“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford
You see a memo about a relay race taking place at the site at noon. You hear mention of a site cookout taking place next month. Your supervisor tells you about a community service event the team is getting involved with. Do you participate? The answer should always be “yes!”
Do you ever wonder why the management team proposes quirky little games and activities? Sure, it’s to have fun and boost morale but it also helps to build the team.
Team building activities have a purpose. They are created to help you figure out a solution to a unique problem or situation and help you facilitate participation among your fellow team members. They can strengthen the team in many ways by encouraging members to think creatively, speak up and interact with one another.
But not just any activity or exercise will get the job done. Here are several tips for effective team building.
Team Building Activities Should Encourage Office-Wide Participation
Whenever you implement a team-building activity, everyone at the site should have the ability to participate. It will only be effective if everyone can be on-board.
Team Building Activities Should Emulate Important Values & Practices.
Incorporating an activity that involves those qualities important to our work is key. It re-establishes a connection to what it is we are trying to accomplish while also building team unity.
Team Building Should Be FUN! Yes, this is important.
No one is going to buy into an activity if it’s laborious, boring or stale. Get creative. More people will be enthusiastic about it if it’s exciting and unique.
Team Building Activities Should Foster Communication, both Before & After.
Associates should be able to discuss the activity’s importance before, during and after. Allowing the free-flow of communication helps everyone see vantage points they may not have considered.
Team Building Should Be Productive
You should always create activities and events that make your team strive for more. If the activity does not involve a learning process or thinking skill, then you should think of a way that you can include those types of aspects.
The next time your site advertises an activity or event, get involved. It has a purpose and you’ll benefit from the experience.
And here are some suggestions for activities to try in your contact center
Unique Team Building Exercises
Organizing team building activities that promote important aspects of our work is ideal. Here are a few creative exercises:
Plan a “Lost Customer game: A lot of people have heard of murder mysteries. It’s sort of the same concept except you are trying to locate a lost customer that you just can’t seem to get a hold of. The organizer can drop clues as to why the customer went astray and the team has to try to guess who the customer was and what could have kept them from going to the wayside.
Create a list of situations that your associates may encounter and how they should react. Allow associates to determine if they are true or false and then discuss the differences.
Create a scavenger hunt using items in your site. To make it more interesting, you can’t allow the associates to talk. They have to figure out other ways to communicate. The first team to find them all (or most within the time limit) wins.
Organize yourselves by shoe size...have everyone line up in a straight line and blind fold them. Then, they must get in order based on shoe size but they cannot talk. They must find other ways to communicate.
Unplug for Lunch. Assimilate your team together at lunchtime in the break room. At each table, tell your team(s) they have to place or stack their phones face down for the duration of lunch. They are not allowed to check their phone. If someone can’t stand it and must check their phone, they have to purchase a snack, drink or even a lunch for the other folks at the table (this is great for any group meal!).
Have your team compete against another team by playing the Blanket Name Game. A representative from each team will stand face to face with a thick blanket held up between them. When the blanket drops, the first person to correctly shout out the name of the person on the other side of the blanket wins. Note: The teams can strike funny poses to distract the person playing.
Thirsty straws is a game that encourages drinking water and quick speed. Using groups of four, give each person a bottle of water with a straw. Each person must successfully drink the entire bottle of water before the next person can start. The first team to finish all their water wins!
Tell your team they must write a funny story. Each person must contribute one line as the story is written. Whichever team comes up with the best story wins.
You’ve all probably heard of the game “Telephone.” Well, this incorporates a twist. Have your team participants stand in a line and give them something to act out. The first person has to act it out for the second person. Then it moves to the second person acting out to the third person what they think it is the first person was telling them and so on. The final person must try to guess what the original person was acting out.