When your team members start feeling sluggish and burnt out, it might be time to schedule a team outing. Group activities are a welcome change of pace, giving co-workers a chance for team bonding, stress relief and fun. An enthusiastic approach to team-building shows your appreciation, adding a positive element to your company culture.
Of course, putting together a team-building exercise can be met with a lot of eye rolls. We all know about the trust falls and human knots, so a skeptical view of group activities is understandable.
In reality, there are numerous unique methods for motivating employees and inspiring enthusiastic teamwork. From professional development activities to virtual field trips, outings enhance your team’s interpersonal and professional competencies.
If you need inspiration for engaging, practical team-building activities, here are 30 fun and creative ways to start.
Group Activities and Team-Building Ideas
Putting in work for a good cause is a fulfilling way to bring your workforce together. Volunteering lets team members contribute while representing your company and brand in a positive light. Activities can range from simple trash pickup to lending time at a food bank or serving seniors in the community.
You can also leverage your team’s collective skill set to help non-profit organizations. The marketing department can help a shelter promote itself or the IT department can update a local church’s website. Find opportunities in your area through VolunteerMatch, HandsOn Network or Catchafire.
A trip off the beaten path, angling is a richly rewarding and tranquil dive into nature. You need to bring plenty of patience and resolve, but a successful day is immensely satisfying. Schedule a time for coworkers to meet at a local pond or lake to bond and celebrate the occasional catch. Considering checking out local clubs and resorts, as many of them feature stocked ponds.
3. Development Workshop
Team-building, work motivation and group learning combine in development workshops. Arrange an office workshop or set up attendance at a professional workshop or seminar. The workshop can be geared toward enhancing team members’ current skills or developing a broader array of competencies.
4. Jigsaw Puzzle Race
Add a competitive edge to an otherwise relaxing activity by organizing a jigsaw puzzle race. Break teams into small groups and equip each with the same puzzle for an intense problem-solving challenge. The group exhibiting the best teamwork and structured strategy is most likely to win the day.
It’s easy for puzzle challenges to become tedious if you pick the wrong type or size. A 1000-piece puzzle can take over three hours to complete. Keep it at 500 pieces or less to save everyone’s patience. Puzzles with more complex designs and more defined areas of color will also be easier to solve.
5. Room Escape
One of the hottest company outings is the escape room. There’s been an explosion of these in recent years, so it’s likely you will find one within a short distance. In these games, teams are locked in a room for an hour. In that time, they must work together to solve a series of puzzles and find clues that lead to their escape.
The escape room is employee engagement at its finest. It takes leadership, teamwork, quick thinking and patience to win—all qualities any good manager should hope to nurture.
6. The Egg Drop Challenge
The Egg Drop Challenge is a popular middle school engineering project. Teams work together to build structures to house an uncooked egg. The idea is to make the structure protective enough to keep it from cracking when dropped from up high.
Teams are only given a specific set of allowable items, forcing them to flex their creativity. Commonly used items include tape, cardboard and cotton balls, but you can use anything you like. Put your own spin on it by using items from around the workplace.
7. Laser Tag
More than childish fun, laser tag is also a sensible corporate outing. Not only is it an energizing activity but it also demands strategy, logic and teamwork to be victorious.
Laser tag does take extra work to organize. Make it part of an after-work field trip before dinner with the team. Go the extra mile by putting together a package of prizes or creating team shirts.
8. Catch Phrase
This party game involves teams taking turns guessing a word or phrase, using one teammate’s clues to help. Phrases can be popular celebrities, famous quotes or famous landmarks. Put a fun spin on it by incorporating company leaders or branding. It may be a casual game, but Catch Phrase also facilitates better communication within the group.
9. Mystery Dinner
Organize a mystery dinner by grouping different employees together for a shared dinner. Managers host the dinner at a restaurant or their home. Participants only know the date and time of the dinner leading up to the day of the event. Before the end of the workday, they are sent an email telling them where the dinner is located and who is attending.
