Nobody’s perfect, and the workplace is no exception. People screw up, miscommunication abounds and yes, we all get overwhelmingly busy. Whether you want to help bond team members together, fix dysfunctional interactions or just celebrate your successes, here are a few way you can identify your team's weaknesses (not to mention your own), then find an activity that helps turn those shortcomings into strengths.
Squabbling or infighting
Option 1: Ropes course
If your team suffers from an inability to get things done because someone's ego is always getting in the way, a ropes course may be the perfect way to get people to actually talk to each other and let go of petty grievances. Up in the air, doing something physical and getting out of your usual environment (i.e. the office) can all work together to build trust among colleagues.
Option 2: Charity Bike Build
Nothing brings people together like helping out those who are less fortunate. Work with a local Boys and Girls Club or other youth organization to build bikes to gift to kids who need them. It's hard to know who benefits more — your team or the kids who get the bikes.
Overwhelmed & overworked
Option 1: Team hike or paddle
Assuming your team is at least a little bit adventurous, consider booking a day trip where you explore the outdoors. Fresh air and nature are proven to help people be able to relax and unwind. Plan a team picnic either in the middle or afterwards because a shared meal is another great way to bring people together and reward them for a job well done.
Option 2: Cooking class
To continue with the theme of shared meals, cooking classes are a low-stress way to give everyone a chance to have fun and enjoy a gourmet meal at the same time. Whether you're making a chocolate dessert or learning how to make pasta, it's hard to feel stressed when there's delicious food involved.
New employees or interns
Option 1: Scavenger hunt
Personally, this is our favorite :) . What better way is there to enhance your team or get to know your new employees than by engaging in an adventure? When a team solves problems together, the members are better able to get creative together. Scavenger hunts (like GO Scavenger Hunts) can take place in any setting and do not necessarily require finding anything – you just need to put your heads together and have a good time.
Option 2: House build
Doing something helpful for the environment or for your local community gives you not only an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride, but it influences the people you work with to give back too. Habitat for Humanity or Family Promise are great options to help new employees feel like they're becoming part of an existing team, or for interns to get to know each other — all while doing something beneficial for the community.
Option 1: Escape Rooms
A series of puzzles and riddles that get harder with each sequential task might be the perfect option for teams that can't communicate well. Everyone brings their A-game and helps solve clues that they couldn't do alone. In The Surprising Benefits of Puzzle Solving for Adults, USA Today wrote that solving puzzles helps reinforce existing connections between our brain cells and increases the generation of new relationships. Escape rooms are extremely safe (they just twist your brain) and there are hundreds of places that offer this activity. What better way to get smarter than with the people you work with?
Option 2: Improv workshop
Imagine how funny it would be if you got your team to participate with Wayne Brady on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Improv workshops encourage teams to be just as quirky and witty as if you were on TV. Improv workshops build leadership and communication skills you can carry with you into the office. Since improv performers are unaware of what will happen until they're on stage and given the material to work with, it can be the perfect option to help teams learn to problem solve in the moment. Presentation skills are also improved because you make up the story as you go along.
Regardless what you do — make it fun & inclusive
Whether you’ve been working with someone for a decade or an hour, every employee should feel safe, comfortable and motivated. Motivation obviously does not come from fear or intimidation, so expressing kindness and support will bode well for you and your fellow employees in the long run. A strong team starts with a friendly attitude.
Written by Tim O'Dea, GO Scavenger Hunt's Winter 2019 intern.
Co-founder Jill Hinton Wolfe is a communicator, entrepreneur and Army veteran who is passionate about the outdoors and designing surprising and unique challenges for all sorts of clients, all over the world.