The concept of team building has been studied since the late 1920’s, with the first experiment being the famous Hawthorne studies that looked at productivity and how it relates to working conditions.
Research says that teams, in order to be productive and effective, have to be able to work together cohesively. But most teams aren’t naturally cohesive. People often disagree and have diverse opinions. How can small teams build stronger connections, learn to work through disagreements, and better understand their role in the company’s success?
Team building exercises are activities that are designed to help team members learn to work together more effectively. Small businesses and startups can benefit from team building exercises whether they’re building a new team or improving existing teams.
It’s not uncommon for teams that physically work together to do team building activities, but more than 65% of remote employees say they’ve never participated in a virtual team building session. That means a lot of teams are working below their potential.
We found 3 practical team building ideas for small businesses that can help you create better teams that enjoy working together and get more accomplished. There are ideas for both onsite and remote teams.
3 Practical Team Building Ideas for Small Businesses
1. Hold a scavenger hunt
A team building scavenger hunt can be held at the office or nearby area. Each team should come up with a name. Make a list ahead of time for objectives the teams should reach – objects or landmarks they have to find before they can collect a clue and advance to the next one on the list.
Scavenger hunts with work-related themes are a fun variation to try. Find prizes that would be appropriate for the winning team and consider getting runner-up prizes for the non-winning teams.
2. Encourage positive reinforcement
Teams that encourage each other with positive reinforcement work more effectively together. Rooting for each other instills a sense of connection and friendship between team members. Bring this concept to your teams by asking them to speak up when another does something awesome. Hearing encouragement from a fellow team member is a strong motivating force.
3. Make a remote team member map
If your team is entirely remote or distributed (with some members working together in person and the rest working online remotely), making a remote team member map is a great team building idea. Create a map with points marking team members’ locations, titles, and names.
You could add something unique about their city or state and a small picture of each member on the location. It’s a great way to help remote team members visualize where the others are and feel more like a team.
When team members have engaged in activities outside of work together, they have a better connection. Whether teams are remote, partially distributed, or completely onsite, these team building ideas can improve productivity and member relationships.
What team building exercises have worked for your team? Send us your best team building ideas to be included in an upcoming post.