A workplace with happy and engaged workforce converts into a productive organization. Team building activities help to uplift the team spirit and energy. It helps to break the monotony and negativity that is usually created by organization grapevines, internal team politics and competition. In today’s time, with employees getting exposed with newer technologies and innovation and the attention spans getting shorter, the need to think about innovative and engaging team building strategies has become imperative. Managers and trainers are pushed to think about creative ways of achieving the best outcomes from the activities.
Outdoor team building activities can happen either on-site or off-site. Either ways, based on the learning outcomes and objectives, these team building activities can be clubbed into four buckets – a) Team Collaboration, b) Communication, c) Problem Solving and Decision Making and d) Agility and Adaptability. Also, some team building activities are for adventure sake.
Two examples of learning-driven team building activities have been given below.
- These kinds of team building activities focus on building trust, accountability and commitment within the team so that they collaborate more for meeting common goals. One activity that is often conducted to meet this objective is Scavenger Hunt. This activity can be played with a group size of 15 – 100. The greater number of people, greater the confusion, better the insights from the activity.
- To conduct Scavenger Hunt, the group is divided into 3 or more teams and the facilitator gives a list of defined items to each team. The task is to collect the listed items which are hidden in different areas of the venue. To find the item, the teams are given a deadline and some hints (in the form of metaphors and phrases) to decode and find the location of the item. This activity helps to drive insights around inter and intra-team collaboration, trust, playing on individual team member’s strengths, delegation, communication and time management.
- Team building activities that focus on communication aim to meet the objectives of clear communication, active listening skills, thinking on the feet, asking questions and breaking assumptions. Based on whether the team building activity is at the managerial level or leadership, the communication pattern and complexity may differ. One such activity that can played is the Blindfold Obstacle activity.
- The group is divided into teams and one leader from the team is identified. Rest all the members of the team are blindfolded. There are obstacles planned on the way and the leader is expected to guide the blindfolded team members from one point to another. The game also helps to build trust within the team because a large part of listening to the leader of the team or another peer comes from the ability to trust them.
Most important thing for successful outdoor team building activities is the implementation. Accurate and flawless implementation requires the use of a thorough checklist which should include all the logistics (big and small) required for the activities. Against each logistic item, providing the quantity required is a must. This checklist ensures that all the items required for the activity implementation is available as per planned.