Issue 13

Team building (I)

Andreea Pârvu
People Operations Business Partner @ Endava


Many companies are organizing in this period team building activities and managers are talking about what kind of activities are suitable to be used during these events. My purpose in this article is on a more practical approach. I don"t want to insist on defining the concept of team building because people are already used with it, but I would like to mention 7 steps related to how to organize team building activities.

Step 1: Paricipants needs assessment. The easiest method is to use a survey. The most interesting part is to define the proper questions to find the right information. The answers are interpreted, and based on that the objectives of the team-building are defined. On the other side, there are also other methods that could be used: the structured interviews who have clead criteria defined. Depending on the number of the team members, more than one tool could be used.

Step 2: Define the objectives. In order to have an impact on the development of the participants, the objectives should be SMART (S=Simple, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Realistic, T=Timeline).

Step 3: Define the development blocks. The role of these blocks is to encompass more than one activity. In order to have a clear understanding of the concept of development block, I will give an example : one block could be : develop communication skills in the team.

Step 4: Define the activities. For each block it is necessary to define the purpose and objective of each activity.

Step 5: Define the timeline needed for every activity. Based on the objectives set, every activity should have a timeline defined.

Step 6: Identify the proper trainers. It is a complex process, because it is necessary to have a well prepared and capable trainers or company team.

Step 7: Prepare the team-building based on step 2. Each activity defined in the team-building program should have a session outline that should be used by the trainer.

Step 8: Coordinate the activities during the team-building, for a better time schedule and for a better communication.

In the second part of the article I will present 2 activities that you can use for a better team consolidation.

Activity 1


5 minutes/ participant


Activity name 



4 teams (10 members/ team - maximum)


Indoor / outdoor


One flipchart with the following questions :

Your craziest dream ?

Your craziest/ funny activity in your childhood ?

The most interesting place you "ve visited ?

The most wanted place where you would like to go ?

These are 4 questions defined for a personal interaction between the participants.

To be mentioned : these questions are only a suggestion, but they could be defined based on the group.


Get to know the other members of the team


Team members are splitted in circles and every participant has 5 minutes to answer to these 4 questions.


An A4 with the questions for every participant

It is recommended that the get to know each other activities to be deployed in the first part of team-building programme. The better the participants know each other, the easiest the interaction is between them and conflict resolution approach will be more personal.

It is worth mentioning that these activities of knowing each other should not to exceed more than 30% of the total time spent on team-building.

Activity 2


teams/ 20 minutes + debriefing 30 minutes (maximum 10 persons in a team).


Activity name







A4 with the rules for the facilitators of the teams created. The role of a facilitator is to observ every team and to write down the most important things happening during the activity played. These will be used in the debriefing part.


Planning the activities

Organizational communication

Responsibility and accountability


Conflict management


The team is splitted in smaller groups (not more than 10 persons/ group). Every group will start the construction of one tower with a minim 2.5 meters height who needs to support a tennis ball.

After 20 minutes the teams change the places and they have to continue to work on the tower of the other team.

After another 20 minutes the teams change places again until they will reach the first tower they started to build.


How it is to depend on others work?

Why it is important to have written plans?

Who does seem the initial vision with the final tower?

What would you do better?

Did you choose to continue the work of the others or you decided to destroy everything?

How did you prepare the working environment for the others?


String, cartoons, PETs,paper, tennis ball, scissors, scotch

Activities to improve communication skills, the ability to work in teams and to achieve a common goal and gaining the confidence of others are particularly relevant as the debrifing is more detailed and personalized on how the team is involved in the games and how everybody reacted during the task solving. The debriefing is necessary to always have some clear conclusions jointly agreed by the team members to see the relevance of the work undertaken in daily work.

The purpose of the following article will be to continue this series and have other activities.

Good luck and have fun!




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