A disengaged workplace can cost your business a lot of money. A recent Gallup study found that American companies with engaged employees receive 2.5 times more revenue than companies with low engagement levels.
An engaged employee is satisfied and happy in their job, but they also know their role and responsibilities because it has been clearly communicated. One of the best ways to re-engage unmotivated employees and bridge the communication gap is through team building exercises.
Team-building activities are often overlooked and deemed useless. But nothing could be further from the truth. For example, “In Silicon Valley, software engineers are encouraged to work together, in part because studies show that groups tend to innovate faster, see mistakes more quickly and find better solutions to problems,” The New York Times Magazine reports.
“Studies also show that people working in teams tend to achieve better results and report higher job satisfaction. In a 2015 study, executives said that profitability increases when workers are persuaded to collaborate more.”
Here are three different types of team building activities that can re-ingnite the spark in your employees.
1. Volunteer work
Helping others makes us happy. Taking a person out of their familiar surroundings can do amazing things. Think feeding the homeless at your local homeless shelter, soup kitchens, tree planting, assisting at a local animal shelter or getting involved with local church give-back activities.
Volunteer work is everywhere and always in demand. It’s a two way street because not only will your team help others, they will feel better for doing so. In fact, “volunteering can give us a deep sense of happiness, which is also associated with longer and healthier lives.” The act of giving and actively caring for another is a really valuable bonding activity and will bring your team closer.
2. Group sports
If you have a sportier type of team (or even if you don’t), consider joining (or creating) a group sport tournament. Research indicates that this is a particularly good idea for women in the workplace: “(74 percent) agree with the statement that a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s leadership and career potential, while 61 percent say past involvement in a sport has contributed to their own current career success.”
But play it safe. “As an employer, you can be liable for your employees’ conduct. If your office game spirals out of control, you could find yourself at the center of a harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination lawsuit, in addition to potential personal injury lawsuits related to physical altercations. Emphasize to employees that the sports game is in no way job-related.”
3. Intellectual games
Consider team building activities that cater to more intellectual-type teams. Start an office chess team, for example. “Extensive studies have shown that playing the game on a regular basis can have a myriad of positive effects on your brain and intelligence.” Some benefits included increased creativity and originality, raised IQ, memory and concentration improvements, to name a few.
Local trivia nights are also a good option. You could even consider starting an in-house trivia tournament at your offices.
The value in these types of activities is in the way they showcase a team member’s intellectual abilities and breeds healthy competition.
Team building exercises may seem a little out-dated, but they are a goldmine. These activities will help your team members feel valued, show their value to colleagues, and build strong ties. Not only does employee engagement lead to healthier revenue, but also your team will most likely be happier and closer because of it.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Joe Lipson is the HR Manager at Strike Escape Rooms, a team building activity for all age ranges and abilities to work together to solve riddles and puzzles with an allotted time-frame. His expertise include employee relations, management training and file reporting. When he’s not trying to help the workforce you can find him exploring new activities in Melbourne, Australia. Connect with @StrikeBowling on Twitter.