Team Building Activities

Team Building Activities


By Julia Carr-Catzel

In 2024, it's widely accepted that employee motivation is vital in the workplace. We understand that sometimes those traditional incentives like free lunches and perks don't always hit the mark. That's why we're here to introduce you to a game-changer—team building activities! But not just any old team building activities, rather creative classes for teams. These team workshops can be an amazing way to boost morale and foster a stronger sense of unity within your team. Do away with awkward small talk and get your employees embracing the mindfulness inherent in creativity. Allowing employees to do away with logic for the moment and embrace their creative side with their colleagues is a great ice breaker and introduces them to different sides of each other. Plus, it's fun!

Colleagues enjoying a painting workshop for team building

Fight burnout with team building

One in five Australians (21%) have taken time off work due to feelings of stress, anxiety or depression, according to The Australian Bureau of Statistic's National Mental Health and Well-Being Survey (1). Rachel Clements, Director of Psychological Services at the Centre for Corporate Health, describes burnout as the following: “the person must have three components: they are emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted”. Unsurprisingly, burnout is attributable to long working hours, lack of breaks and unrealistic deadlines (2).

Due to the stigma surrounding burnout, employees may view it as a reflection of their weakness or incompetence. Many struggling employees feign cold and flu symptoms in exchange for sick days, and while this provides momentary relief, it ultimately leaves the problem unsolved. The lack of dialogue between employer and employee promotes a vicious cycle that may have dire consequences on both work and home life.

The onus, therefore, is on the employer. In an effort to curb burnout in the office or at home, employers should attempt to establish trust and open communication, which is easier said than done. When team members have learned to feel a sense of shame or embarrassment around burnout, speaking up is difficult.

Colleagues smiling at team building event

Meaningful group activities 

As an alternative to awkward one-on-one conversations, employers can seek to open up dialogues with unhappy employees via group workshops, allowing everyone to have a say alongside their peers. A group activity has the potential to introduce colleagues to a stress-free environment that promotes bonding, boosts confidence and supports trust-building. 

Project Management, Training and Communication Specialist Anna Keavney from ‘Elemental Projects’ suggests that employers should lay out objectives for team building events beforehand, such as seeking to resolve conflict, boost morale, enhance productivity, develop skills or improve team communication. Anna similarly recommends investing time in activities centred around communication and problem-solving, which are designed to enhance teamwork, task-associated skills and emotional intelligence, and subsequently, drive productivity in the workplace, rather than those limited to ‘fun’ (3).

Team building activities that are intended to be purely entertaining, often and unfortunately, err on the side of awkwardness. Preoccupied with thoughts of all the work yet to be finished, these team activities are nothing more than comical group tasks. And while building towers out of paper cups might be fun for some, the lack of seriousness hurts the desired outcome: improving co-worker relations and general work ethic.

That being said, our corporate team activities and workshops are less serious with little focus on actual work and more of a focus on working together, thinking creatively and overcoming challenges. Team building activities such as cooking classes or cocktail classes give team members a chance to learn new skills in the kitchen while socialising and enjoying the fruits of their labour afterwards. Alternatively, arts and crafts classes such as painting classes or pottery workshops introduce employees to new ways of thinking and encourage mindfulness and creativity. Often these classes have the opportunity for added nibbles and drinks, giving the workshops a more casual feel while still imparting useful skills. You can see all our team building workshops here!

Colleagues cooking together

References:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results 2007.
  2. Corporation, Australian Broadcasting. “ABC Health & Wellbeing.” Surviving Stress at Work - Health & Wellbeing, ABC, 14 July 2010.
  3. Keavney, Anna. Team building strategies. Training & Development, Vol. 43, No. 2, Apr 2016: 26-28.



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