10 Team Building Activities Your Creative Team Won’t Hate
Read time: 10 minutes
In theory, team building activities allow your creative team to learn how to work together to solve problems in a fun, un-work-like setting. In reality, the mere suggestion of team building draws groans from the office. Team building activities have a solid reputation for being impractical, weird, and pretty cheesy.
Why Team Building Activities Are Essential
The word “team building” refers to the activities, events, and other initiatives you carry out to support your teams in developing the cooperation and communication skills necessary to work together and achieve shared objectives. These activities can take various forms, such as interactive games, problem-solving challenges, outdoor adventures, workshops, or facilitated discussions. In hybrid workplaces, team collaboration is important to the group’s overall performance.
It can be hard to find balance between teamwork that actually works, and teamwork that’s just Thirsty Thursday’s collaborative effort of emptying the beer fridge. But fear not! It’s not impossible. If you wish to foster a productive culture where members love going to work, trust one another, and communicate effortlessly, team building should be a part of your strategy. There are some reasons why team building activities are important:
A successful team must have mutual trust. The ability to trust one another is essential for people to work together. Team building exercises, which involve interactions outside the office, can enhance teamwork. When a creative agency strengthens a culture of trust among its staff, it empowers them to carry out their responsibilities and make independent decisions.
Members who are trusted feel protected and are able to swiftly identify their strengths and flaws. Additionally, trust encourages workers to be more proactive with their ideas, be more willing to take risks, listen to one another, and reach consensus more readily. Over time, everyone on the team gains more self-assurance in sharing their vulnerabilities with one another.
You can nurture a collaborative culture via fun team building events. When creative members collaborate, they strategize the ideal way to manage tasks and produce top-notch outcomes. As a result, they’re able to divide work into smaller groups, collaborate on projects, and finish jobs quickly. Employees that are properly communicated with understand their responsibilities and those of their coworkers. This boosts collaboration, encourages people to help one another achieve their goals, and increases participation in how others are doing.
The development of interpersonal skills among workers is one of the most important advantages of team building. People discuss their positive and negative experiences when they work together. This increases their trust in teammates and pulls everyone closer together. Additionally, it fosters a welcoming workplace where staff members feel free to ask for or offer assistance to others.
Bring in Fresh Talent
Candidates often consider the hiring positions based on multiple factors besides pay, including how well a firm looks after its people. Job seekers may look for a welcoming workplace that supports them in achieving their professional objectives and cares for their wellbeing. This is where team building comes in. Team building encourages cohesion, productivity, and a happy team, making it an excellent technique for luring and keeping outstanding people. You can promote content about your company team building events to show your culture and attract like-minded people.
Team building games promote collaboration among coworkers, which encourages them to come up with brilliant ideas. Innovative ideas are more likely to be generated by agencies that offer opportunities where creative people can gather and engage. This helps team members become more critical thinkers and produce fresh ideas that progress your business.
Create Satisfied Teams
Happy team members translate into satisfied clients and customers for your creative agency. Satisfied staff are motivated to contribute more and are less likely to quit. This reduces turnover expenses associated with hiring and training new hires. When customers receive excellent customer service from the staff, they may also become more loyal and devoted to the creative team.
Team building exercises can be enjoyable and memorable for all parties while also imparting some useful knowledge. Employees can solve issues creatively and collaboratively thanks to these exercises. When done properly, team building exercises can be an excellent approach to fortifying mutual trust and support.
Here are some FP-tried-and-tested team building activities that your team will actually enjoy. No trust-falls here, we promise.
List of Team Building Activities Your Creative Team Won’t Hate
Volunteer for a Cause
Volunteering for a good cause encourages your employees to problem-solve within the community they live in. Let your creative team make a case for which charity they’d like to support and how they’re going to go about it. Whether you end up organizing a coat drive in the office or cleaning up the beach, finding passion behind creative team building is a good way to get the ball rolling.
You only need paper, pens or markers, and prints of straightforward line drawings or simple forms. Your employees should be divided into pairs, with each team seated adjacent to the other. One person is given a piece of drawing and the other is given a paper and a pen. Without explaining what it is, the person holding the photo must show their partner how to sketch the shape or the image that was delivered to them.
