The L&D Forum

Quick Team Building Activities

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knew of any quick team building activities we could do at the start of our quarterly company meetings. The aim this quarter for us is to demonstrate the importance of communicating well between departments. I have read one idea (though it was a while ago so I can't remember where) which was to split our people into groups of 6 or 7 (there would be about 8 groups) and give each group a small puzzle to do which would have one wrong piece (their correct missing piece is with one of the other groups). Eventually they would discover that every group has one wrong piece and start swapping until everyone has completed their puzzles. It should only take 15-20 mins to do but hopefully show the power of talking to other departments and how we can't work without each other. 

That said I am keen to hear of any other ideas that people may have tried and know work.

Thanks everyone!

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  • Hi Connie

    One that I've used before is the 'Build a Bridge' exercise.

    You split the group into 2 teams and they have to work together to build a bridge using the materials that you provide them with. They each build half of the bridge and then connect them together to make a complete bridge.

    Its a challenging activity because the room is divided and they cant see how each team is constructing their half of the bridge.  The teams have to communicate verbally through a 'sheet' or whatever material you choose to divide the room, as they work.

    The activity strengthens communication skills as each team has to discuss ideas and ways in which to use their materials to build half a bridge. Also it can be used to develop people leader skills as you could elect a team leader for each group. The activity also helps to improve group problem solving.

    You need enough people for at least two teams of three.  If your group is larger you can always have several teams.

    Materials could include pieces of wood, paper, toy bricks, tape, pipes, straws etc. You will also need notepad and pencils/pens and a tape measure for each team.

    You will need a sheet to section off the rooms so each half of the team can't see each other.

    A few questions for you to ask as the facilitator after the activity could be as follows :-

    1.  What was most challenging about the activity?

    2.  Who was responsible for communicating instructions between teams?

    3.  Did you experience any miscommunications? If so what happened?  What would you do differently next time etc.

  • I love the puzzle idea for training of larger groups! thanks

  • Hi Connie - I wrote a discussion a little while ago which you might be able to adapt and use - its a great tool, though may be a little long for your needs in its full form.  Part of the fun of creating team activities is to adapt existing ideas and make them your own though...

    Good luck,


    Zoom - help your teams get perspective
    I came across this video on YouTube today – and it took me back to one of the most fascinating books I know and the way in which I used this in my cl…
    • Loved this post Kathryn :)

      Zoom - help your teams get perspective
      I came across this video on YouTube today – and it took me back to one of the most fascinating books I know and the way in which I used this in my cl…
  • Really like the idea of the missing jigsaw puzzle Connie. Time management will be key with sort of activity - one group will make the discover first I'm sure and then it will be really interesting to see how they then sort this out. Will the puzzles be the same?

    There was a great discussion here around some induction ideas / team building ideas

  • Hi Connie! I actually love the puzzle idea! It would be interesting to see how long it takes for them all to discover the pieces are with other teams.

    How much time is being allocated for the team building events taking place? Does it have to be on property or can it be at an offsite location?

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the vote of confidence with the puzzle idea, I may actually give it a go and I may try and make the puzzles out of laminated pictures of our company logo.

      However improving communications and acknowledgement between departments will be our theme I think this year so any other ideas will be gratefully received.

      I would be interested in any activities as although we have a meeting that I would like to do a team building activity at the start of I also like the idea of something we could run throughout the year. (like getting a token from another department every time you do something that helps them out and recognising the department with the most tokens at the end of the year)

      Thanks for replying Adrienne!

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