With more than 70 percent of employees reporting that they feel disengaged at work, it's the job of managers, directors and HR staff to figure out how to relight their fire.
What rewards could incentivize them? What activities could bring them closer to their co-workers and make them part of a dynamic, enthusiastic team?
has put together a list of teambuilding exercises that might just do the trick. They're all fun, creative pursuits that encourage collaboration and communication, so they're ideal for shaking the cobwebs off your staff. Let's dish them up and examine some of the ways that you can improve workplace engagement!
1. Board Games
Everyone loves to crush souls at Monopoly, so break out the board games for an energetic team gathering. There might be a bit of bloodshed, but it'll be worth it for landing Park Place.
2. Ice Cream Breaks
Studies have shown that you can increase productivity at the office by giving people more breaks instead of less. What better way to take a breather than with an ice cream truck?
3. Scavenger Hunt
Putting your team in an unfamiliar environment is one of the secrets to a good bonding experience. When no one knows what's going on, everyone has to work together to accomplish a common goal. Scavenger hunts are great for this!
There's a reason why karaoke is a classic team-building activity. It's hard not
to feel closer to someone after you've heard them butchering "We Will Rock You," especially if you provided the pounding feet to go along with it.
5. Sports Events
Some people can't tell a football from a foosball, but they probably won't mind attending a game on the company's dime. Even if they have no interest in sports, they'll enjoy the stadium food and the chance to kick back with their co-workers.
6. Beach Bonanza
Hit the beach for your next team activity. One of the benefits of getting out of the office is being able to see people as fun individuals rather than stuffy, rule-following suits, so go ahead and cheat at that sandcastle competition. It's for a good cause.
There's a reason why dodgeball is such a popular game. Everyone can play it, so it's very inclusive, and you can swap out hard helium balls for foam balls or beanbags if you're worried about injuries. Everybody wins!
8. Diversity Day
Diversity days have gotten a bad reputation because of shows like The Office
, but as long as you're not Michael Scott, you should be able to organize a rich and rewarding cultural exchange for your department.
9. Question Friday
"Question Friday" is exactly what it sounds like. Every Friday, you pose a question to your team and let them run with it. You might be surprised at the kinds of debates that you inspire with a simple query.
10. Rooftop Retreat
Don't hold a party in a drab little conference room. Usher everyone onto the roof so that you can share food, drink, music and games under a gloriously open sky.
Unleash your inner child with a race around the go-kart track. You might even allow your staff to bring their children and turn the whole thing into a fun, family-friendly event.
12. Recreation Room
Do you have a place where your workers can decompress? The break room might be too crowded or too full of weird microwave smells. You can create a much better environment by setting aside a recreation room filled with books, games, darts and ping pong tables.
13. All-Hands Meetings
All-hands meetings will keep people in the loop about the company while also supporting and encouraging a constant flow of communication. Don't put them off until the end of the year. Make them a regular occurrence.
14. Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are so much fun that they don't even feel like the complex, critical-thinking and problem-solving activities that they are. Your team will build new skills together and thank you for the challenge!
15. Own It Day
Own It Day is when everyone is allowed to pitch an idea to the boss regardless of their position in the company. It's a great way to remind your team that every voice matters.
16. Virtual Reality
You don't need to buy fancy equipment to hold a virtual reality exercise. Companies like Team Building VR will provide everything that you need, and the end result will be eye-bogglingly awesome.
17. Printmaking Class
Informative and entertaining, a printmaking class will encourage your staff to exercise their creative muscles while also giving you the chance to do something together as a group.
18. Dance or Martial Arts Lessons
You might need to run this one through the HR handbook since it's so physical, but if your staff is game, a salsa lesson or karate demonstration will be a fun way to kick-start a new quarter at the company.
19. Movie Night
Despite the name, you can have movie night at any time of day. Just lower the blinds, kick up your feet and pass around the popcorn. Legally Blonde
is waiting for you.
20. Epic Introductions
Bring out the fog machine. Blast some of the greatest hits from metal bands. It's time to welcome your new hire, and the more extravagant that you get, the more that your team will bond together over your goofiness.
21. Education Day
"Education Day" is when everyone spends the day learning something new. Not only will it stimulate the mind, but it will also generate debate and discussion when people share their new knowledge with others.
22. Group Exercise
You don't have to wear tights and workout bandanas. Just get everyone together for a quick set of jumping jacks while playing something cheesy like "Eye of the Tiger." It'll get the blood pumping before everyone hits their computers again.
