12 Communication-Based Team Building Activities to Improve Relationships
— February 21st, 2023
United teams don’t just happen by chance. They are built over time and depend on strong relationships. These relationships are forged by experiences, by special times, and events, bringing employees together and creating long-lasting bonds.
In other words, let’s talk about team building.
Teambuilding activities nurture employee relationships by constructing the perfect settings and perfect conditions for friendships to grow. In a world where we no longer work in physical proximity to our colleagues every single day, some might argue that it’s more essential than ever to play a sort of matchmaker—to take deliberate steps to manufacture situations and spark conversations that allow trust and camaraderie to develop.
Tackling Attrition: Time to Ramp Up Employee & Workplace Experience
A team that genuinely cares about one another will go above and beyond to support each other.
If successful, your team will enjoy improved employee morale, engagement, and ultimately, increased productivity.
In this blog, we suggest some communication-based teambuilding activities that aim to strengthen the relationships within your team.
Why is it so Important to Improve Communication Within Your Team?
Strong internal communication is the key ingredient to any successful organization.
Two main reasons why this is the case;
- People want to feel heard and understood
- Alignment—clarity and understanding around a common purpose inspires team members to work in harmony to achieve their goals
Additionally, good communication succeeds in creating the following:
- A streamlined approach
- A positive work environment
- A transparent company culture
What Are the Benefits of Team Building Activities?
Even though they sometimes appear to be mere frivolous games, in reality, team building activities are thoughtfully designed to encourage people to work as a unit.
These activities have several benefits, including the following:
- Improving communication
- Increasing employee problem-solving skills
- Promoting team collaboration
- Encouraging creative thinking
- Building camaraderie
- Raising levels of employee satisfaction
- Building employee confidence
- Creating an atmosphere of trust
- Improving mental well-being
Everyone can benefit from the cohesive, close-knit environment that comes from strong internal communication.
12 Ideas for Communication-Based Team Building Activities
1. Coffee Chats
Coffee chats are a simple but incredibly effective relationship-building activity. This activity involves two randomly selected team members being paired to share a cup of coffee and a casual chat.
This communication-centered activity strengthens employee relationships by allowing them to share their hobbies, interests, and details about their personal lives. The best part about coffee chats is that they don’t have to happen in person—they can be just as effective over Zoom or Teams.
2. Scavenger Hunts
This fun activity sees employees use teamwork and communication skills to achieve their goals.
A great thing about scavenger hunts is that they don’t have to be expensive, and it’s possible to organize one in the office. Examples of clues you might include in an office-based scavenger hunt include:
- Find an employee wearing a company logo
- Find a sign with the number eight on it
- Take a photo with three separate employees who wear glasses
- Find the person who has worked in your office the longest
- Take a selfie with the CEO
3. The Question Ball
Another simple team activity that allows employees to let their guard down and have some fun. You only need a medium-sized beach ball, a marker, and some motivated team members to play this game.
Take the marker and write ten questions on the beach ball. Gather your team into a circle and kick things off by passing the ball to an employee. Whoever catches the ball must answer the question closest to their right thumb.
Sample questions that will help employees get to know each other on a more personal level include:
- What is your favorite TV show/movie/book/author?
- Where was the last place you went on vacation?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Where is your favorite place to eat?
4. Two Truths and a Lie
This is one of the most popular games for helping people get to know one another, and not without good reason. To kick off this activity, ask each team member to come up with three personal facts about themselves. As the name suggests, one of these facts will be a lie. It’s up to the rest of the team to try and decide which of the three facts is untrue.
Although identifying the lie can be fun, the game’s true purpose is to give your employees an easy way to share interesting facts about themselves that they may otherwise not feel comfortable sharing. Again, this can be done over Teams or Zoom.
5. Board Games
Everybody loves a good board game. With many office-friendly board games, this is the perfect opportunity to bring your team members together for good old-fashioned fun and team bonding.
6. Back-to-Back Drawing
To begin this activity, split your team members into pairs. One person in each pair will get a picture of a simple image, and the other will get a piece of paper and a pen.
It’s up to the picture-holder to describe what they see on the paper as their teammate attempts to draw it. To finish the activity, have each set of partners compare their pictures with the rest of the group to see which duo created the most accurate depiction. This is sure to elicit some laughter.
7. Guess the Team Member
For this activity, you’ll need to ask your employees to share an unknown personal fact about themselves on paper. After they’ve submitted the piece of paper to you, read each fact and have the team try to guess which fact matches which team member. This can also be done with a distributed team using whiteboarding software like Miro.
8. Blindfolded Obstacle Course
To set up the course, you can use cones, ropes, chairs, or other everyday objects to create an obstacle course. Then, divide the team into pairs, one wearing a blindfold and the other serving as their guide.
The goal of the activity is for the person wearing the blindfold to make it through the obstacle course while relying solely on the verbal directions of their partner. The guide must give clear, specific instructions, and the person wearing the blindfold must trust their partner and follow their directions.
9. Escape Rooms
From leadership skills and logic to teamwork and communication, escape rooms help employees to develop many valuable skills. Plus, they’re an excellent opportunity to get your employees out of the office for the day as they get to know one another in a more relaxed, laid-back environment.
Volunteering isn’t just an excellent opportunity for you and your employees to give back to your local community; it’s a fantastic way for teams to bond. A sense of teamwork is fostered when the entire team participates in a worthwhile activity for a good cause.
11. Tower Building Challenge
Divide the team into smaller groups and have them compete to build the tallest tower out of everyday objects such as straws, tape, and paper.
The goal of the activity is for each group to build the tallest tower they can within a set time limit, using only the provided materials. Employees must work together to devise a plan and effectively communicate their ideas to build the tower. This activity helps to develop problem-solving skills, teamwork, and communication. It’s also a nice opportunity to step away from screens and engage in something entirely different for an hour.
12. Book Club
What better way to get employees chatting, debating, and sharing their opinions than a monthly book club? Pick an interesting book (relevant to your organization) and encourage employees to read it. Later, have everyone discuss what they’ve learned. They’ll get to know their teammates better while boosting their knowledge of their industry. This is another great option for dispered teams.
Team Communication Best Practices
Think of team building as one of the foundational parts of your overall communications plan. Tools like Poppulo’s Harmony mobile app are ideal for reinforcing your teambuilding activities. Because you can tailor your content at a granular level, you can create customizable feeds that promote your activities and encourage your team to continue to engage with each other.
Let’s finish with a few best practices to keep in mind when planning your communication strategy.
- Having an open-door policy
- Being clear about tasks and responsibilities
- Resolving conflicts quickly
- Ensuring every interaction has a clear purpose
- Promoting bottom-up communication
- Scheduling one-on-one meetings
- Providing consistent feedback
Tackling Attrition: Time to Ramp Up Employee & Workplace Experience
Consider this quote by Michael Jordan: "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
Put another way, a strong, harmonious team is critical to long-term success.
Communication teambuilding activities are an excellent way to unite team members and foster close relationships. They allow employees to learn about their colleagues’ different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses—information that helps make them better teammates.
When choosing teambuilding activities for your employees, the possibilities are endless. Select the ones you believe would resonate and work best with your team.