Corporate Team Building Activities Don’t Have to be Lame you’re like me, the first thing you think when the boss says he/she wants to do a team building events is, “UGH!”

I can’t help but think back to my first experiences with team bonding. During high school and college, I sometimes found myself having to run obstacle courses and perform the dreaded “trust falls” upon joining certain clubs or teams. My first job out of college, our department was broken into teams and told we were now stranded in the woods, and were provided with a list of “survival equipment” which we had to prioritize (think matches, shovel, canteen etc.). After two solid hours of debate, we were then told how an unnamed “professional” survival expert would have prioritized the same equipment; however close our team got to the expert’s list, is how effective we were as a team.

These activities are totally lame! No wonder I hated them- how can you get to know anything about your colleagues or feel more confident as a team by pushing each other over a wall, balancing on a 1-foot square plank or fighting tooth and nail over whether the sleeping bag is more important than the bear spray?

The phrase “team building” has long held a negative connotation for precisely this reason, and from my own experience, I really do get it. While I am clearly partial to using trivia as a corporate team building activity, there are many, many ways you can entertain, reward or foster effective teamwork which aren’t painful, cheesy or insulting to your group’s intelligence.

Have you considered any fun activities which:

  1. Are intellectually stimulating?
  2. Require extreme creativity?
  3. Naturally encourage socializing?
  4. Have plenty of food and drink?
  5. Remove walls between junior & senior staff?
  6. Take full advantage of the resources available to you?
  7. Promote effective communication in a unique way?
  8. Produce tangible “take-home” items?
  9. Scream positive, energetic and enjoyable?

The goal here is to provide your staff with an impactful, memorable experience which ultimately boosts morale, fosters loyalty and improves performance. With so many great offerings out there, it’s really not necessary in 2011 for employees to still be “tossing imaginary objects in a circle” and balancing on logs. For the sake of your group, please don’t settle on activities because they seem like they would be “team building-esque.”

Do you agree or disagree with the above? I encourage you to share your thoughts below!

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