HR Corner

Team Building Exercises That Employees Won’t Hate

Building an efficient team takes time. Even after organizations are done hiring the right candidates, there’s a lot that goes into keeping staff motivated and positive. Team building exercises are tools in the modern-day HR’s armory to achieve this goal.

Team building exercises are a way to help teams function as a cohesive unit, building trust among co-workers, reduce conflicts and encourage communication and collaboration.

In an article for the Harvard Business Review (March 2009), Pat Olsen, shares tips for team-building activities that can make a real difference:

  • Present real-world problems: Experts say that fun activities can reduce stress and foster togetherness, but don’t help teams learn to solve problems.
  • Account for different styles and personalities: Different individuals have different strengths and hence it is better to conduct activities that have different roles to choose from.
  • Tailor the team-building exercises: The team-building exercise should to be according to the needs of the team and the organization.

Most organizations organize several exercises through the year. However, a day out picnicking, team lunch and boring games aren’t enough to keep employees interested. Team building exercises should provide both, fun and learning. Most importantly, team-building activities shouldn’t feel like work. Here are some team building games that employees wouldn’t hate:

Team flash mob

Are there work-related lessons we can learn from flash mobs? Lori Bush Shepherd answers this question, “Within a flash mob, each participant has a special role or contribution to bring to the group. Team members are united from disparate locations and collaborate for one point in time. The individual parts become a whole through teamwork and partnership.” ( October 2014)

These characteristics of the flash mob – the ability of team members to adapt, communicate, create and collaborate effectively to produce a specific result – can be applied to the workplace environment too. Some prominent companies that have tried flash mob as a team-building exercise are McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Google.

Ropes course

A ropes course is a challenging outdoor activity – usually consisting of tasks at a low level on the ground and high level on trees and poles – that helps in personality development and team building. Chad Clarke, a manager for an adventure center, facilitates team-building rope courses. He explains that the course exercises components of team behavior. Participants get to analyze the process and how the team met the challenge.

Lee Esmond, vice president of integrated marketing at Mosaic, prefers ropes courses to lead her team that comprises 97% millennials, who prefer an experiential way of learning rather than instructive. (Fast Company 2016)

Circus skills workshop

Circus skills workshop is an exercise that companies are increasingly adopting for team building. Teams learn circus tricks such as juggling, hula-hoop, hang on the trapeze and walk tight ropes. These workshops are designed to provide a unique and enjoyable experience to teams and at the same time, create and develop sustainable team performance behaviors, re-invigorate, re-focus teams to effectively work towards common goals.

According to Team Tactics, a UK-based event management company, circus skills workshops promote “new ways of learning, improved communication abilities, stronger mutual support and respect for each other and improved confidence and self-esteem.”

FYI: It’s no secret that the process of building good teams begins with the hiring process. If you want your team to be more productive, successful and effective, each team member has to be carefully chosen based on his/her skills and potential. Organizations bring individuals with varying skills, personalities and backgrounds together to build successful teams. A crucial part of this hiring process is background verification checks.

FactSuite is one of India’s finest background verification agencies. Supported by a core team of experienced employee screening analysts, we screen important aspects of candidates’ profiles, such as references, educational background, credit, and criminal background database checks among others. We also have a wide range of background checks that can be tailored to the requirement of your company and the job role.