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Team Building Activities for the Workplace (part 2)

Team Building Activities for the Workplace (part 2)

 
Hold company sponsored off-site departmental team building lunches:
Departmental team building lunches, whether eating at a restaurant or grilling hamburgers at a local park, are excellent team building activities. There is something about sharing a meal together, outside of the office, that encourages employees to talk and get to know each other. Schedule fun games such as bean bag toss, basketball, baseball, and horseshoes as part of an outdoor activity. Sports participation works well for team building.

Provide company sponsorship for sports teams and challenges for charity like half marathons.

A mid-sized company sponsors sports teams for employees that include baseball, golf, basketball, bowling, soccer, and more. The company also pays employee registration fees for running and walking events, especially those where proceeds from the event are shared with local charities. At one 5k run/walk, 36 employees ran/walked together in company T-shirts. This is terrific for team building, for the company’s positive notoriety and community exposure, and for supporting employee causes.

Develop and schedule team building lunch and learns for employees.

In a lunch and learn or brown bag lunch, an outside speaker or an employee with a hobby, interest, or particular knowledge or skill meets with a group of employees to share information and experience. The employees bring their own lunches and the speakers are encouraged to make their sessions interactive to encourage team building. The shared interest in the topic encourages team building as does the interaction.

With team building fun and fitness in mind, you can schedule fitness sessions in your workplace for employees.
Activities such as weekly Weight Watchers meetings, yoga classes at noon, or group exercises in your fitness center also offer team building opportunities for employees. In one company, an employee has organized a weekly 3-5k run/walk that is scheduled at the end of the work day. Employees run and walk together on a nature trail that runs through the office park. This weekly run/walk formed the basis for many of the external run/walks that employees do together. (See above.)

Fun classes and events on-site after work or on the weekend promote employee engagement and team building with employees.

You can provide fun classes that employees (and their families) can attend after work or on weekends. They promote both family and employee engagement. Examples of team building activities that were successfully implemented by companies include cheese making, beer making, cooking classes of all kinds, lock picking, and product-centered tips and sessions for customers who attend on their own time but without paying any fees. The employees involved in the customer events did serious team building to plan, organize, and attend the events that educated customers.

Promote employee hobby clubs.
Employees may share an interest in various outside-of-work activities. Provide the space, email lists, and occasional financial support to promote hobby groups meeting at work. Companies have sponsored photography clubs, internet game playing groups at lunch, knitting clubs, and shooting interest groups at work. Team building activities in this space are unlimited.

Encourage your employees to volunteer for charity as a group for team building.

Whether your employees are running for charity, golfing for the homeless, building homes for poor families, or collecting food for people without food, volunteering as a team is a team building activity that lasts. The camaraderie that employees build when they volunteer together is sustainable and powerful. And, it truly flows over into the workplace.

Host activities for employees’ families at work.
Any of the above can include the significant others of employees and their children, especially the fun classes and the charitable activities. Additionally, hosting children at work helps employee families develop friendships outside of work which cements the team building in the workplace. Ideas for celebrations at work for families include: --hosting trick or treating from office to office and carving pumpkins for children at Halloween --holding tailgate parties in the parking lot before football games --putting up a big screen in the parking lot to show family movies in the summer --inviting employees and their guests to enjoy annual sporting events such as the final game of the World Series and the final four games of the NCAA on big screen TVs --holding a Christmas Eve holiday luncheon at work or in a local restaurant as employees scatter to celebrate the holidays. Team building activities in the workplace stretch your imagination—and are only limited by your imagination and that of your employees. They are remarkable in their ability to foster a sense of community and friendships at work. You need to start offering all of these opportunities to become known as a great workplace. Low cost, but highly effective team building activities, make your workplace desirable and you an employer of choice.
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