Tag Archives: team building

Better Together: Teamwork Games

better_together_teamwork_games_webWe all know that teamwork is vital to the success of a business, but building teamwork takes effort.

According to a recent article by Six Sigma, an online business institute, “Business teamwork is important because it enables companies to achieve their goals quickly and efficiently. Companies set goals and these goals cannot be achieved by one person. Members of a business need to work as a team. Put simply, teamwork is the collective performance of different individuals skilled at different activities in order to fulfill a group goal or objective.”

To help you better your teamwork skills and have a little fun, we’ve put together a list of game ideas that will inspire and encourage employees. Try these at your next team building exercise.

The Game of Questions
This is a great game for companies trying to address a problem. As few as 10 people are split into two groups. One team stands in a circle facing out while the other team creates a larger circle around them facing in.

The inner circle asks a question of the person opposite them in the other team. The employee has 30 seconds to answer. After, the person in the outer circle asks the same question. The inner circle then moves clockwise one space while the outer circle moves counter clockwise.

Continue the questions until everyone has answered. Questions could include:

  • “What is your greatest strength?”
  • “What kind of management style works best for you?”
  • “What is your definition of success?”

Tower of Cards
In this game, employees gather in groups of two to five members. Each group receives a pack of cards and a pair of scissors. The teams have to build the best and tallest tower using only the cards and scissors. This game is designed to help with team bonding and creativity.

Dodge the Traps
Try this teambuilding game to increase trust and communication with employees on your team. In a large area, place “traps” around haphazardly. Items for your traps may include balls, bottles, or cones.

In teams of two, blindfold one team member from each team. The other member must speak to the blindfolded employee to try to lead them around the traps in his or her path.

Building Blocks
Create a fictional problem like a brain teaser, design challenge, or riddle. Have team members write their solution or idea on a large sheet of paper. Once one person puts down an idea, pass the paper to the person on the left and have them use the idea to build another solution. As the paper continues around, see what the results are. This game allows people to understand and appreciate the value of everyone’s ideas.

Team building games work and are an excellent way to get employees to connect and work more effectively with each other. What are some of your favorite team building games? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

National Have Fun at Work Day

have_fun_at_work_day_webThese days there’s a national holiday for just about everything. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, it’s National Have Fun at Work Day.

Work is usually a place where we’re serious and focused on deadlines, meetings, and the hustle and bustle of work life. But, having a little fun is good for the soul and productivity. Here are a few ideas to shake stress off and make the day fun!

  1. Dress up.
    No, not in your typical business attire. Pick your favorite TV show or movie characters to dress up as. Maybe don your best 1950s gear. Get creative and clever with it, because this is a day to be silly.
  2. Have a potluck or go out for a long lunch.
    What better way to have fun at work than with a potluck? Each person could make their favorite dish and then there could be a contest for the best recipes. The winners could be featured on Facebook or in the employee newsletter. Or, how about the entire team picks a new restaurant to visit? Take time to really sit and chat. Relax and enjoy getting to share time with your co-workers.
  3. Host games throughout the day.
    Make a day of it with your very own office Olympics. Different departments can compete against each other to see who earns a trophy and bragging rights. And if playing all day is not possible, maybe every hour or every other hour there could be an activity. Get creative and encourage teamwork!
  4. Give back.
    Why not do some volunteer work on this national day of fun? Spend the day with your co-workers giving back and making a difference in your community. Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to help fulfill their missions and would gladly accept the help.
  5. Take pictures.
    Who doesn’t love a photo booth? Plus, they’re very cost effective to create. Usually all you need is a flat wall or doorway and some streamers. Throw in some hats and various props, grab someone who can snap some pictures, and you’ve got a fun way to document the day!

National Have Fun at Work Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune or consist of elaborate activities. A little bit of creativity can go a long way! Let the good times roll!

How do you celebrate National Have Fun at Work Day? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How to GO About Networking at Work

networking at workI can’t stress enough how important networking is. No matter your industry, personality, or situation, networking is one of the best ways to find a job. The connections you build during your job search will benefit you throughout your career.

But what happens once you get the job? Do you retire the Rolodex of connections or clear out your LinkedIn connections, and focus on the job at hand in your little workspace? NO! Developing connections and building relationships at work are just as important as building an outside network. Here’s how you can keep a strong network at work.

Go Small
We all know and work with that one person who seems to talk to everybody. While there’s nothing wrong with being social, it can be a time drain to build relationships with as many people as possible. It’s best to focus your attention on building a more efficient network of co-workers who all have different skill sets, opinions, and perspectives.

