25 Effective Teambuilding Activities for Any Budget

By Robert Half July 9, 2018 at 2:00pm

Teambuilding can be humdrum – but it doesn’t have to be. Boost staff spirits and build camaraderie with one of these low- or no-cost teambuilding activities.

Every team is different, and leaders would be wise to choose a creative teambuilding experience that fits their group’s personality and needs. Some may prefer to get their employees away from the office for a day of adventure or rejuvenation. Others may opt for a more structured activity, such as a brainstorming or strategy workshop, to inspire new ideas or ways of thinking. 

Whatever you decide, your goal should be to carve out time for your employees to have fun, interact outside of their normal work environment and learn a thing or two.  

So how do you choose an unforgettable teambuilding activity for your staff? The Creative Group asked more than 400 advertising and marketing executives to share the most memorable teambuilding experience they’ve ever had. Get inspired by these 25 effective teambuilding activities that range in price and purpose. 

Creative and effective teambuilding activities 

Some of the examples executives recounted prove that effective teambuilding activities don’t have to break the bank:

  • “We instituted ‘Take Your Dog to Work Day.' It creates camaraderie among employees.”
  • “We play office trivia as a team.”
  • “Our department watches a movie together every month.” 
  • “We celebrate birthdays and company anniversaries.”
  • “We hold chili cook-offs.”
  • “We invite employees to family friendly company picnics.” 

Some staff bond over sporting events:

  • “We organized a monthly bowling trip — and it turned out great.” 
  • “We formed a company softball team.” 
  • “We participate in activities such as basketball, pool and laser tag.”
  • “We host an event for new hires that includes activities like wall climbing.” 
  • “We invited all employees to a baseball game.”
  • “We went out for a go-kart race with all our employees.”

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Teambuilding activities that require brains over brawn are often good choices for those on a budget:

  • “We offer workshops to help develop skills like effective communication, team coordination and problem solving.” 
  • “We plan an annual staff retreat to talk about upcoming events and discuss strategies and goals.”
  • “We played a blindfold game, which helped build trust on the team.”
  • “We invite motivational speakers to present to employees.” 

Have more funds to work with? Consider one of these more elaborate outings: 

  • “We competed in an escape room challenge.” 
  • “We took a tour of the World Trade Center.”
  • “While at a national meeting, we broke into groups and composed songs and then performed with local country musicians.”
  • “We went zip-lining.” 
  • “We participated in a water rafting trip.” 

These examples prove you can build camaraderie while giving back to the community:

  • “Employees participated in a 12K run to support a good cause.”
  • “We volunteered to help build a home.”
  • “We hosted a banquet fundraiser to help students go to college.”
  • “Our team came together to help feed the hungry in our community.”

Effective teambuilding icebreakers

If you want to create a precedence of thinking outside the box with your team activities, sometimes all it starts with is a good question. You can even incorporate these in regular meetings to lift the mood and engage your staff. But don’t pose questions that make employees roll their eyes. Consider these thoughtful and fun teambuilding questions for your next get-together.

  • What was your first job? What skills did you learn from it that you still use today? 
  • What is one thing that no one in this room probably knows about you? 
  • What book, show, podcast or Ted Talk would you recommend to your coworkers? 
  • If you could choose any one famous person, living or dead, whom would you like to join our team? Why? 
  • Are you an early bird or night owl? How does this affect how you work? 
  • If you could pick up a new skill in an instant – work related or otherwise – what would it be? 
  • What is one thing you would like to do in the next year that you’ve never done before? 
  • What is the most interesting place that you’ve been, near or far? 

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