Team-building activities can help your employees learn to work together more effectively, even if they have different personalities and work styles. As a manager, you know that collaboration is crucial to the success of your projects — and maybe even your company. Here are five team-building activities that can foster better communication and collaboration.

1. Inspiring activities

There are many ways you can encourage your staff to be happier at work. Have you ever heard the “band of brothers” speech from Shakespeare’s "Henry V" — or coach Herb Brooks’ pep talk to the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team? These kinds of inspiring speeches can move people to put aside their differences and work together for something bigger than themselves. Consider presenting an inspiring talk or film for your staff.

2. Connecting activities

If you want team members to get well acquainted, give them an opportunity to really open up. For example, have employees write true and false statements about themselves on a whiteboard. As other team members try to guess which is true, everyone will find it easier to relax and interact with each other. They’ll also learn at least one thing about their coworkers they didn't know before.

Managers who promote team communication and collaboration are able to get the most from their staff members — and hold on to them. Let Robert Half's expert career professionals partner with you as you develop your team.

3. Problem-solving activities

Other team-building activities involve giving your employees a non-work problem to solve. For example, ask them how to get a group of inferno-fleeing wildebeests and lions across a crocodile-infested river when you can only fit two of these animals on a single raft. This river-crossing puzzle will help your team members set aside other concerns and learn how to work together.

4. Equalizing activities

Some project teams are made up of full-time staff, temporary employees, consultants or a combination of the three. And these people might also come from different departments. To bring a diverse group together, use non-work-oriented team-building activities that put everyone on the same level, such as a group effort to assist a worthy nonprofit for a day in your area. The added bonus of working together for a good cause could unite them even further.

5. Fun activities

Remember that team-building activities don’t have to involve work — or even take place in the office. Taking your team offsite for a few hours of fun activities could help thaw the ice between even your frostiest employees.

Ultimately, your company will see more success when people work together toward a common goal than when everyone remains in an individual silo. When your staff gets well acquainted and learns how to work together, despite individual differences, they're no longer just coworkers. They're a team.

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