5 Ideas for Team Building in the Workplace

teamwork scrabble tiles

If the words “team building” make many of your employees roll their eyes and head for the exit, you may need to add some new exercises to your repertoire. At Whitman Associates, Inc., our experts know all the best strategies to help your employees bond, work together and trust each other. With five new in-office and remote team-building ideas, your employees may be a little more enthusiastic next time you suggest team building in the workplace! Explore our top exercises to find the best ones for your team.

1. Code of Conduct Exercise

We recommend this exercise for the beginning of any retreat, event, or workshop. It sets the tone for your day and allows employees to feel like they have a say in what’s going on while team building in the workplace. In addition, this simple activity ensures your employees are building bonds through shared values.

Exercise Details

  • Duration: 30+ Minutes
  • Objective: Build Trust & Establish Group Values

How You Play

  1. Write the words “Meaningful” and “Pleasant” on a whiteboard.
  2. Ask employees to give ideas on making this workshop meaningful and pleasant.
  3. Add everyone’s suggestions to the board in the form of a mind map.
  4. Ask employees to elaborate on their suggestions in relation to the workshop.
  5. Create a code of conduct for the day based on the mutually agreed-upon ideas.

When the group has guidelines they created to dictate their behavior, your entire team-building event in the workplace will go a lot more smoothly. The Code of Conduct exercise is ideal for both in-office and remote team-building ideas.

2. Memory Wall

The Memory Wall is a physical activity that allows your team to share memories, build camaraderie and enhance working relationships. Conduct this team-building exercise in the workplace early during your event and keep it up for the rest of your time together.

Exercise Details

How You Play

  1. Provide your team members with paper, markers and tape.
  2. Ask them to write positive memories of each person they’ve worked with.
  3. Once they’ve written something down, have them draw these memories.
  4. Tape the completed images to a wall that’s visible throughout the space.
  5. Have a few volunteers share their creations and what they mean.

Illustrations can be simplistic, abstract or detailed. As long as the employee can draw a meaningful connection and explain it, that’s all that matters. Even funny depictions can enhance the exercise and add much-needed levity to the workplace. The visual memory wall encourages people to talk about their relationships and reinforce good teamwork from their past.

3. Magazine Story

This in-office and remote team-building idea offers employees a fun, creative way to bond. Use this kind of team building in the workplace to explore the hopes, goals and dreams of your team members.

Exercise Details

  • Duration: 60-90 Minutes
  • Objective: Visualize Future Success & Encourage Employees to Think Bigger

How You Play

  1. Break your employees into small groups.
  2. Ask them to create a magazine cover about themselves, complete with quotes, images and side stories.
  3. You can provide a template, have them work in an image editing program or provide art supplies for them to create a physical poster.

These magazine covers should be goal-oriented, focusing on what employees want to achieve in their careers in the years to come. You can offer a prize for the magazine cover that’s voted the best!

4. Shark Tank

woman in an office pointing to sticky notes on a wall

Pitching an idea Shark Tank-style encourages employees to work together, get creative and find their inner entrepreneur. You can also use this type of team building in the workplace to hone a competitive edge.

Exercise Details

  • Duration: 90 Minutes
  • Objective: Promote New Ideas & Collaborations

How You Play

  1. Have teams pitch mock products to secure investments from the group.
  2. Play some clips from the show to inspire your teams.
  3. Pitches must include brand name, slogan, business and marketing plan, and financial data.
  4. Choose upper management to play the “Sharks.”
  5. Encourage the Sharks to ask questions and offer investments.
  6. The team with the most investments wins!

Creating your own version of Shark Tank is about stimulating big thinking in your employees. Furthermore, the collaborative element of this team-building idea in the workplace will promote better teamwork and bonding.

5. Trivia Time

You don’t have to make every exercise during team building in the workplace part of the event. Sometimes, a quick break for some fun trivia can help re-engage employees that are losing interest.

Exercise Details

  • Duration: 30-60 Minutes
  • Objective: Engage & Excite Employees

How You Play

  1. Create trivia questions based on your work environment.
  2. Break your employees up into teams.
  3. Ask questions aloud and keep track of the team with the most right answers.
  4. Give out a prize to the best players.

The trivia game is fun, easy and the perfect idea for remote team building. It highlights what everyone has in common and helps connect your employees.

With these unique team-building ideas for the workplace, you can rejuvenate and refresh your employees with games that help the entire office thrive. Find more workplace advice for employers when you explore the Whitman Associates, Inc. blog today!

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WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.