When you ask a business leader what their idea of a dream team is, they’ll probably use words like ‘collaboration’, ‘communication’ and ‘trust’. All concepts synonymous with a slick team, but none of them achieved without hard work and effort on both sides.

The truth of the matter is that we typically spend more time at work with our colleagues than we do at home with our loved ones. Forging good working relationships makes time at work feel more enjoyable, as well as being beneficial for the company as a whole.

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We all know that team members can be efficient independently of one another. It’s when you begin blending multiple personalities and age ranges together that the potential for discord arises.

Research has found that the performance of an organisation is entirely dependent on the harmony between the members of it individual teams. The research also showed that employers who took the time to focus on team dynamics generally enjoyed better productivity, as team members were happy to collaborate and solve problems with one another.

With that in mind, here are some simple ways to encourage better teamwork between employees.

Fun team building exercises and activities

1.     Team lunch

This is an easy (and popular) team building activity which packs a powerful triple punch—it forges deeper personal bonds, can be used to reward hard work and is great for morale.

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By escaping the office and treating the team to a group lunch, you’re giving them the space and freedom to exhibit more personality. It offers the opportunity for more relaxed, personal interactions and encourages empathy and the formation of stronger working relationships.

2.    Scavenger hunt

Team building days have a reputation for being stuffy, awkward and forced. Rather than fencing everyone into a room and setting rigid activities, try sending employees off on a town-based scavenger hunt.

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Create teams by mixing employees from different departments together and issue each of them with a list of clues or challenges that need to be completed by a set time. This exercise format forces participants to adapt to new team dynamics, to collaborate, to listen and to solve problems together, away from the prying eyes of the leadership team.

3.     Escape room

Escape rooms are a trend that show no sign of waning. Typically set in a single room, participants need to solve a set of clues to release themselves.

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Much like the scavenger hunt exercise, an escape room puts team members into an unfamiliar set of surroundings in which they’re encouraged to use new skills and problem solving to succeed. This particular exercise has the added bonus of being fun as well as great for bonding.

4.     Skill sharing

Every business has skills gaps and generational gaps which could prevent team members from seeing eye to eye. Take advantage of these differences and encourage skill sharing within and across different teams. You can kick this off by suggesting that employees set aside a regular timeslot in their weekly calendar for upskilling and learning. It will be up to them to develop their skill sets and careers by approaching colleagues who have the skills they’d like to learn.

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This particular activity fosters a sense of respect among employees for the work their colleagues do and helps to business to close skill gaps within teams by sharing the knowledge they already have in their ranks.

Does your organisation have a preferred way to build teamwork? Have you tried any of the exercises outlined here?  Leave a comment below and share.