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Sales performance Jan. 19, 2023

5 Unique Team Building Activities to Motivate Your Employees

Blog - 5 Unique Team Building Activities to Motivate Your Employees

After years of trust falls and playing tug-of-war with coworkers, it’s no wonder many of us get a gut-wrenching feeling anytime we hear the phrase “team building.” When done right, these kinds of activities are terrific for strengthening team communication, collaboration, and effectiveness. Not to mention that incorporating exciting activities into the workplace environment provides a sense of novelty that is great when looking to motivate employees and increase employee engagement.

A recent study revealed that low motivation caused by a lack of fun in the workplace led to 58% of employees calling off sick for 11 days or more–which could have easily been avoided, with the help of a few team engagement activities! With statistics like these, it’s easy to understand why almost all companies seek to motivate employees through sometimes seemingly questionable bonding activities and ice-breakers.

Yet, planning team activities is no easy task. If it’s too athletic, someone is bound to be alienated. If it’s too difficult, people lose motivation quickly. If it’s too competitive, people become, well, too competitive. The most important thing is, therefore, that your employees are actually engaged in these activities–instead of seeing them as a chore. Easier said than done! So, how do you make team building activities that are actually exciting and effective?

To ensure that no one has to partake in a team-wide scavenger hunt again, we’ve put together a list of 5 unique team building activities that will increase employee engagement and build team motivation–and aren’t lame!

How Team Building Activities Motivate Employees

The benefits of team building activities cannot be overstated–there’s a reason they’re used in even the most modern, top-performing teams today. Workplace team building places employees in situations requiring collaboration with the intent to strengthen bonds between group members in order to improve team effectiveness. Teamwork promotes better communication between employees and departments that enables business goals to be achieved efficiently and effectively.

Activities that involve team members working together create a culture of socialization where employees are more likely to experience a sense of belonging and understand their peers on a more personal level. As a result of feeling that they are a respected part of their work team, people are more likely to stay loyal to the company. In fact, effective communication led to 4.5 times higher talent retention. The sense of shared achievement and pride they experience during fun teamwork tasks is carried over to their everyday job roles, driving teams to want to perform even better to achieve more goals! It is the combination of these factors that result in increased employee engagement and job satisfaction. Simply changing up the environment or participating in a novel task can further boost motivation and engagement for even the most dedicated employees!

Benefits of team building activities include:

  • Better communication between team members
  • More efficient and productive employees
  • Improves members’ ability to work together & achieve common goals
  • Increase employee engagement
  • A sense of shared purpose and achievement
  • Shows management’s willingness to invest in employee success
  • Increase employee confidence in their own, and their team’s abilities
  • Improves one’s sense of belonging and loyalty to a company
  • Boost motivation, morale, and workplace engagement

The following section will provide you with 5 of our best recommendations you’re looking for if you’ve ever pondered or perhaps even typed into Google, “How to increase employee engagement?” Make a day out of it by choosing a combination of these team building activities or simply pick the one that suits your team best and watch your team motivation take flight!

5 Fun Team Building Activities to Increase Employee Engagement

1. Book a fishing trip with Fishtrip

Renting a boat and taking the team on a fishing trip is always a win-win. On one hand, you can compete with colleagues for the biggest catch. On the other hand, if you’re not so into fishing, you can enjoy a relaxing day on the water. Fishing doesn’t require any special skills and, if you’re successful, you won’t need dinner plans. (And, the chefs on the team can show off!) Admittedly, booking a fishing vessel wasn’t too practical until we discovered Fishtrip–the only thing we wish is that we had found it earlier! Fishtrip is the of fishing trips, allowing seamen to rent out their vessels to interested companies for team building. This is a great one to give a go in the sunnier months!

2. Challenge your fear of heights with high-roping

For teams looking to challenge their fear of heights, a high-roping course like Urban Ranger Camp could be an option. It’s mentally challenging without being too physically strenuous. This particular place offers high roping courses that are 50 meters (~160 feet) above the ground. They also offer the option to rent a helmet camera; the footage can then be used in a video montage and shared back at the office! Nobody said increasing employee engagement had to start from inside the office–and you’d be surprised how well socializing outside of the office translates into better team effectiveness when everyone’s back at work. This one is a huge adrenaline rush, worth a try, and it’s something your team will be talking about for years!

3. Work together to escape a zombie room

Another awesome team building activity would be one of many different room escapes. Your team is locked in a room and tasked with following clues, solving puzzles, finding keys, and ultimately, escaping within 60 minutes. There are a bunch of different companies offering variations of this same idea. One of these is, “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” where teams must solve the puzzles while avoiding being “eaten” by a chained zombie. The catch? The chain gets longer every 10 minutes. Room escapes are all about cooperation and communication–the main ingredients to improve team effectiveness and motivate employees, without feeling forced!

experiment with a zombie

4. Shoot clay pigeons with laser shotguns

Another novel idea is to arm your team with shotguns and shoot clay pigeons. Of course, not real shotguns—at least not real bullets! Companies like Xtreme offer clay pigeon shooting with laser guns. The pigeons are fitted to detect hits that are then logged on digital scoreboards. It’s competitive but totally safe. While it’s common knowledge that salespeople are competitive by nature, some of your other employees may surprise you with their drive to win! Following the same tune, these team building activities could inspire some friendly competitions back at the office–set a sprint contest to drive better performance on one of your KPIs and watch as your employees will be even more motivated to win after their exciting day out of the office.

5. Become a Werewolf and "eat" your co-workers

In case you’re looking to stay in the office, playing Werewolf is a very fun card game. Someone moderates and deals a single card to everyone. These cards determine the “roles” of each player: Some of whom are Werewolves, and the others are Villagers.

The game begins “at night” with everyone’s eyes closed. The Werewolves then secretly agree on which Villager they’ll eat. During “the day,” Villagers try to discern who the Werewolves are before the next night when another Villager is lost. The game continues until the wolves are found or the village is empty. It’s a game of strategy and deception. Though the game is a bit tricky to learn at first, it becomes very addicting. Once we become addicted to something, it’s hard to find someone more motivated–we’re all human, after all. This game is the ideal way to increase employee engagement while keeping it in-house. Your team will find that they are extra motivated without feeling that they have been awkwardly forced to take part in cringe team building activities.

Looking for other ways to motivate employees and increase employee engagement?

You don’t necessarily have to commit to a dedicated team building day or schedule activities all throughout the year, but the important thing is that you are able to motivate employees and ultimately improve team effectiveness through team bonding. Take some inspiration from this list of unique activities we’re sure your team will be talking about for many years to come! Who doesn’t love getting to escape the monotony of their everyday tasks to get involved with werewolves, zombies, shotguns, and…fishing? After reading this article, there’s no excuse to ever schedule a horrifyingly dull corporate team event again.

Want more ways to boost team motivation and increase employee engagement? Check out these sports-themed contests that are bound to get your team involved in

When you sign-up for a free 14-day Plecto trial, you get access to easy-to-set-up real-time data visualization dashboards where you can broadcast your contest results to your entire team or office. This way you’ll be able to celebrate your top performers and boost company-wide collaboration to take the top spot against your competition–and outperform today!


CEO & Co-Founder of Fishtrip

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