When building a solid and cohesive team, few things are more important than communication and morale. The key to a secure and productive workforce is to let team members participate in the company readily so they can understand where and how they fit in. And this requires a spirit of camaraderie in the workplace.
Competitive team-building activities foster team bonding and a sense of belonging that creates a positive work environment. It also encourages healthy competition and promotes peer-to-peer recognition. It’s the process that enables corporate teams to reach their common goals more effectively.
With some help from Stonewall Resort’s sales manager, Robin Poling, we’re sharing a few ideas, tips, and tricks for infusing competitive team-building activities into your next corporate meeting.
What is Competitive Team Building?
Competitive team building is a series of activities or games designed to promote communication, collaboration, and problem-solving within a group. It can be used to break the ice among new team members or improve morale and motivation in an existing team.
The best competitive team-building activities are challenging but not impossible, so everyone has a chance to succeed. They should also be tailored to your team’s specific skills and goals.
Robin says, “I think competitive team-building focuses on the end goal. So if the point of team building is to find an emerging leader or to find that person that is maybe standoffish and not as involved as you would like, if there is a task to be accomplished or if there’s a skill to be learned, then that makes it competitive because most people have an inner drive to be the best they can be.”
Competitive Team Building Ideas for the Win
Creating fun team-building activities that boost morale while enhancing communication and problem-solving skills can be complex.
According to Robin, the best team-building experiences have customized components that reflect the meeting, the purpose of the event, the conference, or the sales meeting. It needs to be tied together for an experience that the person will walk away and say, “Hmm, I really enjoyed that; I feel great about what I’ve done and what I can contribute to my organization.”
Here are some competitive team-building activities that employees will want to engage in.
1. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to get employees out of their comfort zones and explore their surroundings. It also encourages team members to work together to find the items on the list. You can add a time limit or split the group into teams to make it more challenging.
Here at Stonewall, we’ve set up scavenger hunts where participants can answer questions, perform activities such as a photo “shoot,” or have the group do certain things before getting the clue.
Robin says, “That’s a real competitive one!”
2. Culinary Team Building
Culinary team building is an excellent activity for employees who enjoy working with food. It’s also a fun way to promote healthy eating habits in the workplace.
In this activity, teams are given a list of ingredients and tasked with creating a dish using all the items on the list. A panel of experts judges the plates, and the winning team is awarded a prize.
This activity is not only competitive, but it’s also educational. It teaches employees about working with different ingredients and flavors and working together as a team.
The competitiveness comes in the preparation and presentation.
“We had a group here that did a salad challenge,” Robin says. “A group of ladies prepared their salads, and the winning team actually put a little Ken doll on the top with a steak in his heart! They had a blast. They worked together and thoroughly enjoyed that experience.”
3. Corporate Water Olympics
The corporate water Olympics is a series of challenges that take place in water. Here at Stonewall, we utilize the lake. Teams are given a list of tasks to complete, such as relays, races, and obstacle courses. The team with the most points at the end of the event wins.
This activity is great for employees who enjoy being active and working together as a team. It’s also a great way to promote healthy living in the workplace.
Robin says, “When you incorporate water, you can incorporate a lot of fun games and activities. It opens up a lot more diversity, obviously the whole outdoors element, but adding that the water factor in there could certainly add a lot of creativity.”
Some team-building games offered in the water Olympics at Stonewall include:
- kayak racing – you race out around a barrel and come back
- fishing casting contest – when you put a bucket out in the middle and you have to cast into the bucket
- swim races – you have to go out and swim around a buoy and race back.
4. Let’s Tee’m Up
A round of golf is a great way to get employees out of the office and into the fresh air.
It is also a great way for employees to enjoy the outdoors. This can be a traditional golf scramble or, to be more inclusive – add some wacky skills on the course, so all teams have a chance to score. For example, teams have to use a hockey stick for putting instead of a putter for one hole. Or, instead of the longest drive, place a rope in the middle of the fairway, and the straightest drive scores points. So instead of the lowest score winner, the team with the most points at the end of the event wins.
This activity is great for all golf skill levels or no golf skill levels.
5. Shoot to Win
Sporting Clays or a simple Nerf Gun battle can be an exciting and safe activity for all teams.
Once the rules are set and everyone dons their protective gear, it’s game on! It’s a great way for teams to think strategically and interact decisively. This will have people talking for days after the fact. Of course, safety for all is paramount.
CHECK OUT: The Palmer Course
Why Is Competitive Team Building Important?
Competitive team-building activities boost trust, pride, and camaraderie in the workplace. Such activities enhance the relationships amongst employees and between employees and their leadership.
Other significant benefits of competitive team building include:
A sense of community – Modern workplaces, especially remote work elements, can breed a sense of isolation. Loneliness and isolation come at a concerning cost. They can increase stress levels, negatively impacting productivity, employee satisfaction, and decision-making. Competitive team building can create a sense of belonging that may help both office and remote employees overcome their feelings of isolation.
Shared goals – Strong friendships among colleagues, create a sense of “we’re in this together.” As such, employees are better able to work towards shared goals. Team competitions help employees feel satisfied with their work and increase employee innovation.
Less conflict – Team-building activities are a great “non-threatening” way to normalize conflict. As team members fight for each other and learn to help one another to achieve a common goal, they also learn how other teammates deal with stress and setbacks. It can be transforming.
Showcase your skills – it’s an opportunity to showcase your skills in a different light. It’s also a great way to learn new skills.
Fun – At the end of the day, these activities are supposed to be fun. And when they’re done right, they can be an absolute blast for everyone involved.
Robin says, “the effects of COVID have created more distant teams. Remote teams and virtual teams have not had opportunities to work together in real life. To actually get together and work together- you begin to know your coworkers and see how their different strengths can add to the team. I think these are great opportunities to show your strengths, to show your talents, and to show your drive”.
Here are Robin’s tips for organizing competitive team-building activities: know your audience and understand your purpose.
Ask questions such as, Is it going to be for fun? Is it going to be for skills? Is it going to be for a task? And then make sure that the participants are on the same level.
Of course, you’ll then look for a venue that can give you different options.
With team-building experiences, you are in an environment where your participation matters rather than sitting and listening to a presentation in a stuffy classroom.
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Book a Team Building Experience Now
There are many great ways to engage your employees and foster a competitive team spirit at Stonewall Resort. Connect with your team through a game of golf, a mixology class, or a scavenger hunt. Contact us to start an adventure that will bring your people together.