Team Building Activities for Small Businesses

Businessmen analyzing documents on wall in office
Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.
— Brian Tracy, Author & Speaker

Team building is a common practice among students, professionals and companies. Everyone knows that teamwork is a crucial component in establishing an efficient workflow, yet there are times when team members don’t see eye to eye.

As a leader in a small business, it is your responsibility to encourage positive teamwork amongst your employees. A team that trusts each other will work more efficiently together. Following are a few ideas of activities you may consider implementing with your team. 

When I think of team building, I think of doing what needs to be done to make it work for everyone. This means sometimes you will have to be uncomfortable to satisfy the greater good. But we work well together and communication is a huge part of it.
— Joey, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™

Do challenges together

Over the past year or so, social media based challenges have become very popular. You may remember the mannequin challenge that went viral during election season. Such challenges are great opportunities for employees to take a break from the work day and do something fun together.

A few challenges that might be beneficial to try with your small business team are as follows:

  • The Word Challenge: this is a simple challenge where you feature a particular word somewhere in the workplace without showing its meaning. The challenge to the employees is to guess what the word means and use it correctly in a sentence. As an incentive, winning guesses could receive a prize. You could even use this challenge at the beginning of a meeting to help lighten the mood before getting to business.
  • The Spicy Noodle Challenge: during a lunch break, you may consider doing something like this. Check out this vlog to see more of what this challenge entails, but basically whoever drinks water first loses.
  • The Egg Drop: this is one of the classic problem-solving games that most of us tried to solve in physics class. Divide your staff into teams and let each team brainstorm ways to keep their egg intact as it’s thrown at least two stories down.  

Play games

Having icebreakers during office hours could help ease the stress that your employees might be feeling. It’s also a great way to refresh and rejuvenate your minds. Let the stress go away and let the ideas come into play. 

Card games and board games are the easiest way to introduce games into your work community because they’re easy to keep around the office. If you have a common gathering space or a break room in your office, place a few games in there and let something organic unfold. There is also the option to host game nights.

Organized activities are also a fun option. Scavenger hunts are ideal for small business team-building, because they allow you to form groups and work as a team in order to win. Team sports do the trick as well. During break times, get some of your staff to head outside for a game of Ultimate Frisbee, soccer or touch football. Many small businesses even form teams that compete with other businesses in the community on a regular basis.

Change your environment

In the case that the workplace atmosphere feels stifling or tense, you may consider taking your team to another area altogether. The last thing you want is for your workplace to be a place your employees dread going, and the best way to change the atmosphere of a room is to change the attitudes of the people in it.

Instead of always meeting in the board room, try setting up meetings at various restaurants or take the meeting somewhere outdoors. Choose an environment that is conducive to work getting done, yet that provides a relaxing atmosphere for everyone. A simple change in scenery can work wonders for your staff!

If your small business is able to cover something like this, you can go camping or treat your staff to some time at a resort.  Most resorts have lots of relaxing activities, while there are some that actually provide team building services. These are activities that would allow the employees to get to know their colleagues, build teams, and most importantly, learn to trust each other.

Building and nurturing a group of individuals to operate as a team is challenging them to operate as one. To do this you must be willing to get to know the people you are working with. Engaging in activities at work and outside of work creates a rapport and relationship needed to build effective teams.
— Jamara, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™

These are just a few team building activities that could be done in your company. Feel free to use some of these ideas as starting points to generate your own unique way of fostering teamwork amongst your staff.  

Do you have any particular team building activities that you like to use in your small business? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

~ Jamara Wilson, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™