When it comes to team building, problem solving activities play an important role.
How good is your team of employees at dealing with complex projects or day-to-day life problems?
Tough question, isn’t it?
Problem solving activities help your employees deal with obstacles and find solutions to any complicated problems. So, why don’t you spend a little time with your employee teams to see how they work together to solve problems?
Top 10 Team Building Problem Solving Activities
Here are the top 10 team building problem solving activities that you can conduct with your staff.
If you want to know how you can conduct team building activities, you can read this article for inspiration: How to Facilitate Team Building Activities in Your Workplace?
So, let’s go!
#1. Brainstorming Session
The goal of this activity is to brainstorm ideas based on a topic through collaboration.
- Start by giving a topic to each team and instruct them to brainstorm ideas based on the topic.
- Appoint an individual to write down the ideas of each team member.
- Once this is done, check the ideas and share them with everyone.
#2. Code Breaking
The goal of this exercise is to break the secret code as quickly as possible.
- Provide a secret code to each team. This secret code can be anything like picture puzzles, logic problems, riddles, etc.
- The goal is to break the code fast. Set a time limit to complete the task if required.
- The first team that breaks the code will win the game.
#3. Create an Ad
The goal of this game is to create an advertisement for the suggested product. This is one of the problem solving activities to improve the creativity of team members.
- Divide the participants into small teams.
- Introduce a new product to each team and explain its features as well as benefits.
- Now, instruct them to create an advertisement for this product.
- Then, each team should create an ad script through discussion.
#4. Human Knot
The goal of this activity is to create a knot by holding the hands of others and untangle everyone without letting go of their hands.
- Instruct the team members to form a circle by standing shoulder to shoulder.
- Then, each person should lift their right hand and try to catch the hand of another person who is standing across the circle.
- After that, each person should lift their left hand in the air and catch the hand of a different person.
- Make sure that no member is holding the hand of someone who is standing directly next to them.
- Ask the team members to untangle everyone without letting go of their hands.
#5. Inter-Group Problem Solving Challenge
This activity helps to improve the creativity as well as problem solving skills of team members. Here each team should create a unique problem and challenge the other teams to solve it.
- Divide the participants into small teams.
- Instruct each team to come up with a self-created, unique problem and write it on paper.
- Now, ask each team to share their problems with the other teams and let them find the solution in a given time.
- Finally, find out the best-performing team by evaluating which team created the most complicated problems and which team solved more problems.
#6. Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces
This activity is to improve the problem solving skills of team members through discussion, negotiation, and collaboration. In this activity, participants are required to complete a puzzle with the help of others.
- Have a jigsaw puzzle for each team.
- Split each team into 2 small sub-teams.
- Divide the jigsaw puzzle and put an equal number of pieces into two different small bags.
- Ask each sub-team to choose one bag.
- Instruct each sub-team to assemble the puzzle within a certain time limit.
(Note: Each sub-team may think that they are competing against each other, but they can’t complete the puzzle unless they discuss and collaborate with the other sub-team.)
- Allow extra time for each sub-team to discuss, negotiate and collaborate with the other sub-team and complete the puzzle.
#7. Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt is one of the popular problem solving exercises. The goal of this exercise is to find a list of items based on the clues given.
- Split the participants into several teams.
- Give each team a list of items they need to find out along with certain clues.
- Set a time limit for the activity.
- Now, the team members should search for the items based on the clues given and get back within the allowed time limit.
#8. Spider’s Web
The goal of this activity is to move through the spider web from one side to the other without touching it.
- Create a spider’s web between two trees using duct tape or Nylon cord.
- Instruct the team members to stand on one side of the spider’s web.
- Now, team members must travel to the other side of the web without touching it. They are not allowed to travel over, under, or around it.
- If somebody touches the web, ask him to go back and restart again.
#9. The Great Egg Drop
The goal of this game is to build a structure that protects the eggs while dropping from a certain height.
- Instruct each group to find several materials to build a structure.
- Give some time for each team, say 15-20 minutes to plan their strategy and build the structure by putting the egg inside.
- Once this is done, tell them to drop the structure from at least 10 feet in height.
- Check how many teams have survived their eggs successfully? If there is more than one team, then the team that utilized fewer materials for the building structure is declared the winner.
#10. Toxic Waste
The goal of this activity is to neutralize toxic waste and save the world. In this activity, each team should transfer the toxic waste from the radiation zone to the safe zone without causing any harm to its members.
- Using a rope, form a circle of around 8 feet diameter that will be considered a radiation zone.
- Now, place a small bucket with balls (represents toxic waste) in the middle of the radiation zone.
- Then, create a safe zone by placing a large bucket (neutralization bucket) around 30 feet away from the radiation zone.
- Place two ropes outside the radiation zone, which can be used for transferring the toxic waste.
- Instruct the teams to neutralize the toxic waste by transferring it from the radiation zone to the safe zone within 20 minutes. Otherwise, the toxic waste will blow up and destruct the world.
- Also, warn them to maintain a safe distance from the radiation zone during the activity to avoid fatal injury or even death.
- Allow 5 minutes for each team before starting the activity so that they can discuss and plan for the task.
- Now, each team should transfer the toxic waste from the radiation zone to the safe zone. This should be done using the two ropes and without causing any harm to the teammates.