As a savvy business owner, you know that your team will be more effective, productive, and successful if everyone works well together, so you are always thinking about ways to build your team. That can be tricky, though, because many team-building activities can be kind of silly, which will work against you and your intent. A great team-building initiative should be both fun and inspiring, which will naturally promote healthy relationships between your team members. 

You probably have people of all ages on your staff, so you will want to schedule creative and fresh activities that everyone will enjoy, instead of relying on old-school standbys that will make eyes roll. 

Today I’m going to share three non-cringeworthy team-building activities today that will help you plan your next event:

The Zombie Escape: A Creative Collaboration Exercise. 

You’ll need a rope, a key, and 5-10 clues – the number of clues used will depend on your scheduled time frame. 

Gather your team into your selected space and lock the door. Before you begin, you will select one team member to play The Zombie by displaying standard zombie behavior – dead eyes, arms outstretched, muttering, etc. The volunteer zombie will be tied to the rope in the corner of the room, with 1 foot of leeway, and every five minutes the rope restraining the hungry zombie is let out another foot. Eventually, the zombie will be able to reach the living team members, who need to solve your series of puzzles or clues to find the hidden key that unlocks the door and allows them to escape before they are caught.  

Community Service Project: Team Bonding 

All you will need is a few hours out of your workday

A few examples of projects you can participate in: joining an Adopt-a-Family program during the holidays, organizing a beach cleanup, or taking on a community beautification project. An activity that appeals to your team or reflects your company values gets everyone out of the office and does some good for your community and your team is a great way to encourage your team to connect over a worthwhile activity that they can be proud of collectively and personally. 

Your Memory Wall: Ice-breaking and Team Building

All you will need are Post-It notes or a whiteboard

Write a few general work-related topics on either your whiteboard or sticky notes posted to the wall under headings such as:  “My first day,” “Teamwork,” “Work travel,” etc. Gather your team together, have everyone choose one of the topics, and ask them to share a story from their time with your company. You’ll all find yourself laughing and bonding over shared experiences that you may have forgotten, and you might be pleasantly surprised at what others remember, as well. You can also pass out sticky notes and ask your team to write down positive memories of working together, or perhaps some special team accomplishments. (They can use either words or pictures to record these memories.) Then have everyone share their memory and post it on the wall, forming a positive Memory Wall. Your newer employees will enjoy getting to know your older team members and your company culture through hearing these stories, and it will immediately connect them with your history. 

I hope these ideas for team-building activities will help inspire you to create events that your team won’t cringe over. I’m AnnaVija McClain, and my favorite thing to do is help small business owners find their happiness, improve their lives, grow their business, and thrive!