The success of any corporate structure depends upon its employees’ ability to work in co-ordination with each other. However, synchronization is not an event; it is in fact a gradual process – a process which requires meticulous planning and practice. Planning can only be achieved through responsible communication and trust. The best way to inculcate these qualities among your employees is through team building activities. Many businesses are hesitant or reluctant to engage in such activities just because they are under the impression that hosting and conducting them is an expensive affair. While it is true that large organizations do invest quite a lot in team building, these sessions do not necessarily have to be overly extravagant or ostentatious. Indoor team building games are very effective in promoting healthy relationships among co-workers. They are also a great alternative if the weather outside is unsuitable or if you do not have open spaces at your disposal. Mentioned below are a few indoor team building games that will test your employee’s resourcefulness and also their ability to plan and execute.
1) Poisonous Cobweb: You will need a relatively empty room in order to play this game. If you do have furniture in the room, then move towards the walls or into a corner. Tie pieces of rope in a zigzag fashion to create a cobweb like structure that is perpendicular to the floor. You may tie the ends of the ropes to opposite windows, ceiling fans, tables, hooks on the walls or to any other stationary object in order to achieve a criss-cross pattern. It is not difficult to put up this structure – you can start by tying two pieces of rope parallel to each other and then filling the space between them by adding several pieces of rope to create ‘gaps’ in the cobweb. Make some gaps smaller and let others be a bit larger. It may take a few minutes to create your ‘cobweb’ and thus it is advisable to do this beforehand. Make sure that the structure is not very high – a web that is 5 to 6 feet tall is good enough.
Participants of this game have to move their entire team to the other side of the zigzag structure without touching the ‘poisonous rope’ more than three times. They must find a suitable gap for each team member to cross through. This requires them to use logic and common sense. Ideally, teams should plan their moves before executing them. Heavier individuals must go through the gaps that are closer to the ground. Individuals who weigh less are better off crossing through gaps that are higher from the floor. Participants are allowed to lift and support their team mates in order to assist them to cross. Stronger team members should cross first so that they may help others from the opposite side. There should be, however, strong individuals on both sides so as to provide adequate support. Do not give these tips to the participants – let them figure it for themselves.
Also, if a participant touches the rope more than 3 times, he or she ‘dies’ because of the ‘poison’ and needs to stand out. The team which moves the highest number of participants to the other side of the web wins. If a cobweb is too much for you, then put up an ‘electric fence’ using wooden planks, sticks, or even rope for that matter.
2) Marshmallows and toothpicks: Divide all participants into groups of five and have them sit around tables. Give each team the same number of marshmallows and toothpicks and tell them to make something using these props. This game is quite enjoyable as the employees can even eat a few marshmallows if they want to! Give each team up to an hour to create their masterpieces. People who have applied themselves well have managed to create elaborate structures likes castles, cars, airplanes, bikes, animals, pyramids and so on. Just Google ‘marshmallows and toothpicks’ and take a look at the amazing images for yourself.
3) Towel ball: You will need an empty room, two towels (or blankets) and a softball or volleyball in order to play this game. Divide employees into teams of five and ask each team member to grab hold of one corner of the towel. The fifth person goes under the towel and cannot really see much. Thus, the fifth member relies on instructions from team members in order to move and take action. Draw a line in the center of the room to separate the two teams and have them play volleyball using the towel to propel the ball.
4) Swaying Willow: You do not need any special equipment to play this game. Divide all players into groups of five or six. Teams must form closely knitted circles and one team member must stand in the middle of the circle. The person standing in the middle must close his or her eyes and sway randomly. The people forming the circle must break his/her fall and return him/her to the standing position. It is important that team members stand close together or else it becomes difficult to control the motion of the person in the middle. Each team member must get a chance to ‘sway’. The ‘swaying willow’ must stay rigid – that person must stop trying to gain control of his/her body while swaying and should learn to trust the other team members. This game teaches players to have faith in their team mates and also to be responsible and dependable.
5) Sinking Titanic: This game is geared towards critical thinking. Form groups of 5 to 10 individuals and ask them to imagine that they are aboard the ship Titanic. This ship has hit an iceberg and is about to sink shortly. The teams can only take 10 items onto the lifeboat. Which ten items will the teams choose and why? Ask them to explain their choices and to give each item a score of 1 to 10 based on its priority. This game can be played anywhere and does not require any special apparatus whatsoever. It is suitable for older people as it does require participants to move about much.
Indoor team building games give your workers a chance to enjoy themselves while learning new things that enable them to succeed professionally. These games bring about a massive change in attitude and also lead to emotional and mental well being. If you are on the lookout for more ideas about team building activities, then just watch a couple of episodes of game shows like ‘1 minute 2 win it’ and the like!