23. Viral Videos
What's the latest meme going around? Instead of trying to squash it in company memos, get everyone together to re-create it. People will bond very quickly over Gangnam Style or the Harlem Shake.
24. Type Fight
A "type fight" is a head-to-head battle where two opposing artists create their own versions of the same typefaces. It makes a great team activity since it's quick, easy, fun and free. You might even get a new corporate font out of it!
25. Group Hike
You don't have to be physically present in the office to engage in teambuilding exercises. Take a stroll through the park and let everyone soak up some sun as you discuss what's going on with your latest project.
26. Nerf Turf
Nerf battles are a staple of trendy start-ups, but they can be hosted by businesses of all types. What kind of monster doesn't love getting hit in the face with a neon-colored projectile?
27. A Vow of Silence
Conduct a project in complete silence. Have your team communicate with cues, gestures, eye contact and general body language. They'll learn a lot about each other that way.
38. Peer Recognition Program
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and a peer recognition program can really improve morale around the office. As a bonus, better morale means better productivity.
29. Adventure Club
Nothing will bring a group together like a hair-raising, heart-stopping adventure, so if you have physically active staffers, look into fun outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. Their benefits can be both physical and
30. Variety Show
Do you have any film buffs on your team? Is anyone taking an improv class? Let them host their own variety show for the amusement of their co-workers. If nothing else, you might get the chance to use those old tomatoes in the break room fridge.
31. Sprint Week
A sprint week involves everyone dropping all of their projects to focus on a single, solvable problem as a group. It's a chance to clear away some of your bureaucratic backlog, and it'll promote team unity and job satisfaction as well.
32. Suggestion Box
If you're running out of ideas for employee activities, let your employees make their own itinerary. You can even turn it into an office party where everyone gets together to eat snacks, read suggestions and decide on their next shared experience.
33. Culture Jams
Culture jams are basically open forums where workers can express themselves about non-work topics. They're a chance for people to really get to know one another on a deeper, more meaningful level.
34. Lunchtime Fun
Do you still have that Monopoly board? Break it out over a large communal lunch. As long as you don't mind queso on the cards, it should be a nice, lively time.
35. Mountain Climbing
Everest might be a little outside of your comfort zone, but climbing a local cliff will give your team the same kind of rush. When you're all looking down at the same sunset, you'll realize that it was a great idea.
36. Shared Lunches
No one will turn down a free lunch, but instead of just handing someone a gift card and calling it a day, send out two people from different departments for a shared lunch. Let them form an unexpected friendship.
37. Business Simulation
Put your team to the test with a business simulation. They'll be free to make mistakes, try new things and figure out how to work together without any of the pressure of a real-world project.
38. Team Building Kits
If you're pressed for time when it comes to organizing group activities, consider buying an official Team Building Kit. They're centered around fun activities like "solve a murder" and "escape from an alien planet," and everything that you need is right in the box!
39. Criss-Cross Brainstorming
The next time that you're having a problem, bring together an eclectic group of people to solve it. Pull them from different floors; make sure that they have different specialties. See if their unique perspectives can combine into a single solution.
40. Sensei Session
Sensei sessions are demonstrations or presentations by some kind of expert. You don't have to hire boring, business-related lecturers. You can bring in any cook, clown, magician or juggler who knows what they're doing and is willing to share their secrets.
41. Team Notes
Team notes are observations on your staff that you jot down during meetings and conferences. They can help you determine which of your workers need a little boost to reach their full potential.
42. The Buddy System
This is more of a systematic change than a one-time event, but if you're looking for new things to try with your team, consider starting a buddy system. It can really improve communication around the office.
43. Indoor Sky Diving
You might not be able to convince your workers to jump out of a real plane, but indoor sky diving can be just as exciting. It's risk-free as well, so you won't have to worry about liability.
44. Circle of Appreciation
If you aren't quite ready to launch a full-scale peer recognition program, consider a simple "circle of appreciation." Gather your team and have everyone say something nice about the person on their left. It's a quick and easy feel-good exercise for any type of team.
Never underestimate the power of a mojito. Happy hour is one of the oldest employee activities in the book, but there's a reason why it's such an enduring one. People always have a blast when they can cut loose!
These are just a few team-building exercises that can foster more harmony and synergy in your workplace. Disengaged employees don't have to stay that way, so don't write them off. Bring them back into the fold with fun group activities.