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Team-building games are a fun and effective way to encourage collaboration and forge strong bonds at work.
In this article, the workforce-management experts at Sling introduce you to group activities that will get everyone engaged, energized, and motivated to work together.
For this team-building game, you’ll need one participant to be the center and enough other players to form a triangle around that center person.
The game works best if you have an equal number of participants in each leg of the triangle. If you don’t have the right number of players to make this work, you may need to use something else as the center (an office chair with a face taped to the back will work).
Once your team members are in place, instruct those in the triangle to remember exactly where they were in relation to the center. It helps to take several pictures with your phone in order to verify the precise orientation.
Next, instruct the center to spin as many times as they want in either direction until they are facing a different direction.
Finally, challenge the members of the triangle to reorient themselves so that they are arranged as they were before the center moved.
This a great way for your team members to get to know each other better and can serve as an easy ice-breaker to get everyone comfortable before a meeting.
Prior to the start of the activity, gather enough loose change so that you have at least one coin for each member of the group (more than one for each member works better sometimes because they have more options).
As you gather the coins, make sure the year on those coins is within your team’s lifespan right up to the present. So if the oldest member of your team was born in 1975, you’ll want some coins from the late 1970s as well as the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.
Place all of the coins in a large bowl, mix them up, and assemble your team. Pass the bowl and have each person draw a coin.
Then go around the circle and ask each person to share something significant that happened to them in the year on their coin.
For this team-building game, you’ll need a long piece of rope, string, or other flexible material and a blindfold for each member of the group.
First, arrange everyone in a circle and have them hold part of the rope. Second, instruct them to place the rope on the floor at their feet and stand up. Third, have them put on their blindfolds and take a few steps back away from the rope.
Finally, challenge them to come back, pick up the rope, and form a square without letting go of the rope or removing their blindfolds.
As an added challenge, you can set a time limit or require that certain members of the team must stay silent throughout.
Gather your group together for an “emergency” meeting, but don’t let on that this is a team-building game.
During the meeting, read from a very dry, jargon-filled document about sales, marketing, accounting, or another technical topic that may not even apply to this team.
At various places within the document, insert simple instructions that the individuals must follow when your reading is over.
For example, after a rambling introduction, you would read something like:
“Percent change from last year to this year was 13.75 plus or minus 1.33. Follow these instructions when I”m finished with this speech. That deviation from the norm is important because it illustrates the practical application of accounting practices as they apply to our bottom line. Go to my desk. These accounting practices reveal areas where we can improve our overall savings practices and restructure our cash flow. Pick up a quarter. This type of significant change can significantly alter the landscape of our industry by giving us more control of our accounts payable process and keeping more money in our accounts than previously possible. Come right back. Combined with combinatorial factoring, these accounting practices will increase our cost matrix calculations for improved overhead and inventory management.”
Be sure to read in a monotone voice, and don’t over-emphasize any words or phrases. When you’re done reading, go around the room one by one and ask people, “What do you do?”
Give them only a few seconds to act. If they don’t get up and leave right away, say, “We’ll come back to you.”
The ones who were actively listening should get up, go to your desk, pick up a quarter, and return to the table.
In order to prevent one person from following another, be sure to give the individuals who leave the room enough time to get there and back before the next person leaves.
Some individuals won’t know what’s going on, while others get up and leave without knowing where they’re going.
When everyone has been given a chance to follow the instructions, say something like, “Put them on the table,” and see who has a quarter.
As we mentioned, this game can take many forms. Instead of instructions, you could insert facts or numbers into your speech and then quiz listeners as a group at the end.
Get creative and come up with a unique test to see who pays attention and who tunes you out.
Team-building games and other extra-curricular activities are a wonderful way to forge camaraderie amongst the employees in your business. But you can only play games for so long before they start to interfere with the more important aspects of your company.
When it comes to building a strong team, the day-to-day activities like scheduling, communication, task management, and workforce optimization are far more important than any amount of team-building games.
The Sling app can help.
The powerful features built into the Sling suite of software can help you:
All of that within the same app that helps you build schedules, manage overtime, and keep your business on budget. That’s a powerful tool for building strong bonds and promoting teamwork in your company with or without team-building games.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.
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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.