Team Building Exercise Ideas: Building Morale And Teamwork

Employee morale low in the office? You may need a little team building exercise to put the fun back into the work environment.

One important aspect of a work environment that many managers and bosses often overlook is the morale of the entire office. It is noticeable right away upon entering an office whether or not the morale is low or high. If all of the employees look sullen and tired, you can bet the morale is not exactly at peak level, whereas if the office always seems lively and excited, the morale is probably at a much higher level. Many managers feel that they should only focus on each employee on an individual level, monitoring their productivity and efficiency. They fail to see that one vital aspect of a powerful and productive office is the sense of teamwork found amongst all employees. If your office is lagging in energy, here are some team building exercises you may want to try.

Get the employees of your office into teams of five to six people (or less if you have a smaller office), preferably from different departments. You will give each team thirty sheets of plain white computer paper and some paper clips. The team will have fifteen minutes to design and create a paper bridge that should be able to hold an empty jug. They will only be able to use the paper and paper clips for this exercise. Set a timer and allow the group seven minutes to discuss their plan of action. They are in their design phase right now and cannot use any of the materials just yet. After the seven minutes are up, have the group take seven more minutes to actually create the bridge out of the materials provided. The last minute will be used to put the final touches on the bridge and decide who will get to present and prepare their bridge in front of the other teams. It is essential that each team member gets a chance to contribute to this exercise.

A fascinating team building exercise will call for group members to negotiate without their sense of sight and without communicating verbally. Each group member will be assigned a distinct number. Then each member will be blindfolded and forced to remain silent. Using any other technique possible, without resorting to talking, the team members must get in a line that is in order from one to the last number given. To make the task a little more difficult, assign numbers that are not in consecutive order (for example, you do not have to have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; you can have 1, 3, 6, 9, 10). Also, give the group a time limit of fifteen to twenty minutes.

There are all sorts of team building exercises that can be played using only balloons. Give each participant a balloon that he or she will blow up. Once everybody has a balloon, instruct them all to start tossing them up in the air. Nobody should let anybody else's balloon fall to the ground. They must do whatever it takes to make sure all of the balloons stay off the ground. If you want to make it a little more fun, you can tell people they can not use a certain hand or their hands, in general, which means they will have to resort to using their heads, shoulders and feet. Once the team feels pretty comfortable keeping the balloons up, blow a whistle and tell all the red balloons to go to a certain spot in the room, all the blue balloons to go to another spot, and so on and so on until everybody has reached their destination.

To build employee morale and a sense of teamwork, you do not have to waste thousands of dollars going to expensive team building weekend meetings. Simply getting employees out of their cubes for once and allowing them to have fun and let loose with their colleagues is a good start to making a fun and productive work environment.

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