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BY Jules Dalmacio Communication
When at work, taking in new teammates mostly means hiring new people based on skills that will help the team perform better. However, just hiring new personnel will not be enough to keep the team together. It’s one thing to hire employees; it’s another thing to build a team.
If you want to start fostering better camaraderie among your employees, aside from the everyday check-ins, you could also have team building activities. These types of activities are important because they are done outside the scope of work; there’s less pressure and the team can act more candidly. This will help you and your team learn more about each other, and how you can work more harmoniously.
Let’s start with something familiar; Pinoy Henyo is a game popularized by a long-running noontime show in the Philippines where a contestant guesses a word that’s only shown to their partner contestant. The challenge here is that the guesser may only ask questions that can be answered by Yes, No, and Maybe. All of this happens while a timer runs out.
To play the game, write down secret words in big letters. The team can go into pairs or even play as a group with one person being the guesser. When a guesser is decided, the secret word is placed on top of the forehead of the guesses making sure they don’t see what the word is. When the timer starts, the guesser may start asking questions until they arrive at an answer.
This is a nice way to help the team peer into how their co-employees’ minds work. Do they get flustered easily? Do they have a more linear way of thinking? Can they pick up on body language even if their partner or teammates answer with just yes, no, and maybe?
This one takes the concept of racing and turns it on its head. This is best done as a competitive challenge to individual members or as competing teams.
Basically, the goal of this activity is to get an object across the finish line last. For example, the teams have to roll one marble each down; the last one to the finish line wins. However you can give them other items like paper, paste, tape, twine, or what have you and have them think of ways how to slow down the rolling of the marble without stopping it. Additional rules should include that the marble (or any other object) never stops rolling or moving.
This is a good way for teammates to collaborate and see individual strength like who can think up creative ways to slow down the object while someone else executes the construction whatever slowing mechanism the team can use. This also both stimulates critical and out-of-the-box thinking.
This one may be more involved but is a perfect way to build trust. A recipe relay is basically having a team cook a meal but after a certain time, they need to switch out. For example they could bake a cake; after every 10 minutes, the first member has to switch out and the 2nd member needs to work on wherever the 1st member left off.
The activity is pretty upfront to setup but the actual relay has a lot of complex strategy at play. Members need to communicate what needs to happen next just by what they leave behind. Everyone is also pressured into leaving less or at least more understandable tasks to do for the next person. And then after all has been chopped, cooked, and plated, they also need to pass a taste test.
This fosters a lot of empathic communication as well as what it means to work with more consideration.
Not every team building activity has to be competitive. While companies mostly give out end-of-year recognition to employees, what’s stopping from doing the same and in a more fun way?
Inspired by the Dundies from the popular comedy series The Office, you can have a team awards night that focuses on non-work related aspects that are likable about your team members or that they excel at. Awards like Most Fashionable, Best in Sharing Lunches, Big Sister/Brother of Team, Heart of Gold Award, Most Responsible Award and many more show that aside from work, their innate and personable qualities are also valued. You’d be surprised at how happy you can make employees just by letting them know that these personal qualities are seen.
What do you think about these activities? Hopefully you found one or two suggestions that you would like to do one your next team building session.