Team building. Some people love it, some people hate it, And some just try to get in and get out with the biggest cookie they can!

But no matter where you fall on the workplace events spectrum, it’s actually a really important aspect of developing any great team, and is often overlooked or treated as an ‘extra’ duty.  And if you’re the one tasked with setting up one of these events, you know it can be pretty daunting.


It’s hard to come up with new ideas, find something most people will like and you probably still have to do your regular day job on top of that!


So to assist- here are our top tips to avoid Team Building Busts.


  1.  It’s a small world: One option that is often underestimated is the power of getting the group out in the community.  Many people commute, whether near or far, and aren’t very familiar with what’s just beyond their office building.  Connecting to the neighborhood around them begins to build the sense of community inside and out of the office, and who knows who you’ll find out there!


  1. Explore:  Frequently, these planned social interactions feel awkward and forced. ‘Ok, now I’m supposed to talk…’  By doing something where the group can learn, and explore, they get out of the conference room and experience something new.  Exploring is a great ice breaker and brings people together by creating lasting memories of their new adventure.


  1. Food. Delicious, Delicious Food: Now this is the obvious one, and it’s not so much a yes or no but rather a question of what and how.  As someone who has had the pleasure of attending many a team building event, nothing says phoning it in like crappy food. Talk about a make or break.  If you have dry cookies, chips and gross dip, and some soda put in front of you combined with being arguably forced to interact with relative strangers, you’re not going to win. Bad food cheapens the experience and sends the message that this is not important, and you’re not really cared about.  On the flip side, really good food can and will turn that all around.  People will be impressed, feel taken care of and valued, and most importantly will open up and bond over some amazing tacos or banh mi.


  1. Musical Chairs:  Ok if after #3, you’re saying to yourself ‘done- I’ll just reserve us a table at the nearest restaurant to the office,’ Don’t. At least not yet.  Another team building bust is getting stuck sitting next to one person for the duration of lunch before you head back to the office.  The point is team  Have your group walk around together, so everyone can mingle and interact.  If they’re going on, say, a food tour, ask that they sit next to someone at new each stop.  A team is more than two people and it’s important to remember that.


Bottom line:  Great teams rarely build themselves.  People need time outside of work to get to know the people they work with.  It’s important to get them out of their element, doing something new so they can get to know each other, not as co-workers, but as people.


While it’s tough to come up with a great team-builder, follow these tips and you should be in the clear!