4 alternative team-building ideas your people will love

17 October 2019

A couple of weeks ago, the Inconnection team celebrated our quarterly night out, this time at the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience in Manchester. It was amazing – a unique experience that embodied the best things about about team-building activities, and side-stepped a lot of the clichés.

A Vodafone and YouGov survey a few years back found that 54% of UK employees think of team building as either embarrassing or a waste of time – but all that really tells us is that a lot of UK employers are approaching team-building activities in the wrong way.

Team building done right can ignite engagement, strengthen relationships and boost morale. So, let’s get straight to it – four alternative team building exercises your people will love.


1. Crystal Maze & escape rooms

We LOVED Manchester’s Crystal Maze LIVE Experience. It was a chance to live out a shared childhood dream, run around together shouting instructions, laugh a lot, and get down to some involved collective problem solving.

There’s another Crystal Maze experience in London. For everyone else, similar experiences can be found at your nearest set of escape rooms.

Most facilities have a range of rooms with different themes – an ancient Egyptian curse that needs lifting, a stranded space station you need to escape from and a film-noir motel murder mystery that needs solving, for example – but the basic idea is always the same: find clues, solve puzzles, and work together to escape a series of locked rooms before the clock runs out.


2. 'Amazing Races' & treasure hunts

Amazing Race and treasure hunt-style events have been making waves in team building in the States and Australia for a while now, but they’re booming on the UK scene too.

The scenario is perfect for team building. Usually the set up is that an object or person has gone missing and needs retrieving. What follows is a series of physical and mental challenges that demand team work, problem solving skills and more in a race against the clock.

It’s an option you can tweak to suit your budget – anything from a race against time across Europe by air, rail and road, to an afternoon spent exploring the lesser-known areas of your home city.


3. A cook-off

Everyone loves the Great British Bake Off, so why not capture some of the magic of the tent and create an event for your people that is memorable, effective, and a whole lot of fun?

Culinary schools in all major cities offer cook off options for corporate customers. Pick a menu, split your team into smaller groups, give them a work station and the same set of ingredients… then watch the magic happen. Fun will be had, leaders will establish themselves and people who stay calm under pressure will make themselves known.

And, at the end of the session, you can all come together to judge each other’s efforts and eat together. Perfect.


4. Volunteering & charity work

The same Vodafone and YouGov survey that found that most UK employees don’t like team building also found that volunteering or charity work is the most popular team-building exercise.

Think about arranging charity initiatives with a partner organisation, training for and running a race together, working with local authorities or spending time improving your immediate local environment.

The Dog walks for Cat campaign, run by our friends at Delineo in Manchester, is the perfect example. In honour of their colleague Cat, who sadly lost her battle with cancer last year, they organised a huge fundraising walk from York to Manchester. We joined in with leg 4 of the walk from Leeds to Brighouse, and donated two executive seats for Manchester UTD vs Wolves in February to the raffle.

As well as raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, it’s been a great way for the Delineo team to come together. Everyone has played a part, from the logistics and planning over recent weeks to the walks and fundraising activities themselves.


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Talk to us about alternative team-building ideas now

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Interested in exploring a better way of doing team building? We’d love to talk to you about it. Contact us now using the button above, or call 0161 498 3311.