Team-building activities have become invaluable in fostering camaraderie in large organizations, whether in school, work, or the community. These activities encourage people who don’t normally interact with one another to know each other better, laying the foundations for improved communication when everyone steps back into their day-to-day roles.
In 2023, the world is recovering from the peak of the pandemic years and moving into a new normal. For many companies, the new normal is a hybrid set-up wherein employees work remotely from home half the days of the week. Many schools have also adopted the same arrangement, with teachers giving online lectures, in-person labs, and classes that are best held on campus.
With in-person meetings being less frequent, it’s become more imperative to organize team-building activities for large groups so members can meet, interact, and have fun together.
The Benefits of Team-Building Activities for Large Groups
While many consider team-building outings a fun diversion from their regular activities, they can be more meaningful than a vacation and offer more benefits than most people realize.
Well-planned and executed team-building activities for large groups offer the following benefits:
- Rest and Relaxation: Everyone needs a break from highly taxing and mentally draining daily responsibilities, and organizing team-building events is a great way to ensure everyone gets a much-needed break. This is also why most large group team-building occurs in beach resorts, campsites, and other fun venues.
- Improved Communication: In large teams with, say, more than 50 people, communication among members easily falters as many would rather let designated spokespersons or supervisors collect and disseminate information. While this process ensures directives from the top are relayed to the members, feedback from the members may not reach the people in charge.
Team-building events help break the ice between members who don’t frequently talk to one another, building ties and camaraderie strong enough to encourage members to be more communicative to members of other departments and their superiors.
- Stronger Bonds Between Members: Team-building gatherings have a more relaxed atmosphere, and members can get to know each other outside of their work roles. Learning about each other helps build camaraderie, which, in turn, strengthens bonds between colleagues. As any working adult can attest, friendly and supportive colleagues make the difficult days more stressful and encourage us to power through a stressful period or crisis. Strengthening bonds between members and fostering a sense of togetherness can bring long-term benefits to an organization.
- Enhanced Problem Solving: Games bring out people’s competitiveness, encouraging them to be innovative and creative with their strategies to win. Team-building activities encourage people to think outside the box, learn each other’s strengths, and strategize how to overcome obstacles and challenges as a group.
- Improved Morale: Given the fun nature of team-building activities, they are a great way to boost employee morale, especially during challenging periods. Taking people out of the office and allowing them to forget about work and have fun for even a while can lift their spirits and improve overall morale. The positive atmosphere from the team-building event will also carry over to the workplace and positively impact productivity.
Indoor Large Team-Building Activities
If weather conditions or preferences dictate you hold large team-building activities indoors, you can do so. Here are some corporate group activities you can introduce to engage your workforce or organization.
- Skills Building Workshops: Did you notice common interests among your employees? Consider finding subject-matter experts and inviting them to hold workshops your employees can sign up for. It could be baking, painting, woodworking, photography, video editing, etc.
It’s understandable if you prefer to sponsor workshops for skills that benefit your business. However, remember that most employees look forward to team-building events because they want to take a break from work. Sponsoring non-work related workshops can still benefit your company because it will give employees a much-needed mental diversion.
- Escape Room Challenges: Group activities where members must participate to achieve a goal or victory are the best at fostering camaraderie, teamwork, and communication among employees who rarely see each other. Escape room challenges are particularly effective at encouraging collaboration and critical thinking, as teams must solve puzzles to unlock clues as quickly as possible. These games can reveal people’s strengths and weaknesses and allow them to display leadership and critical thinking skills that usually go unnoticed.
- Competitions: Like escape room challenges, competitions encourage teamwork among group members and encourage them to know their colleagues better. But unlike in escape room challenges where members fight against external factors, competitions have teams butting heads with each other. Sparking everyone’s competitive spirit is a great way to encourage strategic thinking, as teams will determine the best ways to overcome their competitors’ strengths without letting their weaknesses lower their chances of winning.
You can do a series of contests wherein employees, grouped into several teams, compete for first place in different games and challenges. The team with the most wins will be declared overall champion at the end of the day.
- Indoor sports (volleyball, badminton, basketball)
- Tug of war
- Giant Jenga
- Capture the flag
- Laser tag
- The perfect square challenge
- Relay games
- Blind snake
- Bake-off or cook-off
- Talent show performance
- Group Parlor Games: Organizations that prefer team-building activities that aren’t so physically strenuous can do group parlor games such as:
- Marshmallow and spaghetti tower-making contest
- Word or song association
- Bring me game
Outdoor Large Group Team-Building Activities
If your organization has over 100 members, organizing outdoor team-building activities for large groups would be best. It’s a great way to weather everyone in one place and actively participate in the planned activities.
