3 Simple Team Building Activities

3 Simple Team Building Activities

Incorporating short team building activities regularly into your corporate calendar can be key to your on-going development. Keeping it simple can offer a host of benefits with minimum effort.

Here are 3 of our favourite short team building activities, each taking about 1 hour:

1) Good and Bad Bosses Activity

While many bosses are wonderful, a lot of people also have an ex-boss horror story up their sleeve. This can be the basis of a great team building communication exercise. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get each team member to write down one great boss and one who fell short of the mark. [Tip: younger employees can choose a teacher instead]. Spend five minutes reflecting on what was good and bad about each.
  2. Tell the stories to the group.
  3. As a group, pick one stand-out boss and one miserable failure, and discuss:
  • What do you think caused the behaviour?
  • What was the boss probably thinking and feeling?
  • In the case of a bad boss, what could have been done to change the situation?
  • In the case of a good boss, what are the main lessons to be learned?

2) Dream Workplace Team Building Activity 

Imagination is integral to creativity and innovation. This team building activity encourages this skill, whilst building deeper levels of understanding among team members.

  1. Hand out paper and ask each person to draw their dream workplace. They can do this in any way that they want. [Tip: to get the creativity flowing, it can be helpful to give vague prompts, such as “maybe it’s a bit closer to nature, or maybe it’s not in this country, or maybe it’s just a bit tidier,” etc.]
  2. When the group is finished – usually around ten minutes – ask the participants to share their dream workplaces and explain the main points.
  3. Ask the group to work together to choose what they think is the most beneficial idea from each picture.
  4. Discuss how the ideas could be combined into one ideal workplace.

Afterwards, the feedback can be passed on to the HR department, empowering the group.

3) Design Your Own Team Building Activity

Employees may roll their eyes at team building activities, but they might feel differently if they tried inventing their own. This exercise challenges them to do just that. This great all-rounder exercise engages with a range of core skills, including creative problem solving, critical thinking, and time management.

This exercise works most effectively with two or more groups.

  1. Challenge each group to invent a completely new problem-solving exercise.
  2. Ask them to write out the instructions for the exercise.
  3. Ask them to discuss – privately – what the exercise goals and acquired skills are.
  4. After 30 minutes, tell the groups to swap their new problem-solving challenge with the other team.
  5. The other team is asked to try out the exercise.
  6. Finally, bring the groups together for a critical discussion about the success of each solution, and find out whether everybody agrees upon the skills that it was supposed to build.

Short team building exercises can be great fun. For more ideas about building an engaged, creative and effective team, get in touch today on +44 (0)1905 330660. 


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“EML have been absolutely amazing from the very beginning – their proposed team building activities have helped us achieve the objectives of our learning event while also having lots of fun! Very much looking forward to the next opportunity to work together!”

Rebeca Fartusnic | Associate Director | Deloitte

Professional, knowledgeable and friendly team to work with from beginning to end. Thank you for making our day a great success!
Caroline Greenfield | Aramco Overseas
You actually listened to the criteria I asked and followed up with a call to discuss options, out of 4 contacted no other company did that.
Michelle Duberry | Galliford Try
Really enjoyed working with Jon, Ruth and the team, exceptional customer service and support, would definitely work with you again.
Nicola Newman | The AA
Great day had a wonderful time thank you to all the team for making it such a successful event with many happy memories.
Mark Hoggard | Depuy J&J
Very professional and engaging company to work with. Great ideas and energy on the day resulted in some excellent staff feedback.
Jenny James | RoSPA
Just a big thank you again for a brilliant date. So well organised from start to finish and the team on the day were all amazing. Everyone had a great time and the feedback has been brilliant.
Laura Heaton | Hazlewoods
We have had lots of positive feedback from many members of staff. They really enjoyed all the activities and felt that it allowed them to have fun and to get to know colleagues better. Thank you!
Sonia Johnson | Bracknell Forest CC
Brilliant facilitation, really understood our needs and worked with us to create something amazing. Feedback from staff has been really positive. They were engaged, and it really did support us in our messaging. Thank you!
Clare Salerno | Saints FC
Many thanks to Neil and Ruth for leading our virtual team building exercise... Many laughs were had while scrambling to collect the twenty items...!!! The Murder Mystery was my favourite and my team winning was the icing on the cake. The Haka showed how uncoordinated we are but the laughs ...just proves what an enjoyable experience we all had.
Suzanne Mitchell | Beckton, Dickinson & Co
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Victoria Goodwin | Croudace Homes
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Michelle Hammersley | GKN Aerospace
Great fun had by all. Both inclusive and engaging. We will be looking to use EML again next year.
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