The Ultimate List of Team-Building Activities

by Andrew Sumitani on Jan 9, 2020 10:25:00 AM

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and represent team support and help concept

Let me ask you a question.

How hard is it to win the Super Bowl?

You'd probably answer pretty hard. Right?

I'm not saying I know anything about how to win a pro sports trophy but I do know a few things about the value of a great team.

And chances are you do too.

We're all taught from a young age to learn how to work well with others. To share. To get group projects done. To celebrate when you accomplish something together.

But there isn't much out there to teach managers to help their employees work better together.

Culture is one of the top factors tied to employee happiness. And peers? Theyre the number one thing people love about their job, all according to our research.

So it's in your best interest to learn how to bridges within the team, department, and organization.

Team-building can range from quick in-office activities to complex half-day courses run by "game engineers" at innovative companies like The Go Game.

The important thing is to make time and space for coworkers to bond.

Here are 21 ideas that can help your employees get to know each other better.

It will pay off. Trust me.

 Culture Code Workbook


01. Battle of the airbands

Move over karaoke. Split your team into groups of four. Have them pick a song and do their best impression of performing it with air instruments and lip-syncing. Props and costumes are encouraged.


02. Potluck

Let your employees show off their cooking skills (or at least their skills at tracking down delicious food). Schedule an afternoon potluck once a quarter. Yum.


03. Water balloon toss

On a warm summer day, fill up a bunch of water balloons. Split your team into pairs, and have them throw balloons back and forth to each other, taking a step back with each successful exchange. Last balloon standing wins.


04. Scavenger hunt


Is there a better way to break up the workday?


05. Human knot

Have your team gather in a circle. Tell everyone to put their right hands in the air and grab onto someone’s hand across the circle. Then tell them to link left hands with someone else across the circle. See if they can untangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hand. (link)

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06. Show-and-tell

It was awesome in elementary school. Now, we’re all adults, and we have cooler things. Have your workers bring in a prized possession and let them tell a story.


07. Egg drop

Can any of your employees build a device that can keep a raw egg intact when it’s dropped from a few stories? (link)


08. Two truths, one lie

Take turns telling your coworkers two things about you that are true and one thing that’s false. Have them guess the lie. (link)



09. Blind retriever

Split your staff into small teams, blindfolding one person on each team. The first team that can successfully direct their blindfolded colleague to a hidden object wins. (link)


10. Community service

No matter where your office is, there are undoubtedly people in your community who are less fortunate. Pick a deserving cause, rally the troops, and give back to the community whenever time allows for it. Team building — and for a good cause.


11. Group juggle


Have your team form a circle. Throw one employee a ball. Have them say their name and then throw the ball to the next person, who says their name, and so on. Keep introducing new balls into the mix to make things interesting. (link)


12. Team lunches

Everyone needs to eat. The easiest team-building activity? Take your team out to lunch and pick up the tab.


13. Active listener

Schedule what your team thinks is a routine meeting. Deliver a boring speech filled with jargon, but sprinkle random unrelated sentences in every so often. Quiz your team to see who was listening.


14. Jigsaw puzzle pieces

Give different teams plastic bags with puzzle pieces. Unbeknownst to them, they’ll end up having to partner with other teams to complete the puzzle. (link)


15. Group timeline

Have different teams sort themselves by height, age, how long they’ve been with the company, how many states they’ve been in, etc. Quickest team wins.

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16. 18 and under

Ask your employees to share their biggest accomplishment that occurred before they turned 18.


17. Pair up

Write a bunch of pairs on different pieces of paper (e.g., Thelma and Louise, salt and peppers, Mario and Luigi, etc.). Tape them to your employees’ backs. Have them walk around trying to figure out who they are — and find their complementary colleague. (link)


18. Work Jeopardy!


Come up with five questions for six categories that pertain to your business. Break the group up into teams, and select one lucky employee to play Alex Trebek.


19. No smiling

Before you start a meeting, tell your employees they’re not allowed to smile. See who can last the longest.


20. The dinner party

Take turns asking which three people (dead or alive) your employees would have dinner with and why.


21. Ask your employees about it

Not sure if any of the above activities are for your team? Why not ask them about it and go with the most voted one! A while ago, we sent out a pulse survey asking about the top 3 favorite summer activities. Now we have a beautiful hike scheduled for August as the word cloud says "Hiking". Get real-time feedback on team-building activities and major company initiatives so you have actionable data to guide the next step.  

Building a strong team cant happen without effort. Sure, you can have a team that meshes organically, but in order to cultivate a team that supports each other through and through, youll need to reinforce relationships with team-building activities.


"TINYpulse data gives us the data to indicate which direction we should focus our energies on"

--Cindy Larson, Director of People and Operations at Wheelhouse DMG.


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This post was written by Andrew Sumitani

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