Each pair of partners then compare their drawings to see who gets the best accurate reproduction when the timer has run out. Obviously, that team wins.
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A Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is one of our personal favourite team-building activities because it can be as creative, clever and chaotic as you want to make it. Whether you’re setting up a mini hunt within the office or an epic destination hunt across your downtown area, this activity is a surefire way to get your creative team revved up. All you need is a list of activities to hunt, and at least one smartphone per team to grab photographic evidence. While the traditional scavenger hunt tends to rely on speed, we prefer putting a creative spin on things by awarding additional points for the most creative photos taken. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our 6th annual scavenger hunt recap.
This VS That
This is a particularly great game to play with creative teams if you want to inspire friendly competition. Divide into two teams and assign each team a “this” and a “that” challenger (for example, cats VS dogs? Superman VS Batman? Shark VS tornado?). Each team will have the opportunity to research their argument, compile their findings and present their results to the rest of the team. This challenge allows creative teams to practice all elements of a creative project in a fun, playful setting. Project manager tip: this is a great way to productively burn time if you’ve ever budgeted time so perfectly that you have a few spare creatives milling around on a Friday afternoon (hey, crazier things have happened).
Directions for the Blind
In this game, team members are paired up, one is blindfolded, and the other’s job is to guide the blindfolded team member as best as they can through the workplace, whether it’s getting them to the other side or finishing a task like moving an object or drawing a picture.
This team building activity will allow those who don’t typically collaborate to create trust and communication.
If your organization uses Slack, consider integrating Donut.ai, an easy company culture tool that randomly pairs members of different teams to meet up for a coffee. It’s a great way to encourage different departments to mingle in a social setting and has been known to spark some pretty creative conversations when different minds meet. This is the ultimate hands-off team building activity because whether or not they actually go is up to them. But if you’re looking to incentivize it, consider offering to cover the cost of the donut, or inspire friendly competition with a monthly donut-selfie contest.
Hackathon or Ideathon
In December at FP, we capped off the year with a “hackathon” event. A hackathon is an intensive, sprint-like event where colleagues brainstorming and collaborate to solve a problem. Our mission this year? To better understand value: as it applies to our customers, to the market, and to ourselves as Function Pointers. The entire company spent an afternoon working within cross-functional teams to bring new ideas to life with prototypes and conceptualizations for how we can bring new value to the company. The end results were so great that we’ve actually included the winning prototype from the event into our product roadmap for 2018.
This can be a physical puzzle, such as a 500-piece set (if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on Amazon), or it might be a brain teaser that necessitates talking out loud as you think and brainstorm. Send a puzzle to your team and give them a deadline. Everyone must contribute as a team to successfully solve it.
Once the game is finished, take a moment to consider the experience. What was your team’s approach to finding a solution? Who was responsible for what? Why did you decide what you did? Allowing everyone to go through their thought process might bring out special talents or viewpoints in each person—or at the very least, make for an eye-opening interaction.
The Egg Drop
This is probably the most “team-building-y” activity you’ll find on this list, but we promise it’s well worth the laughs. All you need is various office supplies and a dozen raw eggs. Divide your selected teams (anything from pairs to a group of five works) and offer them a selection of office supplies: tape, pencils, plastic utensils, rubber bands, packing materials, etc. Give each team 15 minutes to design a contraption that will prevent the egg from breaking when dropped from the second or third floor of your building. Pro tip: ensure you have someone on ground level to make sure nobody gets hit with a flying egg.
Tower of Marshmallow
This is another activity that encourages collaboration and innovative problem-solving at work. One roll of wrapping tape, one yard of string, twenty uncooked spaghetti sticks, and one marshmallow are required for each team.
Using these materials alone, which team can erect the tallest building? The spaghetti tower must, however, have a marshmallow perched atop it, and it must be able to remain upright without the assistance of hands or other objects for at least five seconds.
Above are the 10 team-building games that we’ve tried ourselves and received positive feedback.
Let us know if you try any of these creative team-building ideas! We’d love to hear about your own team-building successes (or failures, if they’re funny).
Tracey is the Human Resources Manager at Function Point. Originally from the UK, she is passionate about promoting an engaged workplace culture, where people are encouraged to do great things.