As the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work.” That’s because when teams work seamlessly together, productivity increases and so does company morale. However, getting employees aligned can be incredibly challenging. To that end, it’s no surprise that more businesses are prioritizing team building activities outside the office. Instead of team dinners or happy hours, companies are finding more creative ways that go beyond the trust fall.
If you’re looking to mix things up, take a page out of Pixar, Blue Apron, and other creative companies’ books for inspiration.
1 ) Understand your team’s personality
As you can imagine, there are a lot of different personality types at Pixar. In my department, we decided to take the Myers-Briggs test to understand each other better and learn how to work together more effectively. We took our tests individually and then spent a few hours divulging the intimacies of our results. It was really cool to see how we fit in with each other (or didn’t) and how it applied so transparently in our workflows. We talked about how we approach situations differently and how we tend to make decisions, which gave a lot of context to how we collaborate with each other and how we could improve.
— Emily Oyster, Program and Events Coordinator at Pixar
2) Problem solve together
After completing a project milestone, our team of tax accountants decided to celebrate with the Escape the Room activity organized by BreakoutIQ. Similar to our professional skillset, we all exemplified different strengths and offered different perspectives to solving the problems. I was really impressed with how each clue interplayed with the next and the excitement built as we cracked each code to Escape!
— Leslie Witter, Tax Manager at Deloitte
3) Channel your artistic side
The intent of our Peet’s Coffee teambuilding event was to rejuvenate relationships and unlock new ways for our diverse and dynamic team of 50 to collaborate in the workplace to reach our yearly goals. Late Nite Art built a fresh and engaging program that seamlessly incorporated our vision with music, art, and catered food. We have worked with late Nite Art for two years now, as the experience remains memorable for our team, while creatively addresses our team goals. We held our event in a relaxed, inviting, modern environment, called The Workshop-Emeryville; their space was conveniently located near our company headquarters, and the owners were easy and gracious to work with, going beyond to make sure our event was perfect.
-Leila Nagel, Marketing & Communications Specialist at Peet’s Coffee
4) Bond with your company’s mission in mind
The purpose of the farm-to-table dinner was not only hearing from our vendors and experts in the field, but also to keep everyone connected with one another by bringing them together outside of work for a really engaging and fun event.
— Lindsay McCary, Events Production Manager at Blue Apron
6) Don’t be afraid to get creative
Our last quarterly offsite was in a professional recording studio and I thought it would be fun to separate the team into bands to produce and record a song about our business. We have a few extremely talented musicians on the team who acted as coaches for each of the bands and “The Voice: Peerspace Edition” was born. We were so impressed with how much thought and effort went into producing the songs. It was such an energetic and passionate way to come together as a team at the end of an intense quarterly planning session.
— Rony Chammas, CEO and co-founder at Peerspace
7) Shake it up with improv
We brought Improv to AdRoll as a team building experience for our Operations team, and it was wildly successful – so much so that we’ve rolled out to almost half our organization over the last 6 months (globally!). Not only is Improv a ton of fun, it also pushes people to get out of their comfort zone and learn to embrace uncertainty through innovation, creativity, and flexibility. There are so many applicable takeaways to working more effectively – through a series of games, you practice intentional listening, clear communication, and focus on the power of presence. This was a win for learning, team building, and overall hilarity!
— Christi Wiethoff, Training at AdRoll
8) Practice your presentation skills
Public speaking isn’t for the faint of heart. But imagine delivering a keynote presentation to your colleagues on a randomly chosen topic, using slides you’ve never seen before. This is presentation roulette. It was a fun way to establish trust amongst the team, develop our presentation skills, and build personal confidence.
— Ronnie Higgins, Content Marketing Manager at Eventbrite