Say "team building" to an HR manager and you may conjure up images of mismatched departments guiding a raw egg down a plastic chute—all in the name of strengthening the team. Sure, some of these tried and true activities and role-playing games do have some value—and offer serious entertainment, but they don't always meet the need. The goal is to build stronger, tighter teams, right?
A recent article in Inc Magazine illustrates how young entrepreneurs are thinking differently about team building with exciting outreaches. Perhaps some of these smart ideas will inspire you to try something a bit different.
Rent a vacation house an hour or two from the office. Even if it's for a night or a special dinner, your team will feel like they've taken a mini-vacation. Assign team members tasks like picking up groceries, cooking dinner or providing games and entertainment. It's a team building outreach with a laid back vibe—and it's much less expensive than a trip to Hawaii.
Assemble event planning teams, one team member from each department. You don't want to spend a ton of time on planning an event. Why not enlist the help of your employees? That's real team building! They know what everyone loves—let them work together on some fun solutions.
Rock some team spirit. It's time to bring back the company ball team. Volleyball, softball and even bowling teams can really drum up some team spirit. What better way to build the team than to put them together in a competitive situation.
Bring back the company picnic and then delegate! Even companies that can afford the cost of the occasional company picnic know the value of delegation. When team members have to work together on a fun project like planning a park picnic, great things happen. Put a few events on the calendar then delegate the planning to different members of the team. However, do vary your team choices. Pick one member from different departments to make the decisions. Then watch them work!