How many times have you participated in a trust fall? It almost seems synonymous with team building these days. As I can no longer count on both hands how many times I have been involved with this activity, I feel like I can safely say it might be time to retire the process.

However, I would argue there are countless benefits to frequent team building exercises, so don’t get me wrong, I would never suggest you abandon them. I would, however, argue that there is definitely benefit to getting a bit more creative.

Here is my list of three team building exercises to help build morale and cohesion among your office.

Problem Solving Exercises:

At a recent summit of our company, we were split into four groups. Our CEO then read four relatively abstract goals the company had for the future and asked for the respective groups to each solve one of them. At the end of an hour, the groups would select a leader to present their solution to everyone else. 

Each group went about coming up with a solution a little bit differently, but I certainly enjoyed the whole exercise. It not only offered a chance to work with some people I might have minimal contact with normally, but it also allowed us to all work on improving the company in a way we all saw fit. There was debate and minor argument, but it was a very healthy activity overall.

Get Out of the Office:

Specifically, get out in nature. There are often times ropes courses, hiking, biking and other adventures you can arrange relatively easy. It will do wonders for both morale and team growth to spend some time in the great outdoors together without having to worry too much about emails and deadlines. You might even make a few of your team members realize how much fun the outdoors can be and before you know it they’re decking themselves out in the best 5.11 tactical gear and comparing all the outdoor equipment on the market, taking weekend treks every which way and eventually climbing Everest (ok this might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

Hack Days:

Everybody has an idea on how their company can be better. Why not capitalize on that with the opportunity to let your employees go wild. Let them have a day every couple months where no idea is off the table. Anything they can dream up will be actionable, with the only stipulation being they have an argument for why what they are doing will improve the company.

We recently did this in our office and shipped over twenty actionable improvements; everything from software to marketing, accounts payable to sales. Everyone not only saw the improvement, but was a part of it.

My main point here is to get creative! There is plenty of opportunity out there for team building that will remain positively memorable for years to come. The point of the exercise should feel less like a cheesy chore and rather like something everyone is looking forward to.

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