Team Building Exercises for Management
As a small business owner, you likely already understand the importance of a strong staff. You remember the phrase “you’re only as strong as your weakest link,” right? That same mindset applies to running a business. If your employees aren’t working together as a cohesive unit, it could spell trouble for your company. But many managers don’t understand the importance of team building. When done regularly, team building exercises can boost morale, which increases productivity, which leads to–you guessed it–increased revenue. In order for businesses to thrive they need a culture of teamwork. Here are some tried-and-true team-building exercises you can try out now–and remember, these ideas can all be tailored to what’s best for your business.
“Blind” Drawing: Builds Leadership and Communication Skills
Pair off a group of employees and have them sit back-to-back. One member of the pair gets a picture, the other gets a blank piece of paper and a pen (no peeking!). Without explicitly stating it, the person holding the picture will describe to their partner what it’s of–and the person with the paper and pen will draw what their partner describes. The goal is to be clear, concise, and articulate with the description. This exercise builds leadership skills for the person directing the artist, as well as effective communication skills for both parties.
The Bright Side: Builds Positive Thinking Skills
The importance of thinking positively in business cannot be stressed enough (we’ve written about it before, in fact). With this challenge, you’ll again split your staff into teams of two. One person will share a negative event they may have experienced (or make one up, if something seems too personal). The other teammate will then be tasked with telling that same story, only this time highlighting the positive parts. Then, they switch roles. This is a great exercise to help steer our brains into more of a “silver lining” mindset, rather than that of gloom and doom. Being able to turn a negative into a positive is a skill that great leaders have learned to master.
Scavenger Hunt: Builds Teamwork Skills
A childhood classic, the good ol’ scavenger hunt is a tried-and-true team-building exercise because it relies on everyone’s participation. Divide your staff into groups of at least 4. Provide them all with the same list of items–whether they’re tasks (e.g., make a snack out of random finds in your office), quiz questions (e.g., when was the company founded?), or an object hunt (e.g., find a 3-hole punch in someone’s office). Set a timer and send folks on their way with an ETA for return. If you’re able, a scavenger hunt around the grounds of your building (walking distance only, please) is a great way to get folks outdoors and really thinking outside the box. Perhaps the hunt even culminates with a happy hour!
Birthday Lineup: Builds Problem-Solving Skills
Often a game for school children, the birthday lineup is still a favorite among people leaders. This one works best with a larger group, as many as 20. Split folks into teams of 8 or 10 and ask them to line up in order of their birthday month and day–without speaking. First team to complete the task wins.
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