When you think about team bonding, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You might be picturing something along the lines of one person trust-falling into the arms of a random coworker while the rest of the team waits for their turn. While these types of team building exercises can be helpful, they aren’t everything when it comes to creating strong, authentic bonds with coworkers. We have some ideas that will help your team grow closer and improve overall workplace culture. Read more to find out how to start doing team bonding the right way.
Establish an Open Line of Communication
If you want to do team bonding the right way, first you need to set up an office culture that allows for positive and open communication. A lot of companies refer to this as an open door policy, but you can decide what fits best for your team. Open communication lets your team know that they can feel comfortable approaching you (and each other) with questions or concerns. It allows room for collaboration and conversation that can lead to natural bonds forming between coworkers.
We also understand that sometimes team members have a busy schedule. And maybe having employees walk into your office to chat at any time isn’t exactly an option. In that case, we recommend blocking off just a couple hours a day when you can have open office hours. That way, your team knows if they need to talk to you about something, you will be able to devote your full attention to them during that time.
Even with an open communication policy, there will be times when your team may not come to you or make an effort to reach out. There could be lots of reasons for this. Some people are just shy or maybe they are dealing with things at home or working through a particularly stressful project. Whatever the reason, it’s going to take a little extra effort to create space for team bonding in these situations. This is where checking-in comes into play.
Making sure that you check-in with your team on a regular basis is probably something that’s already on your to-do list. But what about individual employees? You may be used to talking with department heads or project leads one-on-one, but it’s important to let everyone in the office know they are valued and appreciated. Checking in with individuals on a regular basis will let them know you care, as well as give them the opportunity to voice any questions or concerns they might be too shy to bring up on their own.
Share Meals Together
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Food brings people together. If there’s one thing everyone in the office can agree on, it’s that we all need to eat. So instead of sitting at your desk and eating alone, why not sit at a table and eat with your coworkers?
Whether you have a catered meal plan, or bring your lunches, or all go out to eat, make an effort to eat with your team. This is one of the easiest (and best) ways to connect and bond with coworkers. It’s one hour of the day when you can stop focusing on work and actually get to know each other.
Sometimes the best way to connect and bond with your coworkers is to get outside of the office. Team outings are a great way to have some fun and get to know your team in a more casual setting. Here are some of our favorite activities to try with your team:
- Get a little medieval and try axe throwing
- Buy tickets to a baseball game
- Use your collective brain power to solve clues at an escape room
- Go to a boutique workout class like Soulcycle and enjoy healthy smoothies after
- See who the best (and worst) singer in the office is at karaoke night!
You go to happy hour with your friends all the time, so why not host one with your team? Everyone deserves a break after a long week of hard work. What better way to celebrate the weekend than with a Friday happy hour? It doesn’t get better than drinks, snacks and good conversation. And good conversation leads to more team bonding.
Team Bonding Ice Breaker Games
At the end of the day, fun and games are still a great way to break the ice and bond with your coworkers. It’s good to be a little silly and learn more about your team in this way. Here are some fun ice breaker games that we all know and love.
- Two truths and a lie
- The human knot
- Zip, Zap, Zop
Team bonding can lead to a more cohesive workplace and will ultimately improve office culture. When your employees are working as a unit, rather than as individuals, it increases productivity, quality and overall happiness. We hope these ideas help you create bonds in your workplace that last!