The following article was contributed by Carol Wood, People Operations Director at Homebase. Read more employee management posts from Homebase and other Staffing & Human Resources articles here on the Clover blog.
Team building activities don’t always have to cost a lot of money. You can get many of the same benefits—improved team communication, happier employees, and even better customer service—by trying some low-cost team-building activities. We asked a few businesses to share their ideas for easy and cheap team-building activities that their employees loved.
Plan a Volunteer Event
Volunteering is free, of course, but it’s still an activity that’ll build connections among your team. There are plenty of options, ranging from volunteering at a soup kitchen or food pantry to taking dogs at the local shelter out for a walk. As you’re deciding on an activity, get staff input, but put an emphasis on activities that can be performed as a group.
Host an On-Site “Olympics”
A movie theater owner we spoke to occasionally hosts staff olympics at their theater, holding competitions for popcorn bag stuffing, drink cup stacking, relay races with ingredients, and more. Of course, you’ll need to adapt this for your business and the supplies you have available, but it’s a quick and easy way to get your employees engaged. If you can, try setting up the competition in teams, so people are encouraged to work together to win.
Throw a Party for Your Team
Perhaps the easiest team building activity is to throw a party at your business for your team. If you’ve got the space for it, you could host a karaoke night or a game night—ideally something where people work together in teams, with a little friendly competition. To really mix things up and get your group interacting with other employees they may not talk to everyday, assign the teams yourself, or have a random drawing.
The good news about most of these activities is that they should be pretty easy to set up without much planning or a lot of advanced notice. Definitely ask your employees what they’d like to do, and weigh their opinions heavily—you want them to be excited about whatever activity you choose, of course.
That said, it’s important not to lose track of the purpose behind team-building activities. More than just a celebration for your team’s hard work, these activities should be designed to bring your team closer together.
What team building activities have you tried at your business in the past? What are you planning next?
Carol is People Operations Director at Homebase. With free online tools and mobile apps for managers and employees, Homebase eliminates the paperwork and headaches of scheduling, payroll, and team communication for local business.
At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 50,000 businesses that Homebase serves. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston Based HR consulting firm. In her free time, Carol enjoys spending time with her son Dayton, and watching Alabama football (RTR).[image: More food bank by James on flickr]