Q: I have a small staff of about 10 people, half of them have been with me for a while but the other half are fairly new. I’d like for us to do a team-building activity but, like many small businesses we have no money set aside for this kind of thing. Do you have any suggestions?
A: You don’t have to take your staff on a Caribbean cruise or rent a fancy hotel conference room to make a better team. In fact, I’d say it’s more effective to have smaller, more frequent activities rather than a once a year cringe-inducing team building event.
Because the purpose of “team building” is ultimately to create trust within the team, the goal is to provide a space for people to get to know each other in a different way than the usual hi-how-are-you greeting in the hallway. Activities should give team members a chance to interact, compete and cooperate in a fun way, as well as see each other in a different context/light.
Here are some ideas that cost little or nothing:
Organize a scavenger hunt – Create teams, and have small prizes such as movie tickets or Starbucks gift cards. This takes some preparation and planning, but it’s worth it. Bonus if you can pull this off outdoors.
Order pizza and play dodgeball – This works best in a casual work environment. Buy some soft rubber balls, divide into teams. No one takes themselves too seriously, including the boss .
Two truths and a lie – Each person writes three things about themselves, two that are true and one that’s not. Then you mingle for five minutes before getting in a circle and each person reads their items. Team members have to guess which one is the lie.
The name game – Each person takes about 90 seconds to discuss the story their first name. Why did Eva’s parents choose that name? Was she named after someone? When did Skip get that nickname and why?
Sometimes just going to a different location, helps us interact differently with each other. Rent a space for an afternoon, or better yet someone may have access to a cool location for free. Bring food, hang out.
VOLUNTEER AS A TEAM
Find a cause everyone can rally behind. Volunteering and supporting the community makes us feel good, and when done as a group it allows you to see the a different side of each other.
All these are easy, doable and won’t break the bank.
©Copyright Eva Del Rio