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If you exercise only once a year, you’re probably not going to get six-pack abs. If you only dedicate one day per year to team building activities—at your company’s annual retreat, for instance—then your team members probably won’t be like the cast of Friends. Worst case scenario, they will fight like cats and dogs.
Cultivate a tight-knit group by turning team building into a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly habit. Check out the 7 activities below and get the positive vibes flowing today!
Daily Team Building Activities (10-15 Minutes Each)
1. A Handshake Contest
Pair up and spend 10 minutes making up and memorizing a fun, unique handshake. Get creative! Everything is fair game, from elbow bumps and chants to jumping up and down on one leg. When time runs out, have each pair perform their handshake for the group and award a small prize (or bragging rights) for the most creative shake or smoothest performance.
Watch out for the Wikipedia masters in this activity! Assign one game host and have everyone else pair off into twos or threes. As the game host asks trivia questions, employees must clap their hands to indicate they know the answer. First to clap, first to answer. The team with the greatest number of points at the end of 10-15 minutes wins.
Feel free to cycle through trivia categories such as: pop culture, office-related (“How many employees are in HR?”), geography, art and literature, history, and sports. If you don’t want to spend time thinking of questions on your own, consider investing in a set of Trivial Pursuit cards or using a trivia smartphone app.
Weekly Team Building Activities (10 Minutes-1 Hour)
86% of values-based recognition programs result in greater worker happiness, according to SHRM. Additionally, Reward Gateway reports that 70% of employees think motivation and morale would improve significantly if managers expressed thanks more often. Take just a few minutes every week to gather your team and let everyone recognize someone for saving the day, hitting an awesome milestone, or even fixing the darn printer again.
This is a great opportunity (or excuse) to get outside when the great weather is a little too tempting. Split into teams and put 10 minutes on the clock. Then, challenge each group to collectively strategize and fold their best paper airplane. After 10 minutes, it’s time to see which group’s airplane can fly the furthest and/or most accurately hit a target of your choice.
Bonus: Looking for more team building activities for your group—ones that they’ll actually enjoy? We’ve got you covered.
Monthly Team Building Activities (1-2 Hours)
5. Night on the Town
If your coworkers are available after work, get together for an activity that goes beyond boring old happy hour. Try a group painting class (hint: many of them offer wine as part of the package), see a play or dance performance, or participate in a team sport or charity event. Interacting outside of the office can help everyone connect on a more personal level.
6. Team Potluck
The team that eats together, stays together. Mark a date on the calendar to host a group potluck, where each team member brings a favorite dish. Bonus points for discussing why each person decided on their special dish (e.g., is it a family recipe?) while digging in.
Quarterly Team Building Activities (1-2 Hours)
7. Wall of Wins
According to Harvard Business Review, “the more frequently people experience [a sense of making progress in meaningful work, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run” and feel positively about their work and performance.
Celebrate the small wins! Every quarter, sit down to write down your most memorable team and individual successes on sticky notes or colorful paper. Then, post them on the wall to congratulate your team and build positive team momentum for the next quarter.