This is a quirky way of bringing together team members from different departments who normally don’t see each other. By making the combinations random, you can do this several times with unique results and fresh conversations.
Team kayaking or canoeing literally forces everyone to work together in a common direction. This is a great time to pair up employees who don’t get much one-on-one time together.
Make the experience a serene, lazy float or add competitive spirit with a race across the lake. Plenty of public resorts and camping areas offer boats for rent. Get a crew together and schedule a few hours out on the water.
11. Trampoline Park
Trampoline parks have surged in popularity and most boast a wealth of fun activities. Parks replace floors and walls with trampolines while also integrating basketball and obstacle courses to up the fun factor. Some host dodgeball tournaments or other organized competitions as well. Getting in a good bounce is excellent exercise and a fantastic way to blow off steam.
12. Something Touristy
Get to know more about your community as a team with a touristy outing. Take a bus or ferry on a traditional tour or gather some bikes for a self-guided jaunt. Check out popular tourist destinations and book tickets with your team for a fun day out of the office.
13. Painting Class
Art is an excellent outlet and a painting class gives your team a chance to unwind and stretch their creative muscles. It is easy to find a local painter or school that offers classes for the whole group. Put the art up around the office as a token of the experience.
14. Cooking Class
What motivates people more than food? A cooking class combines fun and learning in an area that most are willing to improve upon. These are best left out of the office unless you have a massive kitchen and know a good teacher. Instead, sign up at a local restaurant or bakery that hosts classes.
15. Explore a New Place
Exploring new places around the city does not take much preparation other than a little research. Going to a museum, visiting a new restaurant or taking in an interesting attraction all work well. If you are feeling ambitious, think about chartering a bus to take the team out.
16. Sports Game
Sports games are always fun to attend, even if you are not a particular fan of the sport being played. Having team members bond over a game enlivens team spirit. If co-workers have rivaling team loyalties, the friendly competition makes it that much more worthwhile.
17. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are best for special occasions that span the entire community. Assemble your employees into teams and have them acquire your list of items. Make the clues relate to what you do as a company to add an extra layer of fun. This activity will foster communication and playing to individual strengths—critical qualities for a sales rep.
Organize a hunt yourself or look to an outside agency. Services like The Go Game and Stray Boots offer well-planned, rejuvenating outings the whole team will enjoy.
18. What’s My Name?
A simple, fun party game, What’s My Name? lets your team members interact in a new way. Each player is given the name of a famous person, usually on an index card, and puts it on their head or back. Players have to pretend that their co-worker is the famous person on their card. Participants ask questions and engage in small talk until they correctly identify their famous person.
Bowling is a highly popular company outing and one that requires skill but not too much physical activity. The congratulations for every strike and light-hearted ribbing for every gutterball nurtures camaraderie and comfort among peers. It is a great slow-paced competition, featuring good conversation and a chance to loosen up after work.
20. Sneak a Peek
Sneak a Peek is a classic test of communication, teamwork and approach. Using blocks, clay, Lincoln logs or similar building items, a game leader builds a structure. Each team is tasked with recreating the structure. One member of the team looks at the structure for 10 seconds. They run to their group and describe the structure so the other group members can try to recreate it. They repeat this process until they feel that they have a proper build.
The object of the game is to be the first group to recreate the structure. It’s an eye-opening exercise in project management—one that drives home the importance of quality input.
21. Board Game Tournament
Board games are easy to set up and can be made available throughout the day at the office. Organize a special time for the whole team to partake in a variety of games. Or, you could open a game in the break room for team members to sign up for certain time slots. Simple games are often best. Jenga, playing cards or Sorry are some relatively quick, light options. Save Monopoly for a special game night.
22. Office Trivia
Team trivia is an excellent way to bring a large team together—especially if they all sport different personalities. Trivia does not require physical acumens like ropes courses or a gregarious nature like karaoke. Instead, team members are able to participate at their own pace while still being part of the crew.
