Do accounting professionals play games? There's only one way to find out. Set aside some time and space for team-building exercises.
Enhancing trust and cooperation among your accounting team is key to ensuring smooth sailing at the office. Once the busy season has passed, it's a good idea to devote some time to activities that strengthen your team's bond.
Team-building can be a challenge, but exercises can help your employees become more acquainted. They also help people strengthen their soft skills, such as leadership and communication, which are becoming increasingly important for accountants.
Here are a few games that may appeal to your accounting staff's logical and technical side:
Build a bridge or a tower together
In general, accountants spend much of their time working alone, but there are many instances in which your staff members need to ace collaboration. A team-building exercise that focuses on creating a structure, such as a bridge or tower, out of household items can help them test their communication abilities.
Start by dividing your staff into teams of three or four. Then, provide "construction materials," such as string, newspaper, marshmallows, cardboard tubes and Popsicle sticks. Decide on a time limit for building, and start the clock. While building, your staff will have to communicate with each other effectively if they want to find a solution to the problem.
When the clock runs out, test the structures by gradually adding weight. The sturdiest tower or bridge wins.
Create a culinary masterpiece
Food is a commonality among all people, and there are many ways you can use it to build trust among your staff. For starters, you can bring your employees together to talk about their favorite dishes as well as memorable stories linked to those foods.
If you're looking for a more high-impact exercise, you can build collaboration by having your staff work together to prepare dishes. Although many people eat and prepare the same foods, each individual has a different process and recipe. This fact will encourage your employees to compromise. To make things even more interesting, provide a number of ingredients with no specific dish or recipe to test your employees' ingenuity.
Orchestrate some music
Regulatory standards are always changing, and your team has to adapt quickly. To strengthen your employees' ability to adjust to changes, bring on the music and have them stand in a circle. Ask one employee to make a sound using his or her body, such as clapping or stomping, and have him continue to make that sound. Then, ask the next employee to make a different sound, instructing her to listen to the previous sound and adjust the tempo and rhythm so the sounds are cohesive. Continue around the circle until everyone is participating, and have the first employee start with a new sound once you finish the loop.
Looking for more management advice?
Editor's note: This post was updated in 2016 to reflect more current information.