June 15, 2017 1:00 pm
Regardless of the number of employees on your team, it is important that trust is a key component of the company culture. Team members need to be able to work together well in order to do what is best for the company. This does not however, mean they always have to agree.
“When two men in a business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”
—William Wrigley, Jr.
When there is trust among co-workers, people are comfortable speaking up, giving their input and listening to the opinions of others. It is this kind of culture that helps a company prosper and grow.
Let’s look at several ways you can help your employees connect as a team and build trust.
When choosing which of these activities you want to try, take into consideration the personalities of the people who will be participating. Not everyone is ready to be completely open with others and won’t want to participate in any activities that are too personal. Don’t force anyone to participate in an activity. Try to find one that every employee is willing to at least try.
These activities are designed to give your team members a glimpse into their co-workers lives as humans and not just coworkers. They are all simple to conduct and won’t take up a lot of time, but will give your team members a greater insight into the people they are working with on a regular basis.
None except the participants
Have everyone place their chairs in a circle and have each person think of two statements that are true about themselves and one statement that is a lie. Once everyone has their statements in mind, the first person states the three statements they came up with. Now, the rest of the group needs to vote on which statements they believe are true and which one is the false statement. Once a decision is reached, the person who made the statements reveals the answer. This scenario continues until every person in the group has had a turn.
To give everyone a chance to learn something about their coworkers they may not have previously known.
Pick one of the “BINGO” cards on this page or use them to create your own. Provide a copy to every participant.
Give the participants a time limit and tell them they need to talk with different people in the room. When they find a person that “fits” one of the traits on their card, they get that person to sign in the square with the trait. The game ends when the time limit is up or each person has one signed fact from each of the other team members.
This activity gets people interacting, talking and getting to know little details about each other.
Paper and writing instruments for each participant
Hand out the paper and writing instruments and tell the group that they are marooned on a deserted island. Now, ask them to write down five items they are glad they had brought with them on the trip. When everyone is done, have him or her take turns reading their lists to the group and explaining why those five items are important.
This gives everyone an idea on how their teammates solve problems. It can help show innovation and show what kind of priorities team members have.
Trust is one of the most essential traits needed in any team situation. Without it, individuals do not feel comfortable sharing ideas, helping out co-workers or doing anything else that might jeopardize their position in the company. Conduct the following activities to help your employees learn to trust each other.
These activities can be done right in the workplace.
Blindfolds and various objects to create an obstacle course (which can be desks, chairs, boxes, etc.)
Create an obstacle course in a room and have one person wear a blindfold. A second person is assigned to direct the blindfolded person from one end of the course to the other, using only words.
This teaches members to trust each other and it helps develop direction-giving and following skills.
Spring-loaded mousetraps, blindfolds, and pencils
First, have everyone spend time learning to set the traps with their eyes closed. Once everyone feels comfortable pair team members and have one wear a blindfold. The “seeing” partner helps guide the blindfolded one to set the trap and place it on a flat surface. Next, the blindfolded partner follows directions from the seeing partner to trip the trap with a pencil and not get caught. Partners then trade places.
This game builds trust and helps deepen direction-giving and following skills.
A small tent and blindfolds
Team members are on an imaginary camping trip. They must first choose one member to be the leader. Now, tell the participants that there is a snowstorm and the leader has frostbite in both hands so can only give verbal directions. All the other members have been blinded by the snow and must assemble the tent wearing blindfolds and listening to the leader’s directions.
This activity not only strengthens listening skills and trust but also helps members learn to work together.
These activities are best conducted in an area like a park so there is plenty of room. The first activity may require even more space.
Signs for checkpoints, maps, compasses, and written clues
Divide participants into groups of three, giving one team member the compass, one the map and the third the written instructions. Tell the teams that everyone must use the instrument they have been assigned and can’t trade or use another member’s tool. Have the teams complete a pre-mapped course that requires them to use all three tools.
This teaches that each person brings their own unique skills to a task and only by working together can the outcome be reached.
Only space and a soft ground such as grass
Participants form a circle with their back facing inward. Instruct everyone to reach behind them with their right hands and grasp the right hand of someone across from them. Next, with right hands still clasped, reach in left hands and grasp the left hand of a different person. Now…the team needs to work together to untangle the hands and end up with everyone facing inward with hands still clasped.
Learning to listen to each other, learning to speak up and learning that working alone will not solve the issue.
Will vary depending upon project
Explain to team members that you would like the company to participate in some type of community service. You can make a list of possibilities or allow members to come up with their own ideas. Some ideas may be adopting a family for Christmas, a day serving food at a soup kitchen or helping out at a food bank, volunteering at the local animal shelter or spending time cleaning a beach/park or working with Habitat for Humanity. Another fun project would be putting on a show at an elderly home or children’s hospital. The project may be one-time or ongoing, depending on how the team feels.
The feeling of helping creates a bond among the employees, as does performing service outside the office environment. Putting on a show would require working together to come up with acts, planning everything and cooperating to make it successful.
Trust, the ability to see that co-workers are more than just their position and working together all give your employees a strong connection that allows them to handle issues better, combine talents and efforts and create an environment that allows everyone to feel necessary and capable.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.