Go Outward
While it’s always good to build strong working relationships with those on your team or in your department, you should look to those you aren’t familiar with to build a good network. Keep in contact with people in other parts of your building or who do jobs that aren’t familiar to you. Networks can be powerful when you bring people together who don’t normally work with each other.

Go Weak
You may think I’m crazy for telling you to build weak ties instead of strong ones, but it really isn’t counterproductive. It feels like developing strong relationships will be the most beneficial, but binding weaker sticks together can end up being stronger than a single big stick. Those you are close to probably share the same social circles as you. Developing weaker ties with others outside of your normal circle connects you to a larger list of people you would normally never talk to.

Go to the Heart
We associate the place where everyone goes to converse as “the water cooler,” and that place can be a great resource for bringing people together. Those who frequent the hubs of conversations tend to be the ones who attract the most people. Instead of asking familiar faces if they can help you, try asking people at these casual gatherings if they know anyone who can help. It’s much easier for someone to say no if directly asked for help, but asking for a connection encourages them to think about the situation. They can stay passive while still helping out.

Go All Out
When building your network, don’t be afraid to use it to touch base with someone you’d like to meet. If you’re not the type to just barge into someone else’s workspace and introduce yourself, or if your target is just very busy and never has the door open, consider getting your boss to contact that person’s boss. Explain to your manager why you believe developing a relationship will help you in your career. If that isn’t an option, try to find out if you share the same goals or hobbies as a reason to talk.

Building a network doesn’t happen overnight. With some patience, generosity, and sincerity, you can build a great network just outside your workspace. With these suggestions, you can increase your network company-wide without wasting time or feeling pushy. How have you networked at work? Sound off in the comments section below.

The Workplace Barnyard – Which Animal are You?

Which workplace barn animal are you?You may feel like you work in an animal house, but in reality we all work differently. The workplace is like a barn in many ways. The different personalities you work with can mirror the habits and attitudes animals have in a farm. Here are some common animal personality types that relate to the workplace, which can help you better understand yourself and those around you.

The Challenger Rooster
Rosters are often associated with being “loud and proud” among barnyard animals. They’re the first to signal the new morning and quick to start as head of the farm – at least in their minds. You’ve probably worked with someone who loves a debate and is comfortable taking control. To them, iron sharpens iron but to you, they are pompous and arrogant for challenging your ideas.

It’s not that your loud co-workers are making things all about them, but they are trying to engage in a lively conversation to push everyone to think differently. Talking to them about your feelings and how you communicate differently can help ease tensions and form better working relationships. If you’re a workplace rooster, be careful not to get into rooster fights and watch out about how vocal you can get. It can be easy for you to overstep boundaries with co-workers and managers.

The Problem-Solving Pig
Pigs are widely considered by animal researchers to be the most intelligent domestic animals on the planet. Research has also shown pigs having the ability to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from their own. Pigs can be the problem solvers and are known to help other animals out of a pinch.

Problem solvers may be a treasure trove of knowledge and creativity, but they tend not to be the quickest to react. Most are very analytical and will have to internalize every aspect before making a decision. It’s quality over quantity to the problem solvers, so be patient with those who need time to think over your questions. Find out when they are least busy to give you their full attention.

The Supportive Sheep
Sheep follow the herd. When the group needs to flee from danger, there isn’t a leader. The herd moves as one. Each sheep works hard to make sure they do their part for the greater good. There are co-workers who define their success in terms of volume of accomplished tasks or sales. They work the hardest, put in the most hours, and tend to show the most results.

When sheep are in a herd, they typically don’t think for themselves. They just follow the sheep in front, even if it means to their slaughter. Supportive sheep co-workers generally lack the ability to drive big projects on their own. They wait for the order instead of taking initiative and innovate new ideas. If you work with a sheep, encourage them when they form an idea and support their efforts. If you are a sheep, ask your manager to give you small challenges that are outside of your comfort zone.

The Hospitality Horse
Horses are very social creatures with their own way of greeting other horses. Farmers have been using horses for thousands of years when interacting with other animals from herding to transporting; horses interact with almost every animal on the farm. They also take a lot of effort to tame, and usually have to be tied to something or else they run off.

Co-workers can be very chatty and lack the vision to stay on track. They can be more focused on building connections than doing work or making sales.  Relationships are an end unto themselves to a social colleague. When interacting with them, have an agenda ready. And the quicker those goals are met, the more time you can spend building relationships with co-workers or customers.

You don’t have to treat your co-workers like animals, but you can use their personalities to better understand where they are coming from to have better working relationships with them.