When you think of the number of hours you spend at work, it seems a waste not to enjoy what you do - yet, many of us are stuck in jobs that we hate, or worse, are indifferent to. I'm sure you've come across situations where co-workers seem to be working at cross purposes, even though the end results are supposed to be of benefit to the organization. Working as a team can reduce individual workloads, increase productivity, and best of all, bring some fun into an otherwise drab work life.
It is not always easy to get people to work as a team. While some people may prefer to work solo, it's important to understand that at times, you need to work as part of a team in the interest of the organization. And, team building games for the workplace are the means to this end. More and more human resource managers recognize the importance of this activity, not only for an increase in productivity and employee motivation, but also as a way to get people interacting and working together.
Fun Team Building Games
- This is a popular and effective game for the workplace, and focuses on good communication.
- This game can be played both indoors or outdoors, and you need a relatively large space.
- In a demarcated area, place objects scattered at random on the floor. These represent the land mines.
- Divide the participants into pairs. One of each pair is blindfolded, and brought to the starting point.
- The other person has to guide the blindfolded participant through the minefield, only by spoken instructions; the blindfolded person cannot speak.
- The first pair to make it through wins. Or, you can set a time limit to make it more intense.
- After a given attempt, ask participants to swap roles, giving each a chance to experience the problems the other faced.
- When assigning teams, ensure that you mix it up, allowing better interaction.
- This is one of the best games when you have a large number of people to deal with and want an activity that involves everyone.
- For this, you need a long, thin, lightweight pole. This is the helium stick.
- Get the participants to line up in two lines facing each other, index fingers extended. Then, place the rod on their fingers, and adjust levels till the rod is horizontal.
- The aim of the game is simple - to lower the rod to the ground.
- Though it seems like a very simple task, the helium stick has a tendency to move upwards.
- The upward pressure caused by everyone's fingers is generally greater than the weight of the stick, and this causes the upward movement.
- Calling it the helium stick, may add to the illusion that the stick will float upwards, though in reality it doesn't contain helium.
- Make sure that just the fingers are touching the pole, so that the team has to work together and concentrate on getting the stick to the floor.
- You can make it more difficult by adding two rings at the outer edges after the last person's finger, with the rule that the rings mustn't fall off.
Tug of War
- This is a common team building game for the workplace, probably because it's generally a great success.
- You can modify this traditional game by having two teams tugging against each other, by breaking up participants into four teams tugging against each other.
- This ensures that it's not just strength but tactics and strategy that come into play.
Points to Remember
- When selecting team building activities and games for members of an organization, it might help to keep some points in mind.
- While it's important that the activity imparts something that participants can take back with them and later apply, it's also important that the activity is appropriate for the workplace.
- It's also vital to assess prior to planning the activity, what it is that you hope to attain or impart - is it basic bonding amongst new employees? Or is it raising morale or overall spirit? Is it to bring about some amount of respect and understanding amongst co-workers?
- Once you know what the goal is, you can get started planning your teamwork games. And always include the element of fun.
Team building games can be a great way to inject some fun into an ordinary day and it works even better when the session is an unexpected office games to play on company time - the thought is therapeutic in itself! These activities are also a great morale booster and shows employees that the organization recognizes the needs of the people that make the company what it is.