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Team Building: 5 Activities Marketers Can Do Over Coffee

What if there was a simple method of connecting your colleagues with the mission of your organization and with each other—a fun, simple way to share ideas, engage with one another, and most importantly, be heard? If you haven’t considered integrating team building activities into your workplace grind, now is your chance.

Team building can be one of the most significant investments you will make in the workplace, according to Forbes. Team building activities—even just ten minutes, once per quarter—can pack a big punch in strengthening company culture, building trust, increasing collaboration, and encouraging communication. A team who communicates and collaborates well is more likely to be engaged, which can have profound effects on your work. One study shows highly engaged organizations are twice as successful as organizations with lower engagement rates.

Keep in mind that coming up with activities to enhance team synergy and boost productivity doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—be complicated. Intricate, time-consuming, team-building activities could actually work against you if productivity is your goal. Keeping your activities brief will likely yield better results for everyone, giving your team the chance to connect and have fun without cutting into the workday.

Our list of quick, convenient, fun team-building activities can help you boost company morale and productivity.

1. The 5-Minute Product Pitch

Divide your co-workers into teams of three or four, and have one person from each team bring a random item from their desk, whether it’s a pen, a notebook, or a picture frame. Tell them their team is a company, and that this item is their product. Give each team a few minutes to “brand” their object and develop a name, logo, and tagline for the product. Ask each team to give an informal two-minute “presentation” on their product as if they were selling it, and if there’s time, have each team offer feedback to one another.

Benefit of the activity: This exercise stimulates the creativity essential to marketing by giving teams the opportunity to see old things in a new way, which is a big part of the branding process. This activity also encourages teamwork on a deadline because it involves rapid-fire brainstorming and problem solving. The final presentation could also hone team members’ sales and presentation skills and promote open communication in your office, giving your team confidence to share “risky” ideas with one another down the road.

2. Show and Tell

Have each member of your team bring an object that’s significant to them to work. Gather together as a group, and give each person in the group a minute or so to share about this item and why it is important to them.

Benefit of the activity: Synergy is difficult when people don’t feel like they are heard. This exercise offers everyone equal footing and helps your team learn about one another’s core values. When your colleagues are in the loop about one another’s back stories, personalities, or interests, they can find unexpected ways to communicate or work together on projects. For example, when dealing with a challenge while creating a landing page, a designer may recall that a copywriter likes art and ask their opinion on how to move forward.

3. Company Coat of Arms

Grab some markers and paper, and instruct people to create a company coat of arms in teams of two or three. In the first space, draw something that represents a recent achievement in your organization. In the second space, draw something that reflects your company’s mission. In the third space, draw something that illustrates where you hope your organization will go in the future. Have each team share what their coat of arms means, and hang them around the office as a reminder of your mission and vision.

The more you know about each other, the more you can draw upon one another for support or input.

Benefit of the activity: This activity reinforces your company’s values by allowing group members to reflect on past achievements and dream together about what’s in store for the future—and hopefully, how you can get there together. By spending time creatively investing in your organization’s past, present, and future, your team can learn from past victories and create strategies for new ones, with your company’s mission in mind all the while.

4. A Day in the Life

Have you ever wondered what, exactly, your co-worker does all day? This activity may be the ticket to discovering just that. Try to pair opposites, for instance, an admin employee with a creative team member, or a tech employee with someone from management. Have the pair exchange quick elevator pitches on what they do on an average day, from start to finish.

Benefit  of the activity: This activity could encourage coworkers to cooperate and collaborate between departments, which could obviously lead to increased partnership and productivity. For example, when a behind-the-scenes employee learns what a client-facing individual does, this person can work more efficiently to deliver client needs.

5. What Makes You Tick?

Think of this exercise as show and tell with a twist—instead of showing objects, you’re showing what makes you “tick.” Circle up and have each person share for 1-2 minutes what motivates them and what frustrates or challenges them in a work environment. If there is time, provide feedback or encouragement to each person who shared.

Benefit of the activity: This is another activity that gives your team a chance to share about their work style. The more you know about each other, the more you can draw upon one another for support or input. In addition, tuning into your team on a deeper level promotes trust, which can promote open communication and by extension, productivity.

Building A Well-Connected Team

While team-building activities are a great way to disrupt the routine and have some fun in the office, they serve a greater purpose. One important outcome of building a well-connected team is learning how to better connect with clients, according to Marketing Week. If you want your clients and customers to connect with your brand and the clients whom you serve, all your team members need to be on the same page.

So whether you have 10 minutes or a full day to build your team, think of connection and communication among employees as fundamental cornerstones for success. With this approach, you will be more likely to speak up when it matters, collaborate with your team on brainstorming and projects, and contribute to the mission of your organization in a meaningful way. 

Are you nailing your team building strategies, but still sensing a divide between you and your team? Learn how to give your best self to your marketing team with our blog on Leaders vs. Bosses.

Picture of Ashley Abramson
Ashley Abramson
Ashley Abramson is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. When she's not writing for clients, she's working on her online magazine or spending time with her husband and two young sons.