Here are great ideas for outdoor team-building for big groups:
- Team Olympics: Similar to the indoor competitions above, you can organize a series of contests wherein teams compete against each other to win as the overall champion. The number of members and teams will depend on how many people are present, but 15-20 per group is a good number when there are over 100 employees. If there are more than five groups, you can assign points for each group that wins first, second, and third place in every contest. The groups with the highest points will be awarded bronze, silver, and gold medals or equivalent prizes at the end of the day.
What’s great about holding team Olympics outdoors is you have more game options. For example, you can hold races, outdoor sports contests, and water games if a pool or beach is nearby. These games will spark friendly competition between teams and promote teamwork and communication among team members.
- Scavenger Hunt: Scavenger hunts can be part of the team Olympics or a standalone game for individuals and groups. Team scavenger hunts are ideal for smaller groups of five to ten. Since these games are smaller and more intimate, every member must participate for their group to succeed.
Individual scavenger hunts can still help promote communication if you design the hunts to involve other people in the company (i.e., create challenges wherein contestants must retrieve an item or obtain a clue from a manager or supervisor).
- Obstacle Course Relay Race: Some team-building venues have facilities for obstacle courses or relay races, like a giant inflatable water “island” on the beach or a boot camp-style circuit with jungle gyms, balance logs, and ropes courses. You can also design an obstacle course, but it will take a lot of time and preparation. So, if you’re hoping to organize team-building around an obstacle course activity, find a team-building venue that already has these obstacle courses set up.
Group obstacle courses can get colleagues who are no more than acquaintances to befriend each other quickly. Since these involve physically demanding activities and some members might not be as physically fit as others, everyone must cooperate and strategize as a team. And even if a team doesn’t win, its members will experience a deep and gratifying sense of fulfillment for overcoming a difficult challenge despite the odds. These are the positive attitudes any business owner or C-level executive would hope to cultivate in their workforce.
- Outdoor Activities: Sometimes, you don’t need to create competitions to encourage cooperation and camaraderie. Shared positive experiences can do that just as well. This is similar to organizing workshops for skills-building, but with no finished product or certificate to aim for.
Here are examples of activities purely for fun and community-building:
- An outing at a beach resort or theme park
- Holding a charity event
Organize these activities to celebrate an important milestone, like reaching sales targets way earlier than expected or expanding to a second location. Celebrating wins with the entire organization and acknowledging everyone’s contributions can boost morale as effectively as a full-blown team-building event.
Creative and Artistic Activities
Organizations in marketing and other fields where innovation is crucial to success will benefit from team-building activities that hone people’s creative and artistic sensibilities. Here are some examples:
- Mural Projects: If you’re redesigning your office, encourage your employees to contribute ideas on embodying the company’s culture and values through murals. Encourage employees to submit designs or participate in painting the mural. Mural projects encourage collaborations and shine the spotlight on the employees’ creativity. Seeing their finished work will also give them pride and boost their confidence.
- Musical Jam Sessions: A company band is an excellent outlet for employees who love music and are into singing or playing musical instruments. Making music is a great way to express themselves creatively. At the same time, it enables them to know their colleagues better, as making songs or practicing for a performance requires teamwork.
- Paint and Sip Sessions: A paint and sip event is an excellent way for colleagues to let loose, let their creative juices flow, and mingle with other creatives in the company. These events have a relaxed atmosphere, making employees feel pampered by their company. Such incentives and experiences are always appreciated and can boost employee morale.
- Talent Show: Do you celebrate company anniversaries at a rented venue and make a huge event out of the occasion? Adding a talent show to the program can be a team-building experience for your employees. For example, you can ask every department to prepare at least one presentation and compete for a grand prize. They can be individual performers or groups, and each department will be expected to help and support their performers.
Enhance Workplace Dynamics Through Team-Building
Well-organized and planned team-building can pay off in the long term through improved employee morale, communication, and teamwork. The element of “fun” is also vital in these events because it encourages members of an organization to participate in team-building activities.
Organize contests and events that stimulate critical thinking and creativity and promote camaraderie. Our experiential learning and team-building experts at Group Dynamix can help if you need assistance. We organize programs designed specifically for your organization to have fulfilling learning experiences while enjoying fun activities.