All leaders want their employees to get along harmoniously at all times. However, that is rarely the case. It’s natural for most people to experience some degree of interpersonal conflict within the workplace from time to time. When this happens, it can impact a business as well as lower team morale. When two or more employees are not getting along, managers, business owners, and leaders should not sit back and hope things work themselves out. On the contrary, they should actively work to solve the issue and resolve the conflict.
Fortunately, there are ways you can diffuse the tension using creative team-building activities. While there are several ways to resolve conflicts between employees, team-building activities offer a way to build camaraderie in a more light-hearted way. These activities bring people together and help them collaborate toward a non-work-related goal. They are also fun to take part in. In this article, we’ll look at some team-building activities specifically for employees who are not getting along.
Why Team Building Matters
Team building cultivates a happier, healthier work environment. Your company’s workplace culture reveals a lot about your brand’s core values and goals. When your employees come to work with a positive mindset, it also boosts productivity and overall morale. Happy employees have also been proven to work harder and perform 20% better.
When employees struggle to form a connection, it’s usually due to personal differences. You need your employees to be able to cooperate and meet expectations despite any petty grievances they share. It’s for this reason that many supervisors turn to team-building exercises.
Team building exercises encourage characteristics such as cooperation, creative thinking, and problem-solving. They build connections between coworkers that can strengthen their ability to successfully work together.
Break up the workplace monotony with an outdoor company field day. Outdoor physical activities can provide a healthy and exciting opportunity to exhibit teamwork. There are so many activities you can schedule for a field day, and many of them can be team-based. Employees who don’t usually get along will likely have to work together to win events, giving them a common goal.
Organizing a Field Day takes time. It must be planned in advance to work. Additional considerations must be taken into account, too, such as location, outfits, and provisions. Once you’ve arranged everything, hype up the workforce for a sunny day of fun.
Here are some activities you can put together for a company field day:
The Three-Legged Race is a widely beloved field day activity that relies on teamwork. The core concept is simple: employees divide themselves into teams of two, and then tie two of their legs together. One employee’s right leg is tied to the other employee’s left leg. A referee signals the start and end of the race.
Tug of War
If your employees struggle to appreciate their differences, then a game of tug-of-war is in order. This classic game is easy, fun, and encourages players to embrace their unique assets. Tug of War is more complicated than merely pulling two ends of a rope. In fact, there’s often a strategy involved.
When organizing teams for Tug of War, try to diversify both sides to make the match as fair as possible. Your employees will scramble to devise a strategy before finally settling on a specific order on the tug rope.
Egg and Spoon Race
The Egg and Spoon Race combines teamwork with strategy and patience. In this game, employees once again pair off. Each team gets one spoon and an egg. At the start of the game, the egg is placed on the ground. One employee holds a spoon and the other stands at the finish line. Using only the spoon and no hands, the spoon-wielding participant must carefully get the egg to the finish line.
This game is a blast, although it can get a bit messy. Fortunately, it can be played outdoors or indoors. Employees playing this game must discuss their strategy and exercise patience as they head toward the finish line. The ultimate reward? Not having to clean up all the broken eggs!
Escape rooms are exceptional team-building activities for several compelling reasons. Even if the people participating in the games do not get along well. Firstly, they foster collaboration. This type of game forces participants to work collectively to decipher clues and solve intricate puzzles. This can only be done through open communication. This means if the employees want to win the game, they must communicate with each other well.
Another reason why this game is great is because escape rooms present an environment of controlled stress. This sometimes mirrors workplace challenges but in a non-threatening manner. The hope is that the way they manage stress in the game will transfer over to when they’re working together in the workplace.
One of the best things about escape room challenges is that they can be played in person or virtually. Here is how to get started:
- Choose a theme
- Create puzzles and clues
- Design a space for your escape room
- Gather props and materials
- Start the timer
The experience is fun, and shared enjoyment strengthens interpersonal bonds, creating a more cohesive, understanding, and efficient team.
A scavenger hunt is a great way to bring employees together, even those who normally struggle to cooperate. This activity can be hosted indoors or outdoors, and it requires minimal planning beforehand. First, you just need to decide what objects the employees will be scavenging for. Then, you can set up various “clues” around the office to encourage the search.
In order to make the most of this game, it’s best to divide employees into teams. Each team can compete to complete the scavenger hunt first. Alternatively, you can create Bingo Sheets, offering to reward the first team to fill out their bingo card of found scavenger items.
Sometimes, two great employees don’t get along because they have very different problem-solving styles. Great minds don’t always think alike. If this is the case, then a team-based employee Trivia Night is a great idea. If it goes well, you might even consider making it a regular occurrence.
As a supervisor, you might consider acting as the neutral party or referee. You can assign teams yourself, ensuring that each one is unique and balanced. Try placing the two struggling employees in a team together. This can help them to overcome their disagreements. Offering a prize reward for the winner can sweeten the pot.
As the Trivia Night ensues, the unusual teammates may notice that they have different areas of expertise. One employee may have a hard time with a certain genre where the other excels, and so on. This can lead them to better understand each other and connect over a potential shared victory.
Employees whose major difficulty is communication might enjoy this activity. Back-to-back drawing is an exercise in communication and trust. The setup is simple: one employee sits with their back turned to the other. The employee behind them uses a piece of paper, propped against their teammate’s back, to draw an image. The images are usually assigned or kept somewhat basic. As they draw, their partner tries to best relay the image onto their sheet.
Because the second employee can’t directly see the image their partner is drawing, they must rely on their senses. This activity often generates a lot of laughs as employees compare the two illustrations, which often look nothing alike.
Paper Plane Contest
A paper Plane Contest creates a strategic, team-oriented competition wherein employees must work together and communicate efficiently.
The great thing about this activity is that it can be done just about anywhere – even within the office! Using plain office paper, employees divided into small teams must create a paper airplane that can fly the longest distance. Pair up employees who don’t usually work together to see some surprising results and bursts of creativity.
This activity shows employees that when they work together, even if they don’t usually get along, great things can happen. Not only that, but it’s loads of fun for everyone involved.
If you notice certain employees struggle to see eye-to-eye, don’t give up hope! Team building activities can be a great opportunity to connect your employees and cultivate a workplace culture of teamwork and togetherness.