You know why you should be team building but creating high performance teams is no easy task and it certainly does not happen overnight. You, as the team leader must rely on a toolbox of team building games and activities and the art and science of team building to gel your individual team members into a high performing group.
This article provides an overview of some of our favourite team building games for adults along with instructions on how to prepare for, run and debrief your team to get the most return from your investment.
Preparing to run your team building activity
Remember, working in teams is hard and can be frustrating and your teams are probably very busy and any time spent team building is not spent working. Team members can object to team building games and where they are poorly ran or drag on too long then they have every right to. Make sure you, as team leader do your homework, review the games, have a dry run if needs be and get fully prepared so the game runs as smoothly as possible. The games below all have their own instructions yet if you want more pointers check out our how to run a team building activity article.
Team Building Ideas for Adults
We have a series of team building games for adults on this site that can all be completed in less than half an hour and require the bare minimum of equipment, often nothing more than a few pens and some paper, maybe a stopwatch if you’re feeling fancy.
Stages of Team Building
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your team won’t be built in a single team building session. The following series of team building ideas lays out a framework for taking your team from a group of individuals into a single, finely tuned, high performance vehicle for business success!
Breaking the Ice & Building Team Spirit
First things first you are going to really get your team members to know and understand each other so you need to do some icebreaker events. The following activities will get your team to know, understand and better work together.
1. Innovative introductions
This is a simple team building game where each team member has to prefix their name with an adjective that somehow describes them, Jolly James or Morbid Marcus or some such. It can be made work specific or kept fun, depends on your exact requirements and tone. If it’s the first team building activity you do, fun is not always a bad thing, and you can always repeat it with an adjective that describes your work function like Accountable Aaron or Invoicing Irene.
2. Nosey Parkers
This is a simple icebreaking and discovery game where each team member is given a worksheet and has to find out as much as possible about three other team members in a given time period. This helps to reveal the real person behind the job and can help build bridges between team members making the group more of a team.
3. Poster Boy
This is the mirror image of Nosey Parkers and is more of a self disclosure game. The two work well and compliment each other and those people who never got asked about whatever passion they have, golf, football, morris dancing, whatever, get to reveal their pet hobbies, personalities, traits and just about anything. This one is always good fun!
4. Who Are We?
Now we have a working team that know each other we can now give them some real identity to get behind and let them choose a name for their team. You can steer the ship in many directions to make the game fun. So, go get your Superstar Sales Team and Madcap Marketing Masters named and get everyone feeling part of a new and focussed team. The game can be extended in extra sessions to create a logo and slogan. I have never seen a group that did not enjoy this game!
Problem Solving and Performance Boosters
Now you have a group that want to work together in a supportive, cooperative, collaborative fashion for a single team goal, so now we can put them to the test.
5. Bits and Pieces
This is a negotiation and problem solving game where you will get to see the inner workings of your team and help everyone to understand the importance of working towards a single goal. Team members will need to be shrewd and haggle well to win the day and any people who are not team players will be shown up in a second.
6. Puzzling Puzzles
This is a game with a twist. Your team will need to be split into smaller sub groups, but they are all working towards a common goal, yet each group has its own objectives. It sounds complicated but it is anything but and it really highlights individuals and teams that are not working for the greater good. Another one that can help finely tune your team.
7. Persuasive Negotiation
Each and every day is faced with problems and if your team keeps getting hung up and is not making decisions then we have a team building game for that. This will force your team to make a decision and lay the decision making process bare for you to evaluate and feedback.
8. Ever Decreasing Circles
This is a simple game that demonstrates how any process can be improved upon and made more efficient. The team need to pass a soft ball between themselves in a specific order and try to speed up the process. Sounds simple, and it is, but the best messages are and this will show your group that no matter how good they think they are at something, they can get better.
9. The QR Code Hunt
If you want to add some innovation into your presentation and provide an exciting and rewarding team game to kick start your meeting or conference then The QR Code hunt is a perfect solution. Using a series of QR codes created by yourself and hidden around your training room or venue players must search and scan the codes to reveal learning or promotional messages.
Team building games for adults are not always successful if you dive in at the difficult or more challenging ones but by starting out fun, you will get a better buy in from the team members and then when you present them with something challenging there will be no objection from the group. By following this program and maybe doing one team building activity each Friday over an eight week period you will softly introduce your team members to team building in a structured way and pave the way for more positive adult team building activities.
The game pages all provide a full set of instructions for you to follow along with details of how to tweak the games to your specific requirements and how to debrief them to really get the most from them.
Let the Games Begin!
Free Team Building Book
Get yourself a copy of our Free Team Building Book for an overview of why you should be team building and how to run team a building event for your team along with 15 fun and easy team building games to get your team working together in the workplace. We will also send you a new game every single week with ideas to keep your team at the top of their game. Don’t forget to follow us @FradleyCroft on Twitter for regular updates.