3 Fun Team-Building Exercises to Boost Employee Engagement

by Apr 20, 2023

When your team members feel appreciated, connected, and invested in their work, they tend to be more productive, creative, and committed to the success of your company. But how do you keep your team members feeling engaged, connected, and excited about their work?

Employee engagement doesn’t have to be expensive or elusive at all. One of the most effective ways to boost employee engagement is through team-building exercises. These activities not only break down barriers between team members but help establish a sense of trust, camaraderie, and shared purpose. 

Plus, they’re a ton of fun! HR departments can play a key role in implementing these exercises and ensuring their success, from choosing the right activities, to providing resources, to encouraging participation.


Our Top 3 Team-Building Exercises

Whether you have a large or small team, these team-building exercises are for you:


1. You Tell, I Draw

You and a colleague will team up. One will describe an object while the other draws it, but they can’t look at the objects or each other! It’s gonna take some seriously sharp communication skills and active listening to get this one done. And, this can be done virtually in breakout rooms if everyone promises not to break the rules!

Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Not only will the team get a chance to improve their communication skills, but they’ll get a kick out of seeing everyone’s hilarious attempts at drawing. Check out this video for a sneak peek of what’s in store! 


2. Office Olympics

To get started, divide your team into small groups and create a series of mini-games that can be played in the office. Think outside the box and come up with creative challenges, like a paperclip toss, stapler relay, or pencil balance. Each team will compete against each other, and the team with the most points at the end will take home the gold medal!

But winning isn’t everything. This activity also promotes teamwork, communication, and healthy fun. So let loose, have a good time, and remember that the ultimate goal is to build camaraderie among your colleagues. Check out this video for some hilarious and entertaining Office Olympics ideas.


3. Volunteer Day

As creators of positive and respectful workplaces, we understand the importance of giving back to the community and making a positive impact. Also, fun fact: Altruism builds positive emotions and feelings towards others, so your organization can deliver some community impact while the team is building bonds that make them more productive.

Planning a day for the team to volunteer together at a local non-profit organization is an excellent way to do just that. It promotes teamwork and a sense of togetherness as we work towards a common goal of helping those in need.

Again, not only does this activity benefit the community, but it also facilitates the development of new skills and a sense of fulfillment from doing good for others. 


The Benefits of Team-Building Exercises

Not only are team-building exercises fun and engaging, but they also offer a range of benefits for both your employees and your business. These benefits include:

  • Improved communication and collaboration
  • Increased productivity and creativity
  • Enhanced trust and morale
  • Reduced stress and conflict
  • Better problem-solving and decision-making skills

With HR’s help, you can design and facilitate team-building exercises that meet the unique needs and goals of your teams, while also supporting your company’s values and culture. And, making your workplace a happy place. 

An awesome resource for your team is Catherine’s LinkedIn Learning course, Driving Workplace Happiness, which we made free for 24 hours! 

Also, make sure you foster an environment where these activities are welcomed and encouraged. Team building activities are a waste of time if everyone’s walking on eggshells or living in fear. One way to find out if your work environment is one of team building and camaraderie is a climate assessment.

Anyway, incorporating these fun activities into your workplace can put you on your way to building a dream team that’s happy, productive, and successful!

PS: Check out our awesome Ebook, Employee Engagement Doesn’t Have To Be A Mystery, that you can download for free!

Employee Engagement

Written by: Jennifer Areola

Many organizations ignore employee engagement because it feels elusive and expensive. Rather than getting caught up in the fear and doing nothing, download our eBook on employee engagement, and get started.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

3 Reasons Your Hiring Process is Too Lengthy and How to Fix it

Hiring the right person is essential, but a drawn-out hiring process can harm your organization more than you might realize. Missed opportunities, decreased productivity, and losing top candidates to competitors are just a few of the costly consequences. While being...

5 Skills Your Managers Need (But Probably Don’t Have) to Effectively Interview Job Applicants

Did you know that 76% of hiring managers admit that attracting the right job candidates is their greatest challenge? Why? Because many managers lack key skills needed for effective interviewing. Culture matters to employees, but it’s just as crucial for hiring. Keep...

Concerned about discussions of opposing political views at work?

Election season is here, bringing with it a flood of discussions, debates, and distractions. Add global tensions dominating the news, and it's easy to see why employees might struggle to stay focused… especially if they have opposing views from their colleagues… and...

3 Savvy Ways to Spend Your Budget Surplus

It’s halfway through the year, and for some companies, the fiscal year is wrapping up, leaving them with an unexpected budget surplus.  While it might be tempting to funnel these extra funds into new equipment or throw after-hours parties, there's a more strategic...

Implicit Bias Training That Works

A significant barrier to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce is implicit bias. Implicit bias occurs when, for instance, you hear the word "engineer" and immediately assume it is a man, or hear "teacher" and assume it is a woman. Have you ever been guilty of...

Over 50% of Workers Now Value Balance and Belonging Over Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Yesterday, I came across research by Randstad and it really got me thinking about how much the workplace landscape is changing. This study included insights from 27,000 workers worldwide and what really caught my attention was that nearly half of the respondents—47%,...

Your Culture Matters as Much as Your Legal Compliance

Legal compliance serves as the bedrock of any organization. While it lays the foundation, a positive workplace culture breathes life into your organization. A strong, supportive culture fosters employee engagement, boosts morale, and enhances productivity.  This...

How We Create Respectful Work Cultures

For the past 15 years, we have been dedicated to transforming toxic workplace cultures and fostering positive environments through executive coaching, corporate training, and large-scale culture change projects. We’ve serviced over 250 clients and their thousands of...

42% of employees would QUIT over political disagreements

Is it appropriate to restrict employees from expressing their political views at work? On the one hand, you want people to feel free to express themselves. But then, you don't want those water cooler chats to turn into full-blown political showdowns. According to a...

Why Retaining Top Talent is More Difficult Than Ever

Finding and keeping great employees can be tough for companies all over. With changes in employee expectations, advancements in technology, and shifts in the job market, it's a real challenge. In 2019, a whopping 42 million U.S. workers alone said "so long" to their...