Team Building Activities for Work…that Work

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3 Steps to run team building activities for work that everyone will love.

Great team building activities are about more than a creative event.  Follow these three simple steps and your next team building activity is sure to be a success!

Team Building Activities for Work


Our readers want their teams to be the strongest they can be. So it makes sense that they continually ask for recommendations about team building activities.

Unfortunately, we’re short on suggestions. Sure, we can rattle off a list of really interesting events, complete with trust falls, role playing ideas, potlucks and three legged races. The problem is a list of great team building activities for one group might fall flat with another organization or a different team.

Great team building activities for work are built on 3 simple steps.

1. Start with “WHY!” 

You’re short on time and resources. That means you don’t do anything just for the sake of it.   But, it’s not just your resources at stake. You’re asking employees for their time too. If employees don’t understand why the team building activity is important you’ll never get their full attention.

A solid goal makes it easy to pick an activity that makes sense. It also gives you an objective so you know if your effort paid off!

For example, if your team is short on trust you’ll want to run a different activity than for a team that could win awards for open and transparent communication.

Here’s just six of the possibly hundreds of reasons you might have a team building activity

  • Increase morale
  • Improve team bond
  • Reward a job well done
  • Onboard new employees
  • Increase employee loyalty
  • For professional development

Don’t take it from me! In this TED Talk, Simon Sinek explains the reason you absolutely must start with “why” before you start to think about “how.”

2. Understand the core values of the group.

Get a profile for your team!

If you’ve read any of our other blogs, you’re probably tired of hearing about employee core values!

The data we’ve collected  about the core values of almost 500,000 people confirms what your mom always told you – everyone is a precious snowflake. That’s why  team building activities are so hit or miss!  What works for one team might be a complete disaster for another.

Imagine a group that values being team oriented, competition and making friends at work. A few rounds of laser tag followed by happy hour on Friday after work might be the perfect team building activity.

What about that team that values autonomy, and specifically says that making friends at work and competition are not important? Ask them to stick around on Friday afternoon to compete on teams against their coworkers and mingle over drinks, and you might have a rebellion on your hands! Some casual bowling and lunch might be the perfect activity for this team of individuals.

If you don’t know what your team values, why not ask them?! Here’s a fun team building exercise that will bring the team together and give you a better idea of what values are most important.

Mind Blowingly Simple Sticky Note Values Exercise:

  1. Download our list of 36 Employee Core Values
  2. Provide each team member with 3 sticky notes or index cards
  3. Ask individual team members to identify 3 values from the list that are most important to them
  4. Team members should post values where they’re easy to see
  5. Group similar values together to identify common themes to establish a culture baseline


Get a profile for your team!


3. Select an activity that fits your goals and the team’s values.

This is the easy part! Once your goals are established, and you understand the values of the group, all you need to do is select an activity that matches.

These folks put together some awesome lists of team building activities.

You put your heart and soul into your job, not to mention a ton of work. When you sit down to plan your next team building activity follow these three steps and the activity is sure to hit home.

  1. Determine the goal of your team building activity
  2. Understand the values of this particular team
  3. Select an activity that aligns well with your goal and the group’s values.



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