All You Need to Know About Building High Performing Teams and Team Building Activities
Welcome to Team Building World! If you’re a business owner or manager, you know the importance of team building activities and teamwork for your organizational success. We help you build and manage highly effective and efficient teams, motivate your team members and increase team performance to meet your organizational goals.
What is a team?
A team is a group of two or more people who have an ongoing relationship in which they interact and influence one another’s behavior as well as performance and work towards achieving a common goal. The result produced by a team is more than the sum total of each of the individuals acting in his/her own way.
What is team building?
Team building is a process of assigning roles within the team, improving effectiveness and efficiency by building interpersonal relationships and trust among members, and enabling them to work towards a common goal.
Why team building is important?
By building efficient teams, organizations can meet their objectives better than individualized efforts. Here are a few key reasons why team building is important for an organization.
Higher quality, productivity and profits
Organizations need to make improvements consistently in order to establish and maintain a competitive edge in the quality of their products and services. This can be achieved through teamwork especially when employees at all levels are directly involved in the quality effort.
Additionally, employees in teams are more likely deliver high quality because their authority and participation make them highly committed towards the goals. Teamwork also increases productivity by reducing costs. For this reason, profits increase with the increase in quality as well as productivity.
Teams provide greater flexibility because team members’ extensive skills and job descriptions allow them to adapt to processes rapidly.
Greater responsiveness to change
It is necessary for an organization to quickly respond to change. When it comes to responsiveness to change in an organization, employees who implement strategies should engage in decision making about those strategies too. This can be achieved only through teamwork.
Meet social needs
Teamwork provides opportunities to meet social needs as well as enjoy a sense of achievement and involvement. This happens most often when highly skilled employees get a chance to take part in decision making and do something meaningful.
Team Building Activities
Team building activities are mainly intended to fulfill the following needs:
- Improving communication
- Building interdependence and trust
- Problem solving/Decision making
Literally, there are plenty of team building activities out there. Some will take only a few minutes, but some will take hours. As a business owner or manager, you need to choose the right team building activities by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your teams.
Here are a few team building activities for work that are intended towards various needs and will provide great team spirit.
The Blindfold game
The blindfold game helps to improve communication as well as listening skills, and to build trust between team members. Here the blindfold members need to rely on their sighted partners.
Around 15-20 minutes
Number of participants
Any number of people can participate in this game.
- A large private room.
- Furniture and other objects that can be used as obstacles.
- Prior to starting the game, scatter furniture and other items around the room. Make sure that everything is safe and there should not be any hard objects or sharp corners.
- Group the participants into pairs and ask them to stand at one end or corner of the room.
- Now, one person from each team should put on the blindfold.
- The sighted members must direct their blindfold partner across the room, and provide instructions to overcome the obstacles.
- Once the blindfold person reaches the other end of the room, the activity should be repeated by switching roles of the partners.
- How well did the sighted partners communicate with their blindfold member?
- How did the listening skills of members change when they were blindfolded?
- What were the common communication issues and how to tackle them?
Building interdependence and trust
Mine field is one of the fantastic team building activities that help improve the interpersonal relationship and build trust among team members. You can use this activity whenever there are trust issues between people.
30 minutes to 1 hour
Number of participants
Around 6 members in a group at a time
- A large indoor or outdoor space
- Soft objects like cones, foam balls, large paper cups, empty plastic bottles, etc.
- A blindfold
- Before you start, find a large indoor or outdoor space. Next, you need to set up the “minefield” by placing obstacles like empty plastic bottles, cones, foam balls, large paper cups, etc. all over the space.
- Once this is done, divide the people into different pairs. In each pair, one person should be blindfolded and he/she won’t be allowed to see or talk. At the same time, the other person is able to see or talk, but not able to touch his blindfold partner.
- Give each pair a few minutes for planning about their communication strategies. The goal of each blindfold person is to walk from one end of the space to the other without touching the obstacles.
- Allow each blindfold person to walk through the mine field by listening to the verbal instructions of their partner.
- Once this is done, change roles and repeat the process.
- How important interdependency is for a team’s success?
- Why trust building is necessary?
Road Map Game
The Road Map Game is to improve the planning skills of team members. The main objective of this activity is to enable team members to plan an event by collaboration.
Number of participants
4 or more per team
- One map (a state map, country map or any specific location where the participants are in) for each team
- Pens or pencils
- Divide the participants in to several teams, and instruct each team to plan a vacation based on the parameters you set for them.
- Each group should be given a list of available resources or information for the trip like the total money in hand, type of car, size of fuel (petrol, diesel or gas) tank, price of fuel, towns where they can find fuel, total amount of time they have, and whatever you may choose.
- Provide a paper and pen/pencil to each team and instruct them to write down their travel plans. Make sure that any team that runs out of money or fuel will be disqualified.
- Finally, you can give awards to the team that did the most with what they had or for the most exciting or relaxing trip.
- How well was the planning?
- How do you adapt to new situations?
Problem solving/Decision making
Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces
This activity is to improve the problem solving skills of team members through collaboration.
Number of participants
8-16 people per team
- Small indoor or outdoor space
- 1 x large jigsaw puzzle
- Small bags to hold the pieces
- Initially, divide up the puzzle and then put an equal amount of pieces into each bag.
- Split each team into 2 or more sub teams according to the size and give a bag to each sub team.
- Ask each sub team to assemble the puzzle as soon as possible. Make sure that each sub team’s puzzle pieces appear to be a whole puzzle although the pieces are shared between the two sub teams.
- Allow enough time for each team to complete the puzzle. Although each sub team may feel like they are competing against one another, they can’t complete the puzzle without discussing and working together with the other sub team.
- What problems did you face during the activity?
- How did you solve those problems?
- How good was the cooperation among team members?
- What were the important decisions you need to make during the activity?