Team Building Activities | Corporate Team Retreat Facilitator Dana Brownlee

These team building activities can energize your next team retreat or corporate meetings. Facilitator and corporate trainer Dana Brownlee shares tips.

Team Building Activities 

As a team retreat facilitator and corporate trainer, I’ve definitely learned that selecting effective team building activities can make or break a corporate team retreats, training workshops, or even corporate meetings.

The question becomes….what makes an effective team building activity?  When I select an activity I’m looking for something that meets these criteria:

  • Is it fun?
  • Does it make a broader point?
  • Does it allow team members to get to know each other in a different way or learn more about one another?

Over the years I’ve identified a nice toolbox of tried and true team building activities that work every time.  It’s important though to match your team building activity to the goals for your retreat.  My list of team building activities is categorized by focus area (e.g. adapting to change, enhancing leadership skills, increasing collaboration, communicating effectively, etc.)  One of my pet peeves is facilitators who use random team building activities that aren’t tied to the retreat’s goals so don’t make that mistake.

Here are just a few of my favorites…

Ice Breaker Challenge – This is a great, really light and easy team building activity that gets groups energized and having fun.  Simply, split the group into smaller subgroups (of 4-6 participants) and provide each subgroup 3 different icebreakers.  Teams compete to see which one can complete all icebreakers first.  (It’s helpful and interesting to mix up the groups so that participants get to know others that they may not know as well so think about assigning teams.)  Always announce a prize.  The prize does not have to be great.  I’ve literally wrapped a can of SPAM and offered it as a prize, but just announcing a prize revs up the competitive energy!

You can find lots of icebreakers online, but here is one of my favorites:

Change Management Team Activity

In this activity, teams compete to build a wireless tower using materials provided.  Each material has a cost and each team must decide how much to “purchase” before the activity begins.  Each team will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Tower height (taller is better)
  • Tower aesthetics (how attractive is it?)
  • Tower cost (lower cost is better)

During the competition, the facilitator introduces two twists (to simulate change that often happens in the workplace), and teams must make real time adjustments without losing focus on the goal. After the competition, the larger group discusses how their teams performed and they draw parallels to the workplace.

For tips on designing and planning  your upcoming corporate team retreat, consider these best practices: