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~ by Brooke Chaplan ~

If not approached with caution and with a sober mindset, the benefits of team building activities become non-existent. Being one of the most important investments an organization can make for its workers, team building must be fun and adventurous. It should be something that your employees look forward to.

If you are planning a team building retreat for your employees, you may want to borrow these four fantastic and engaging group team building ideas.

Scavenger Hunt

Divide the team into two or more groups. Using a pen and paper, develop a list of amusing tasks for each group to perform, such as shopping for particular items in a specified store, locating and taking a picture of a given building, and so on. Attach a deadline to the list of tasks that must be completed, and reward the fastest group. The scavenger hunt is a team bonding exercise good for breaking up office cliques. It encourages employees to work with people from other departments and teams.

The Barter Puzzle

This fun and exciting group game demands the availability of four small groups or more with an equal number of members. There should be enough jigsaw puzzles for all the groups. All the jigsaw puzzles must have the same level of difficulty. The first group to finish the puzzle wins, but the real challenge is in finding missing jigsaw pieces that are mixed in the jigsaw puzzles of other groups. Group members must devise a way of getting those missing parts whether by barter or espionage. It’s important that teams work together and make decisions together throughout. The Barter Puzzle instills problem-solving and leadership skills in your workers.

Human Knot

Human Knot accommodates groups of 8-20 people, and no tools are required. Ask the members of the team to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Instruct them to stretch their right arms and grab a random hand of someone from across. Instruct them to do the same using their left hands. Without releasing their hands, ask them to untangle the knot of arms – within a stipulated timeline. If you have a large team, separate them into small groups of no less than eight people each, and make them compete. Good communication and teamwork are critical success elements in an organization. This group activity comes in handy for developing these traits and showing employees how much they can achieve within a short amount of time if they successfully handle a task or project together.

Escape Room

A growing trend in group and team building activities is the Escape Room. These rooms are complex puzzles that require everyone to contribute and look at things from different perspectives to reach a common goal. Ranging from small to large groups, there are sizes and difficulty levels for any size team. Facilities like Houdini’s Room Escape even have different themes and special accommodations specifically for team building. As Escape Rooms become more popular you’re bound to find one in your area to try out.

Effective team building can be extremely beneficial to both the employees and the company. It offers a great channel for mitigating conflicts, building trust, encouraging smooth communication, and increasing collaboration. It helps employees become more actively engaged, which enhances not only organizational performance but also the company culture.

Meet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.