – read more.