Team Building

7 Low-Cost Team Building Activities for SMEs

Teams are more efficient when they interact freely. Regardless of how well your team is connected, they can benefit from team-building exercises. Small and fun exercises are a great way to improve communication, employee morale, and productivity. 

In the case of new or small teams, team activities help employees get to know each other better and break the ice. Team building games are used by large or small businesses to promote teamwork. Teamwork is one of the key factors behind a company’s success.

Team building activities can be grouped into four main types:

  1. Communication-based activities
  2. Problem-solving and decision-making activities
  3. Adaptability and planning activities
  4. Trust-building activities

The concept is to have employees perform fun and challenging activities, which have added the benefit of building teamwork skills. These skills help improve employee performance and ultimately boost workplace productivity. 

Building a cohesive team is important, but multiple efforts can also make team building a time-consuming process. Team activities do not have to be complicated. They can be something as simple as a Saturday brunch, evening tea break, or an online gaming challenge. The mix-up of activities also depends on the makeup of employees and the nature of work. There is little psychology needed, only common sense. 

Some simple, low-cost activities are as follows

1.    Knots on My Job

This is a great method to get people involved.  

  • Get enough string or rope so that all your staff gets an equal piece.
  • Gather everyone, distribute the pieces of string, and challenge everyone to tie as many simple overhand knots as possible in a certain time. 
  • If the number of knots tied is a tie, challenge the winning employees to untie their knots simultaneously. 
  • The winner is the employee who ties the highest number of knots tied or untied.

Over time, to make the game more fun, teach them a new and more complicated knot and repeat the challenge. This is a fun activity for staff that does desk work most of the day. 

2.    Answer Trivia Questions

Answering trivia questions is a fun way to encourage teamwork. This activity can be played in many ways. A set of trivia questions from the net are good to make it work. 

  • To play the game, group employees into two teams. 
  • Ask the question and give the team 1 minute to answer. If they cannot answer, give team B 10 seconds to steal the question. 
  • Reverse roles and offer team B a new question.
  • To make it more competitive, get a buzzer and allow the teams to face off directly
  • The team that presses the buzzer first answers. If they can’t answer or are incorrect, the other team can steal. 
  • Get creative with how you play, and your employees will thoroughly enjoy it.

3.    Fact Or Fiction

The Fact Or Fiction game is a great way to get your team members to interact and move them towards knowing each other. 

  • Have your employees write their names on one side of a notecard at the start of the day. Then, have them write two labeled truths and one lie about themselves. 
  • Later in the day, get everyone in a circle and pick someone to reveal the three pieces of information about themselves. (It can be a good idea for you to start the game). 
  • Allow the rest of the group to decide what is fact and fiction. Give time for questions if the facts are unique.

4.    One-Minute Typing Test

This team-building activity is practical as it encourages fast typing, which is a good work skill. There are many ways to set it up. Give every employee a paragraph to type and time them. 

It can also be done online on typing test websites. This is particularly useful for call and customer support desk staff as it gives them a break and encourages them to improve typing accuracy and speed. 

5.    Treasure Hunt

Get two identical objects. Empty bottles or boxes work well. Label them “A” and “B” and hide them in the workplace. Group your employees into team A and team B. Give them clues for the objects or tell them you’ve hidden objects somewhere.

Give them two or five minutes to find their team’s object. The first one to hand the object to you wins. If no one finds their team’s object in the two minutes, run the treasure hunt again an hour or two later.

6.    Picture Pieces Game

This problem-solving task requires that the leader pick a well-known picture or cartoon with many details. The picture should be cut into equal squares according to the number of people in the activity. Each participant gets one of the “puzzle pieces” and instructions to make an exact copy of their piece, but five times larger. 

When all participants have completed their enlargements, they assemble their pieces into a giant version of the original picture. This problem-solving activity helps develop team working skills and shows how departmentalization works. 

7.   Blow Up Or Pop The Balloons

This can be tied up with office celebrations or birthday activities for staff. Teams (or individuals) try to blow up and tie as many balloons as they can in a fixed time. Different teams can be given different colours to make counting easier. 

This is a great activity to do before a larger party where balloons can (or will) be used for decorations at the same time. 

Pop The Balloons

A variation of the blow-up version. In this, teams of employees try to pop as many balloons as they can within a time limit. Different teams have to pop a specific colour. Employees need to wear boxing gloves or kitchen mitts to make it more fun. 

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