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We will have a team out in some period of time like every 6 month once happens and spend some time in restaurant and goes for some movies. Also, we do meet with each team in monthly once and just discuss with their completed items and some snacks and etc. Its really boring since we follow this for everytime. Without spending more money, need to have a fun and joy activities which would help to build the team and encourage them to interact with other teams too.

Please share your thoughts on this.

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Please follow this proposal for that kind of question: Organization aspects –  bigown Dec 11 '10 at 1:36
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5 Answers

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The right team building activities will depend on how well the team is currently built, since you will have different aims.

You are also not going to find a single activity that will work for everyone on the team, so you are going to have to do different things. You might have multiple activities on a single team outing, or do different single activities on two successive outings.

With a team where there aren't particularly good bonds, your aim might be to highlight the interests and perspectives of the team members. A group exercise like a Spectrogram can help people discover people with similar interests. Basically, a statement is made, and people place themselves (physically) on a continuum from "totally agree" to "totally disagree", and then some are asked why they are standing where they are standing, and people can move about along that continuum if they are swayed by the argument. Another useful exercise is Strong Wind Blows - search at the above link for it and other useful facilitation information.

With a team with some decent bonds in place, your aim might be to highlight the achievements or special knowledge of the team members. You might ask two members of your team, preferably two that don't already work very well together, to prepare a presentation together on a shared area of knowledge - a programming language they both like, a shared interest in performance, or similar. This has several opportunities:

  • The co-presenters have the opportunity to work together and may build mutual respect from that.
  • The respect of the team members for those presenting may improve
  • Non-presenting team members may discover a shared interest with those presenting
  • The team members and the presenters may learn something new

Getting out of the office and leaving work behind is a good idea. You mention discussing work items and snack. I'd recommend an approach like this:

  • Discuss work items in the office
  • Leave the office and rendezvousing at your entertainment location
  • Doing a short 5-10 minute group exercise to shake off work and give people something to talk about during the day
  • Doing something entertaining like rock climbing (in a gym, most likely), cart races, miniature golf, visiting a museum (depends on the group). Might even split into groups to suit interests at this point. Just make sure people can talk to each other during the activities.
  • Have something presented (preferably not something using work examples) while snacks and drinks are available
  • Have some food together. Encourage random seating, subtly or overtly.

Also, remember that team building is a process, not an activity. Every time people in the team interact, it has effects on the team. If team building activities are the only time that certain members of the team are interacting or learning about each other, it isn't going to be as effective. This can be something as simple as sharing an IRC channel or Campfire room at work (if you have timezone differences, try Campfire, since you can see what happened while you weren't there), or more subtle - like actively sharing what you know about other team members' skills, interests, and achievements with other team members.

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No, (as someone already mentioned) going to the movies is not really team building activity. You cannot talk to anyone (well, you can but don't :-/ and apart from watching the movie there is nothing else involved.

Of course, this will depend on what place in the world you're living in, but in my parts (Meditteranean) rafting has always been a popular team building activity.

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Apart from that, we've tried paintball

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(unfortunatelly, she wasn't competing :-( ) and

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rock climbing (not everyone was enthusiastic about this at first sight though).

Mind you, this kind of activity will always depend on the preferences of the team in general. Some are more con, some are more pro-sports (advice: don't ever force anyone to something they don't wanna do). But in general, some kind of outdoor activity (barbecuing ?) is always a good choice.

Edit: As far as money is concerned, these activities are not that expensive anymore that half a person's salary wouldn't cover the expenses for the whole team. There are many agencies organizing them, just find one in your local area (for example, in rockclimbing you won't buy your own equipment, just rent it for a day; in rafting, one or two experienced members from the agency usually go to give you a helping hand ...)

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Here would be my suggestions for what may work well for team exercises:

  1. Competitions:

    1. Marshmallow Challenge - This is an interesting exercise if you can divide up the team into small units that try to see who can build the tallest structure.
    2. If enough people are into a particular sport or game then creating a league may work as a way to get people to have fun with each other. A poker night may work or possibly having a table tennis tournament. We did have an in-house Olympics once that was kind of fun as a way to relieve some stress and be silly as some of the events did cause some funny moments like when I wiped out most of the obstacle course.
  2. Volunteering - This can be tricky as you'd have to get enough people wanting to do this to get the few holdouts to be OK with the idea. For example, you could try to get a whole team helping out in a homeless shelter making meals or just making meals of others in the community. The idea here being the social good being done may get some to do it while others may do it just because it is different than their usual work.

  3. Learning something new - For example have the team learn how to cook some big meal that could be fun to see what gets made in the end. If you have a dozen people you could break this up into 2 groups of 6 that each have an entree and another part like an appetizer or dessert to make assuming you can find a place that has adequate cooking facilities to do this for an afternoon.

  4. Exercise - If you are near some parks there could be a walk to take that may work as a general activity that may be fun and interesting for some to go and see some views while working their bodies in the process. The sports competitions can also use this kind of idea but in this case it is just getting through a walk or something simple that may give someone some pride in themselves, like "Yeah I did that!"

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There are plenty of fun exercises that can be done during such occasions that can help towards team building.

Some examples (these are random suggestions just off my mind, you can think of better ones if you get an idea from the below):

1) Write down names of some famous movie directors like Steven Speilberg etc on chits. Have repeated versions of each name. Distribute the folded chits randomly among members. Then call out each name and all the people who got a particular name will assemble together. So if you had 4 director names, this would ensure you have 4 teams now. Each team must collaborate and come up with a small good description of the director and his movies.

2) Write down some personality traits on chits, say, "has brown hair" or "loves color coordinated outfits" or "has blue eyes" and distribute again randomly. The people who get the chits must identify the person whose traits are described in the chit. This exercise would give the team a good chance to know more about each other, notice things they hadn't noticed before.

These sites may help:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Our-Top-Ten-Team-Building-Exercises&id=955336

http://wilderdom.com/games/InitiativeGames.html

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Going to the movies is a really bad team building thing, especially for larger teams. You don't talk during the movie, and nobody gets to know anybody better.

Do something that forces or at least encourages communication, and try to mix the groups, so people don't just hang out with people they already know.

Do something genuinely fun, because if you tout it as being fun and it's really just a thinly veiled company meeting/loyalty improvement camp, it will backfire.

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