For many employees, just hearing the words, “team building” and “ice breaker,” are enough to send them on an extended vacation.
While they understand your intentions, traditional team building activities can be a source of stress for some of your employees.
Yet, team building activities are good for your staff and your company, so how do you encourage happy participation?
Let’s look at five team building activities for startups that are exciting, fun, and less emotionally painful for your team members.
#1: Support a Local Charity
One of the best and most fulfilling team building activities is to volunteer together. It’s a great bonding experience, and time your employees will appreciate.
The United Health Group found that volunteering together makes employees feel better emotionally and physically.
Make volunteering as a team an out of the office outing. For example, some teams have volunteered working at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, wrapping gifts for children in need, delivering school supplies or taken part in a Habitat for Humanity project.
By working together, you provide your staff an opportunity to do something meaningful with co-workers outside of the typical daily routine.
You can always let your team decide as a group on the type of volunteer activity. Take suggestions and let everyone vote. This helps you see what causes your team cares about.
Try to do this at least once or twice a year.
#2: Take a Field Trip
Another offsite team building activity is the field trip.
You’ll find that with this type of experience, your team is free to interact, mingle and bond in unique ways, all while getting out of the office.
Here are some field trip ideas:
- Go to the movies.
- Visit an amusement park.
- Take a trip to the zoo or wildlife park.
- Visit a local restaurant for a long lunch. Rent a room and take your time eating your way through appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts. This is a great time to build friendships and morale.
- During the fall, go to the pumpkin patch.
#3: Hold a Scavenger Hunt
Another fun team building activity, especially if your startup team is active and outdoorsy is to hold a scavenger hunt.
This can be a fun and out-of-the-box idea for your employees.
Consider a traditional scavenger hunt complete with clues for the items to find. Or, take it a step further and hide your items using geocaching.
Either way, your staff will enjoy the slightly wild nature of the scavenger hunt. When you’re done, meet for pizza.
#4: Play Office Trivia
For those times when you don’t have a large block of time to spare, try playing a game during the lunch break.
Get everyone together, provide lunch, and play the office trivia game. Have prizes on hand for your winners. Check out these ideas:
- Which team member has green eyes?
- Which staff member has three kids?
- Who brings the best food for lunch?
- Who brings the worst food for lunch?
- What brand of pencils do we buy?
Get creative and come up with some great questions, and you’ll soon have a break room full of laughing employees.
#5: Go Back to High School
Take a cue from your younger self. Consider having a fun day at work where you break up the normal routine.
Here are a few ideas:
- Have a spirit day and encourage your team to wear their favorite football team's colors or jerseys.
- Dress like their favorite movie star or favorite decade.
These activities are relatively inexpensive and foster bonding.
It’s integral to your team building success to find the right activities so you don’t cause your staff undue anxiety.
These five team building activities for startups are low pressure, low anxiety events, and your staff will enjoy getting out of the office.
You’ll find these activities energize your team and give them a morale boost, so they come back to work more productive than before.
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