Teambuilding is a crucial factor in business success. Indeed, teambuilding exercises are designed to create better work within the team by improving communication, trust, and interpersonal relationships. People who get together and know each other tend to develop better teamwork, being more productive and efficient. 

Yet, it can be tricky to create healthy teambuilding programs. Indeed, more often than not, teambuilding schedules tend to include unhealthy elements to keep the team engaged, such as sweet snacks, alcoholic drinks, etc. It is not uncommon to hear stories about hungover or food coma related to team events. In reality, businesses must make it a priority to establish healthy programs for teambuilding days. Indeed, health-conscious employees may choose to skip teambuilding to avoid risks. Additionally, it makes no sense to build a better work culture on unhealthy decisions. 

Here are some ideas to create healthy teambuilding programs and how they will benefit your employees. 

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#1. Escape room challenge

An escape room combines a series of puzzles, mental and/or physical, within a theme. For instance, a pirate theme room could challenge the players to decipher the clues and find the hidden treasure within the time limit. The goal is not always to escape, depending on the theme. 

Escape rooms can make fantastic teambuilding environments as people have to work together to progress, exchange information, and tackle the puzzles inside the room. More often than not, teamwork is necessary to win the game. 

Escape rooms are also a unique setting that creates an adrenaline rush as the clock ticks. Players experience a sense of reward each time they solve a puzzle, and at the end, when they win the room. It is a stress-free environment that also helps recharge their energy after work. Many teams appreciate the possibility of becoming the hero of the story for the duration of the game. 

#2. A fun ball or bag team game

Not every business can afford to take employees on a teambuilding trip. Sometimes, budget or time can be an issue. Yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t create fun, inexpensive, and exciting activities for your team. For instance, while not throwing a sports challenge? You could hire a sports venue for a few hours on a weekly basis to prepare a business basketball team. People could get together to train and eventually compete at an amateur level against other local businesses. 

Alternatively, you can also invest in dedicated equipment if you have enough space on your premises. For example, you can get high quality custom cornhole bags and kits for the company. Employees could create teams of players and challenge each other every quarter. While being inexpensive, it is a fantastic opportunity for people to spend more time together outside the work environment. Being physically active after a long day at work also helps reduce the health risk of sitting at a desk for a long time. 

#3. A running or walking challenge

Have you heard of the Conqueror events? The community gained a lot of traction during the pandemic as it encouraged people to challenge themselves and achieve a specific distance. You can join some of the challenges with your employees, such as the 26 miles Inca Trail or the 480 miles Camino de Santiago pilgrim’s way. The team will receive a medal after logging in the appropriate distance. 

It can be a fun idea to encourage people to create walking or running teams at work so they can train and stay active together. People who complete the Conqueror event challenges report feeling positive and generally more in touch with their bodies. It can be a nice way for new staff to make friends too as they join walking teams. 

#4. A charity event challenge

Do you wish to support a local charity? You can encourage donations through a physical challenge. More and more businesses create teambuilding events specifically to meet charity needs. Indeed, you could create donation pages where your audience can donate to support the team. 

Challenges could include preparing for and running a marathon to raise money. Staff can share tasks, such as preparing the running outfits, promoting the campaign, training, providing mental support, and much more, depending on their skills and preferences. Being able to work together for a meaningful cause can bring people close to each other. 

#5. Mental health awareness day

Mental health can be invisible in the workplace. Most people prefer not to share their problems publicly. However, it can be useful to create a mental health program for your employees. With the support of professional therapists and consultants, employees could discover how some mental health challenges affect each other. 

Indeed, someone who doesn’t experience anxiety may not understand how to support an anxious coworker. But a mental health focus teambuilding program could provide tools for everyone to understand and respect each other. 

#6. Trust exercises

Trust exercises are one of the most effective approaches to developing communication in a group. For instance, small teams are assembled and need to perform a simple task. However, each member of the team is incapacitated in a way, such as one person can be blindfolded, another person wears noise-canceling headphones, etc. To complete the game, people must learn to communicate and work together around these handicaps. 

The results are often fun and can help employees come out of their shells. It is also a cost-effective game that brings a sense of reward when the task can be completed. 

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#7. Photo stories

In teams of 4 to 8 people, employees must tell a story using photo instructions. This game is less physically active, making it a perfect alternative for older or physically unfit employees. 

The stories can become a recurring exercise that will be shared inside the business. This sort of game can be set up in a few hours. Yet the benefits are long-lasting as people learn to relax in each other’s presence and boost their communication. 

Bonus points go to the most artistic photos or the funniest stories to keep everyone engaged. 

Are you ready to bring your teambuilding strategies to the next level? Creating a safe space for your team to communicate and get to know each other outside of the work environment is crucial to success. Businesses must prioritize physical and mental benefits when planning teambuilding programs. 

Team dinners or night-out drinks may seem effective at first. But in the long term, they can tear teams apart and create health risks.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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