Ida from Spark!

Building a Stronger Team

illustration of 4 co-workers on top of a trail outdoors taking a group selfie.  Wearing winter coats and a fall theme nature.
Most people can remember a time when they were part of a really effective team and just how empowering it can be. As a manager or leader, it's important to have a team that works well together—but your dream team won’t just appear in your office overnight. So what can you do, as a leader, to form and shape your squad into an all-star lineup?

Obviously step one is the hiring process—you can’t build a team without the people. But once you have your roster established, team-building activities are one of the most potent boosters to workplace morale. Not only are they a fun break from work, but they can also have numerous benefits for your team.

Improving Morale and Motivation

We already know that having friends at work can make or break morale for any team. Participating in fun and engaging activities can boost morale and make team members feel more invested in their work. When team members feel motivated and engaged, they are more likely to produce high-quality work and stay committed to the team.

Boosting Communication and Collaboration

One of the most significant benefits of team-building activities is that they promote communication and collaboration. When your team members participate in activities together, they have to work together to achieve a common goal. This helps them to get to know each other better, learn about each other's strengths and blind spots, and find ways to work together effectively. When your team members feel more comfortable speaking with each other, they’ll feel more comfortable providing constructive feedback and collaborating on big projects together.

Encouraging Creativity and Problem-Solving

Team-building activities often require creative problem-solving, which can help team members develop their unique strengths. When team members work together to solve a problem or complete a challenge, they have to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. This can translate to their work projects, where they can apply these same problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles and find new solutions.

Ideas for Team-Building Activities

Okay, sold. You’re already planning your next fun team activity—but what should you even do? Choosing an activity that works for everyone can be challenging, but there’s an easy solution: listening.

What activities does your team like to do? Ask your team members what activities they would be interested in; offer a list of options and let them vote; whatever method works best for you and your team, the best practice is to ask and listen. Otherwise, your plan could inadvertently turn into a dud.

Here’s a few suggestions:
  • Escape Room: Escape rooms are a fun way to build team skills like problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. Your team will have to work together to solve puzzles and escape the room before time runs out.

  • Volunteering: Doing volunteer work together can help build a sense of purpose and unity within your team. Look for local opportunities to give back to your community, such as helping at a food bank, cleaning up a park, or volunteering at a local charity.

  • Painting Class: Take a painting class together and flex your creative muscles. (We did this once at Spark!, and we had so much fun!)

  • Office Olympics: Do you remember that old episode of The Office? Sure, it might be fictional, but maybe your team wants to give Flonkerton a try.

  • Outdoor Adventures: Activities like hiking can be great team-building exercises. Your team will have to work together to navigate the terrain and stay safe in the great outdoors. (Recently, the Spark! team visited Camel’s Back Park in Boise and hiked a trail in the Boise Foothills!)

  • Celebrate Office Birthdays: Recognizing team members on their special day can boost morale and create a sense of community. Consider throwing a surprise party, decorating their workspace, or giving them a small gift. It's a simple way to show that you value and appreciate your team members. Plus cake!

Remember, the key to a successful team-building activity is to choose an activity that is engaging, inclusive, fun, and promotes collaboration and communication. By incorporating team-building activities into your workplace culture, you can foster a sense of Human-Centered YOUnity and create a more productive and positive work environment.
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