Organize a trivia night yourself, mixing in work-related themes if you like. Doing “Jeopardy” style, with betting on final questions, keeps games competitive even if it has been a runaway all night. If you want to let professionals handle the experience, find local bars or clubs that host trivia nights. You might consider hiring a trivia company to organize an exclusive contest.
23. Improv Workshop
Improv is gaining popularity as an invigorating team-building exercise. The creative, interactive experience gives the team a chance to laugh and encourage each other. Like trivia, improv events can be organized in-house or with professional agencies specializing in fast-paced fun.
An improv workshop is an educational group activity—one that develops support and communication within the team. Your team will be able to collaborate in brainstorming sessions more readily and solve problems more efficiently.
24. Two Truths and a Lie
A great icebreaker for new team members, Two Truths and a Lie lets coworkers get acquainted in a light-hearted game. Team members sit in a circle and take turns introducing themselves. After giving their name, they give three bits of personal information, two of them true and one a lie. Everyone else tries to guess which “fact” is actually a fib.
It’s a fun game that reveals fun facts while also a little bit of personality and humor. Plus, it takes little preparation and can even be used to loosen up a sales meeting.
25. Karaoke Night
You might have to read your team to see if they are outgoing enough to partake in karaoke. If they are a bunch of extroverts, though, this is one of the most fun ways to bring them together. Set it up solo or divide members into teams to see how well they collaborate and harmonize.
Karaoke allows team members to step outside of their comfort zone and gain confidence among one another. The friendly competition will help build an openness between team members that will carry over into the workplace.
26 . Happy Hours
Motivating employees to come out for a round of drinks does not take much effort. Most are happy to come to grab a beer, and the conversations that flow from there develop deep relationships. Co-workers can de-stress, put work aside, get to know each other and share a few laughs. Just encourage a measured pace to keep everyone fresh for work the next day. Or, avoid any hassle by arranging it for after work on a Friday.
27. The “Suddenly” Story
The “Suddenly” Story combines the unique, far-reaching imaginations of your team members, often with hilarious results. In this activity, your team assembles in a circle. One member opens the story with three sentences. When they are done, they say, “Suddenly…,” and move the story along to the next person. They build onto the story with their own three sentences, ending again with “Suddenly…” before passing it along.
The game encourages fast thinking and participation from all involved, making it a great icebreaker. It can be done anywhere and anyone can get involved. Try using it as an impromptu break from work to get the team livened back up.
28. Go-Kart Racing
The adrenaline rush of go-kart racing pushes competitive fun to the max. Team members will have a memorable time interacting and bonding. Meanwhile, you will earn points for organizing a fun, one-of-a-kind group activity.
Go-karts can be physically and mentally demanding. Before making plans, make sure you assess everyone’s willingness and ability to partake. At the track, ensure everyone stays safe and abides by the rules.
29. Concentration – Marketing Edition
Concentration is a card game and 1960s game show. In the show, 30 tiles are put up on a board, each hiding a prize on the back. Each tile had a partner, another tile on the board that hid an identical prize. Contestants took turns revealing tiles, two at a time, to look for matches. As the game progressed, players would start to remember which prizes were hidden behind certain tiles. On their next turn, they would be able to guess the matching tiles to win the prize.
Put a marketing spin on the classic game by using company logos, slogans, employee names or products on tiles. This is a fun way to introduce new team members to the company. Even seasoned company veterans can refresh their memory—especially as the company expands.
30. Team Picnic
Entertaining large groups is easy with an outdoor team picnic. Having team members participate in providing food and activities fosters engagement. Incorporate music, games or group activities to encourage participation and team bonding.
Group activities are a great way to develop a cohesive, highly motivated team working toward a common goal. Our mission at the Selling Revolution is to support your team in accomplishing those goals through education, strategy and motivation. To learn how to leverage our sales expertise to grow your business, book an introduction call today.