Growing teams in work environments today is both easier and more challenging than ever before. Many newer members of the workforce assume work should have a fun and casual flavor making them expect team bonding. There’s nothing wrong with this: Work should be enjoyable.
It’s better to work with friends than with competitors or irritants. However, the formerly sure-shot methods of bonding can fall flat among millennials, many of whom have identities or values at odds with older expectations.
You can have a pizza party, but you’d better make sure you offer more than just casual talk. Here are some team bonding ideas that tend to work well today, and are less likely to end in cringes and sighs among your workforce.
Team Bonding with Game Day
Board games have made a striking comeback in recent years, and gathering in a conference room with a selection of games like Risk, Clue, Monopoly, or other all-time favorites can bring interpersonal barriers crashing down. Plus, it’s cheap.
Include some prizes like gift cards or knick-knacks to make it interesting. You might even include some food and drinks if you can get people to agree on what to order.
Get Out and About
Depending on the location and composition of the team, it sometimes makes great sense to take a little field trip. Often, you don’t even need to arrange transportation. An on-foot scavenger hunt or photo safari can happen on a corporate campus or its surroundings. Meet up for a mixer at the end and compare notes.
If you can do so, have your field trip tie into your current projects or concerns. You could have everyone take a course from a project management online degree course and then use the scavenger hunt to test their management and team skills they’ve just learned.
There’s a strong interest in creativity and making things among younger workers today. This might happen at the level of digital goods and software or can take a more concrete form in arts and crafts. Some very successful team builds have centered around gathering a variety of materials and tools in a room and turning some creative and passionate young strivers loose on them.
Use the example of the scene from the film Apollo 13 when mission control dumped a selection of odds-and-ends on a table and said “this is what we have to work with” to get the astronauts home safely. Think of a scenario and have your team(s) find a solution together.
Team building doesn’t need to be demanding, involved, or even expensive. It just needs to bring people together for some common cause so walls can drop, and trust can build. Use these ideas to help solidify your workforce and get your team bonding immediately.