We’ve all had to do them at least once in our lives. The mandatory ice breakers, the team-building activities. They usually occur whenever we’re in a group setting with people we don’t know. It can happen when we’re kids starting out in scouts, or later on in college when your resident assistant wants the floor residents to get to know one another. And usually, they’re pretty lame. How many times can you play Two Truths and a Lie? Luckily, there’s a new level of team-building activities that some companies are starting to take advantage of. They are designed to bring staff members together and are especially aimed at being relevant and interesting for millennials.
The following are five suggestions for team building activities for that companies, volunteer organizations, or other groups can utilize with millennials. They can be adapted to suit the groups specific needs and goals.
1. Plan a Vacation
Let’s start off with something fun. With team members divided into groups, ask each group to pick a vacation destination, plan a trip there, and present it to the rest of those present. Who doesn’t like planning a vacation? However, there will be some limits. There should be a budget set and each person in each group should be able to enjoy something during the vacation (to avoid riding on the coat tails of another person’s preferences).
What this activity does is focus on communication, budgeting, leadership, and analytical thinking. The group will have to create a schedule of where they would go, when, and what activities will be enjoyed. They would also have to learn how to accomplish all their goals with the budget allotted to them and then explain their thought process. This is also a great way for the group members to learn about each other’s interests and hobbies.
2. Group Competitions
Millennials tend to be competitive. Even if there is no “grand prize,” a few groups against each other fighting for sheer bragging rights gets things interesting really quickly. The competition can be something tied into the company, like sales results, or can be something fun, like having each department make their own matching TV shirts or hats. It encourages the participants to talk together, work together, and reach a common goal within a specific time frame.
3. Zombie Escape
With the popularity of zombies among millennials, this one is especially fun. In Zombie Escape, a group is left alone in a room with one person being dubbed the zombie. He or she is tied up in a corner with about a foot of rope to move around with. After a certain increment of time, the rope gets longer and longer, getting closer and closer to the other survivors. In order to escape the room, the other team members must solve a few riddles to find the key that will unlock the door and set them free.
4. Staff Appreciation Party
A great stress-free way to have a group come together is by holding a staff appreciation event. You can then have special games like a dance competition, some type of food eating contest, or have an entertainer come in who requires audience participation. This allows the group to relax in a social setting and get to know one another better. It’s also a great way for the management team to celebrate their appreciation of the hard work their staff, which helps to build a stronger relationship between managerial employees and other staffers.
Volunteering is also a great team building activity for millennials. With much of this generation conscious of its impact on the environment and of the social issues in their communities, the desire to help and make a difference is strong. By having a group work together to encourage community involvement, communication with the public, and perhaps mastering a new set of skills, the team members can learn from their experience while also getting to know one another. It also leaves everyone with a sense of accomplishment and pride, something employers should be striving to encourage in their companies.
Team building activities don’t have to be boring and they don’t have to be childish. They can be used to open the door to a more productive and enjoyable working environment, especially when integrating the interests of millennials.