How to tell if your fun team building activity is effective

The Search

Team building exercises can take many forms. Hit up a quick Google search for “fun team building activities” and see just how many results you get offering free team building exercises that can be set up in no time at all; all you need is a tennis racket, a couple of glow sticks, a Frisbee and no issue with self-confidence.

There’s one where somebody assumes the role of the zombie and everyone else gets to run away from him while at the same time trying to solve a problem by shouting what they think the answer could be from across the room. Sounds like a fun team building activity. I remember doing something similar at a friend’s birthday party once. I was nine.

Determining whether a team building exercise is effective requires that its purpose and method be assessed and participant feedback needs to be thoroughly examined:

Participant 1: “It’s really hard to run and shout something that makes sense at the same time.”

Participant 2: “Who is the zombie supposed to represent?”

Participant 3: “My shirt is sticky.”

Participant 4: “I used Wanda as a human shield to slow the zombie; that gave me time to solve the problem and win.”

Participant 5: “Steve makes a good zombie.”

None of the above is valid when taking into account the end goal of any team building exercise. Team building activities can be fun, but they should also have a point.

Sure, one could spin it: The zombie is the deadline. Everyone needs to help each other while working under pressure.

But, the core message of teamwork is lost in the faulty construction and execution of the exercise. Also, is anyone concerned about how Steve feels? Being the bad guy couldn’t have been fun.

No-one wants to be the zombie.

Not everyone is athletic. Not everyone wants to do something outlandish in front of the whole office. Not everyone likes to be taken from their work and placed into competition against someone else. Otherwise the fun team building activity becomes a chore.

Team building is about creating unity amongst team members. Some employees prefer to keep a low profile and the even the idea of something more adventurous than doing filing may strike fear into their hearts. And that’s okay. The workplace is comprised of many varied personality types. Trying to force people out of their boxes can actually prove to be damaging.

Team building exercises should make people feel better about themselves and great about their workplace. They should also impart a sense of collaboration and purpose.

We’re all heroes

A team working toward the same goal, each member lending their unique skills and talents toward the whole is the best thing you can have for your business. Fun team building activities are good when they impart a powerful message while still being fun and non-invasive. They should not force employees into situations that they find awkward. They should unite the workforce, not isolate and challenge in a negative manner.

Drum Café gets people together on equal terms. Drumming has been scientifically proven to be effective as a unifier – so no guesswork or cheap tricks. People are brought together without being made to feel self-conscious, but rather to have fun and learn. Anyone can take part. Everyone will leave with a strong message.