Chapter 1

Team Building: The Ultimate Guide [100+ Ideas]

You’re going to love this mega guide of the best team building activities guaranteed to bring everyone together. We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to, with this guide you’ll never be at a loss as to what team building activity you should be held next. Improve your organisational culture, foster better communication, and strengthen cooperation with this ultimate guide to team building activities.

Heather Harper

Written by Heather Harper

Last updated: Mar 30, 2020

You’re going to love this mega guide of the best team building activities because it is guaranteed to bring everyone together.

We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to and with this guide, you’ll never be at a loss as to what team building activity you should be held next.


If your team is working remotely at the moment then you should check out our 7000 word guide on remote team building games and activities for virtual teams. In there you'll find 40 ideas with instructions that you can try with your newly remote team.


Improve your organisational culture, foster better communication, and strengthen cooperation with this ultimate guide to team building activities.

Whether you’re a small business or a multinational conglomerate, the most important resource and asset any business has are the people that work for them.

But, more important than hiring rockstars and A-players, is making sure that you have a team that can work well together.

After all... “if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

As is already fairly obvious from the name, team building exercises are designed to help form those bonds of trust, co-operation and communication that are essential building blocks in every high-performing team.

Team building activities promote teamwork and coordination. Almost universally, business leaders and managers alike have identified how improving the teamwork amongst their employees leads to direct improvements in business results and profitability.

Research has found time and time again that teams who boast effective teamwork and communication have better productivity, organisational culture, showed more goal attainment and demonstrate positive attitudes and satisfaction with the job.

Furthermore, research has specifically found that team building activities have a positive impact on team performance, especially when team building exercises are used for developmental purposes, are integrated into real work goals, are properly designed and are followed up with other activities afterwards.

Similarly, other research has found that focusing on team building improves process and affective outcomes (i.e., improves team trust, team potency, team coordination and team communication).

Based on this scientific support, we cannot recommend highly enough using team building activities!

The team building activities we have selected throughout the chapter are designed to aid with:

  • Building new teams and helping teams with new members
  • Dealing with change and its effects
  • Recognising individual efforts and team accomplishments
  • Finding creative ways to work together and solve problems
  • Increasing and improving communication
  • Leveraging diversity and individual differences to meet team goals
  • Keeping competition healthy and productive within the team

Before your team building activity

We will provide you with a long list of activities - but, first it is important to select an activity that is good for your team.

It is important to have a clear objective with each activity - what is the point of spending time, effort and money on an activity if you can’t identify the benefit of conducting it?

So, before picking activities from our guide that are best for you - (with over 100 ideas, we don’t recommend trying to plough through them all!).

Set a goal that is: attainable by your team, relevant and applicable, and something that can be reinforced long after you conduct your team building activities.

Before conducting our activities with your team, you also need to prepare for the activity to ensure that every team member has a great learning experience.

Before you conduct an activity, ensure that you:

  • Read through the entire activity several times to make sure you are clear on what is to happen.
  • Obtain all necessary materials - we aim to pick activities that are inexpensive and don’t require a large amount of additional costs. However, some of our activities require materials that you will need to source in advance.
  • Practice what you are going to say when you start the activity with the team and practice what you are going to say during that activity.
  • Set up the room.

During the team building activity

We recommend giving a small introduction to your team so that they are more engaged and willing to participate. During this introduction, set the mood - ensure that the atmosphere is filled with enthusiasm, optimism and fun.

You should also explain to your team what the activity is, its rules and most importantly… why you are doing this particular activity. This gets everyone involved, removes confusion and sets a clear goal/target for your team.

During the activity, it is also important to encourage and support your team members at all times. Make sure you are there to clarify and redirect the team.

After the activity

A debrief is a critical part of the team-building activity - it guides team members to link what they experienced in the activity to their job.

During debriefing sessions, ask participants what they learnt, how they feel it applies and how they are going to apply their new knowledge to their job.

Our top tip is to make debriefing light-hearted and quick, you don’t want your team to get bored after they have had such a fun team building experience.

In the following days and weeks after team building activities, it is important to reinforce the learning back on the job. One way to do this is to display anything the team created during the activity in the workplace (e.g., some activities require teams to create a flipchart or a sculpture).

Doing this reminds teams of what they did, how it made them feel and what it taught them.

Refer to the activity and the lessons learned in meetings and one-on-ones over the next few weeks - this reminds participants of what they did and how it helped.

You can also plan follow up activities; team building exercises that reinforce the same goals and objectives - this will emphasise what was learnt and how important it is.

Conclusion

This guide is broken into 10 chapters.

You're currently on Chapter 1: The Introduction.

Use the quick navigation menu on the left (or at the top if you're on your smartphone) to find the chapter with the activity ideas that you need right now.

We hope you like this guide. Please forward it to anyone who might need it in their work, and maybe bookmark it whilst you're at it

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Heather Harper

About the author

Heather Harper has a Masters in Occupational Psychological from the University of Manchester. She currently works as an editorial writer specialising in organizational psychology - helping teams work better together.

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