By Arnold Anderson, courtesy of Demand Media
Creative team-building activities help to strengthen the professional bonds between employees. Corporate activities that do not have a business focus can be valuable in creating a workplace atmosphere of cooperation. It can sometimes be beneficial to loosen the corporate dress code and create situations where your employees learn about each other and how to work better as a team.
The way that golf is structured makes it the ideal creative team-building activity. Each individual shot requires strategy and technique to get the ball to go where you want. Find the people within your company who know how to play golf, and team them up with people who do not know how to play the game. You can create foursomes where one or two people know how to play and can help the others in their group. The groups are to keep score, and the best scores are awarded prizes at the end of the exercise. The best format is called a "best ball" format. In a best ball tournament, all four team members hit the ball from the tee. Then all four members drop their ball at the spot of the best shot, and play through the hole using the best ball for each subsequent shot. This team-building activity allows employees to learn from each other. The lessons learned teaching golf can be applied to teaching valuable work-related processes.
Writing and performing plays and stage productions is hard work, but it also can be incorporated into team-building activities. You can break down your staff into smaller groups, or have the entire group work together on the same project. Each group gets a pen, paper and basic office supplies such as tape and paper clips to make props and costumes. Give each group an hour to create a five-minute stage production and then have the groups perform their creation for each other.
Chinese Fire Drill
One way to help encourage team-building among your staff is to put them in another's shoes. Announce to the staff that, at some point, you will be calling out a "Chinese Fire Drill" for desks. Everyone will have to get up and change desks and do the other person's job for 30 minutes. Encourage the staff to spend time learning the basics about each other's jobs. These types of team-building activities will help your staff learn to respect each other, and it also will make the team stronger with employees able to cover for people who are out sick or on vacation.
Team-building activities build stronger bonds by sharing information about each other. One way to exchange information among the group is an activity called "Two Truths." Every person in the group writes two truths about himself that the others might find surprising, and then one statement that is not true. Then each person reads off his two truths and one lie, and the group must guess the lie. It is a chance for the group to become more familiar with one another, and perhaps find out things about each other's pasts that can become useful in future work projects. For example, the team might need someone knowledgeable about computers for an upcoming project and one of the truths for a team member was that he worked for three years as a computer repair technician.