Creating an Effective Project Team with Activities

Project managers know better than anyone that the success of any project rides on the shoulders of a project team. They also know that a lack of engagement can result in poor performance. Even one weak link on a project team can result in the entire team being pulled down.

With employee engagement still hovering around 34%, the highest in Gallup’s recorded history, we have a long way to go. So, how are you supposed to get an entire project team engaged when overall engagement numbers are still so low? You need to get some activities going.

Powerful Team Building Activities That Boost Performance

Many roll their eyes at the thought of team building activities, when in reality these activities can save teams that are on the brink. What’s more, these activities can be a ton of fun and help break down the walls that form between different departments or tiers of workers.

Whether you use these activities within your project team or across numerous departments, they can be an effective way to get your employees engaged and collaborating in no time. Here are several ideas to get you started on the path to an engaged team.

The Common Ground Icebreaker

This activity is especially great for new hires, but can be great for learning something new about established employees as well.

Start by forming multiple teams. Next, challenge each group to come up with as many similarities between them as possible. Whichever group comes up with the most similarities wins.

This activity is great at helping people find common ground and realize they’re not so different. This kind of camaraderie can be a powerful tool for teams that will be working closely on a project.

Three Shining Work Moments

Everyone likes to have the spotlight at some point, and this activity does just that.

During this activity, each person gets a chance to talk about three work moments they’re proud of. These can be at their current job, or if they’re new, examples from a previous role. This gives each person the opportunity to share a few things they’re proud of, showcase their skills, and recognize that everyone on the team brings  something unique to the table.

The Shrinking Vessel

Few games will make your team as comfortable with one another as this one.

Take a piece of string or rope and have your team stand in a designated area. Then, slowly shrink the size of the area by wrapping the rope or string around them. This will force your team to think on their feet and figure out how they can fit everyone inside the ever-shrinking area.

This game may not reveal as much about people as the previous ones, but it’s a great way to make sure everyone is comfortable with one another. It’s also a great way to see people in a different, silly light.

Office Scavenger Hunt

This one is great for all employees, but especially useful for new hires.

Create a list of items to find around the office and send your team on a wild goose chase through the office. If you have a lot of experienced employees going on the scavenger hunt, hide some new items around to make things a little more challenging.

Make sure your clues are slightly cryptic to encourage teamwork and problem solving. These two skills are paramount to a project team’s success, and this game is a great way to test them.

More Team Building Activities

There are countless team building activities available. You can even create some of your own!

Many may think team building activities are silly, but they can be a great way to get your employees collaborating and engaged. To make sure your team’s working in unison, Fundera has created this helpful visual on team building activities and their importance. With these activities, your team can be well on their way to collaborative project success!

7 types of activities to build a high performing team at work

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Meredith Wood

Meredith is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Meredith’s advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.