Work camaraderie doesn’t happen overnight. It is typically the result of co-workers enjoying team bonding activities.
But here’s the catch - team members bond outside of the office doing things they don’t earn a paycheck for, which allows them to start seeing one another as people and not merely co-workers. And that makes all the difference when it comes to workplace chemistry.
According to Gallup, “Our research has repeatedly shown a tangible link between having a best friend at work, and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).”
Moreover, Gallup found workplace friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.
In other words, if you aren’t prioritizing team bonding activities where your employees can form these types of friendships, something needs to change. Stat.
When it comes to team bonding activities, there are some things you should keep in mind. These activities are designed to be fun, but not forced fun. Therefore, rather than telling your team they must attend a particular event or participate in an activity, ask them for suggestions at your daily standup meeting.
Consider your team’s unique interests and personalities rather than your own when planning team bonding activities. For example, you don’t want to take a group of introverts to karaoke or host a happy hour for a sober curious team.
Don’t expect this to be a one and done situation. It takes more than one fun lunch for a team to bond. Instead, plan to have team bonding activities regularly (such as every quarter).
The purpose is to develop relationships and strengthen bonds, so no work talk is allowed! If you are worried about awkward silences, have some team icebreaker questions prepared.
Take the team to an entertainment center, such as Dave and Buster’s, to enjoy arcade games, bowling, laser tag, etc.
Get people out of their comfort zones and go ziplining or indoor rock climbing.
Loosen up by racing around a go-kart track.
Golfing is a great team bonding activity, but it doesn’t have to be traditional. Play putt-putt, frisbee golf, or visit Top Golf.
Head to a local karaoke bar or set up your karaoke lounge at work.
A fun way for teams to bond is to complete an activity that requires collaboration and teamwork, such as scavenger hunts or escape rooms.
There’s something to be said for breaking bread together. A simple non-working lunch, family picnic, or dinner allows co-workers to get to know one another outside of the office.
The team at
has a weekly ritual called Wine Time on Fridays at 4 PM. Simple practices such as a weekly happy hour or a monthly potluck work wonders for bonding.
Work together to help an organization in your community in need.
Ask employees to bring in their favorite board games (or video games) and have an old-fashioned game day.
Encourage health by hosting fitness challenges, playing an annual t-ball game, or forming an adult kickball league.
Take the team to a local sporting event.
Speaking of sports, continue the fun with an office fantasy sports league.
Discover who is a sports fanatic, pop culture guru, or science nerds with a few rounds of trivia. Head to a local trivia event or host your own.
Creative events, such as Paint and Sip classes, are unique team bonding activities.
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