Team building activities for work: Mixing fun and purpose is possible

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Written by María Eugenia Raffaele

Relationships are the foundations of any company. Rock your team building activities for work to create a more fun and  collaborative culture where human bonds lead the way to your success.

I must admit I sometimes miss my office space and the possibility to swing by a colleague’s desk to share some laughs, and keep updated with each other’s life. Truth is by 2025 around 70% of the people will have home-based positions, and keeping remote human connections close has become more vital than ever for employees to stay happy, engaged and productive. 

For the last 12 months, employees’ level of engagement has been in flux, and one of the key drivers behind this is a diminished sense of community. In this context, it’s fundamental to make a deliberate effort to plan effective team building ideas for work because, the way I see it, a strong organizational culture with solid teams will be the key ingredient to make the difference between success and failure.

What are team building activities for work and why do they matter so much?

The two main factors tied to employee happiness are culture and colleagues. Team building activities are the opportunities you create to bring people together, enjoy each other’s company and strengthen their bonds. By team building activities for work, I don’t mean “once-a-year special events” where people play games and have fun. Rather, I’m talking about a growth-mindset organizational culture where team building is part of people’s day-to-day experience.

When you make time and space for coworkers to bond, you get to:

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Believe me, by creating a culture where togetherness, fun and purpose are part of people’s daily work routine, you’ll be building a stronger culture whose teams empower one another by recognizing each other’s strengths and allowing every individual to shine.

How can you make it happen?  

Team building can range from quick activities carried out during the day to more extended special events or celebrations – it’s all about engagement, connection and fun. As I said before,  there are plenty of team building ideas out there, but your teams’ strength and collective success will depend on the planning and consistency of these activities over time.

So, follow our roadmap and keep your teams connected!

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1° – Find out!

This step is decisive. To make your teams truly connect and get stronger together, you will need to find out what their needs and interests are first. Include all voices and ask for fresh ideas on team building games and exercises. You can also find out what they enjoy doing in their free time and what they look forward to. Do they need to express themselves and have fun? How about building trust? Maybe just chilling out with their colleagues and getting to know each other better? 

Getting real-time feedback on people’s needs will give you actionable data to guide your next steps towards successful team building activities for work.

TIP:

In this stage, a pulse survey can be a great tool to get information quickly and easily.  You’ll be estimulating participation, inclusivity, and active listening. People will appreciate your concern and, in turn, will be much eager to participate in every activity!

 2° – Define expectations and goals

You want to mix fun and purpose, right? So, the next thing we suggest you do is to set objectives and expectations. 

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Take some minutes to go over these questions. Remember there are many activities you can consider when it comes to bringing your teams closer, and choosing the right one depends on how accurately you define the goals and expectations for each experience.

3° – Plan the activity

So, here’s the point where the previous insights make sense. Steps 1 and 2 will pave the way for choosing the right activity for the right moment. 

In this here and now,  your people are probably working remotely, and virtual team building might be a bit more challenging than in person. However, don’t worry – people are eager to connect emotionally more than ever so, if the activity suits their needs, they will surely take part.
From ice breakers before remote meetings to anniversary or birthday celebrations, onboarding activities,  happy hours, trivia nights, or competitions between departments – the list of virtual team building activities is endless. Whichever you choose, just make sure you make everyone experience happiness, collaboration, trust, inclusion and support from one another every day. This way you’ll be building high-performance teams and improving interpersonal relationships within each group.

TIP:

Winter is coming and we know it! Want to have fun with colleagues around a campfire? A Virtual Campfire can be a great team building activity to do with your employees to share ghost stories, play some music, have something to drink and laugh together. Participants can even be challenged to create their own camping atmosphere with matches and tiny candles. Best part? No mosquito repellent needed!

Going digital makes it easier

Especially today, when it comes to bringing people together, building a digital culture becomes crucial to transcend all possible boundaries and promote dynamism and well-being among your teams. Without the physical component in our daily routines, leaders need to gain wider visibility of their employees’ needs, connections, and daily interactions, in order to plan strategic activities and ideas to make the most of their collective experience. 

StarMeUp, for example, is a solution that allows dozens of companies around the world to create more empowered and happier teams, where interactions that used to be traditionally kept between two individuals are now celebrated across the entire company. Besides, the public nature of each interaction ignites passion and motivation among people promoting trust, mutual learning and recognition. Team building becomes easier for leaders and, in turn, employees are provided with daily inspiring experiences that foster the emotional connections they need so much.

Remember that your team building activities for work can be awesome, but if you want them to truly rock, ongoing active listening, a growth-mindset and a people-centered culture are key.  
We believe team building is all about understanding, appreciating, developing and making the most of our people so, if you’re on the same page with us, we can help you build that strong sense of team you’ve always dreamt of.

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