Universal Mentors Association

5 Things To Avoid When Creating Team-Building Activities For Work


Tips To Create A Winning Team-Bonding Experience

Every modern workplace should offer activities that promote teamwork and relationship building among coworkers. However, not all team-building initiatives are created equal. In this article, we share a few activities to steer clear of and tips to help you navigate common obstacles.

The Importance Of Corporate Team-Building Activities


It can be challenging to achieve communication among employees who work in different departments, but team-building activities can help them build stronger relationships, improve collaboration, and create a positive work environment. Employees are better equipped to resolve issues that may arise between them instead of letting disagreements spill into the workplace.


Team-building activities can unite people and encourage them to exchange ideas and opinions concerning work matters. This can boost their imagination and prompt them to think of creative ways to approach work-related problems and navigate challenges. They also tend to be more creative in their projects and tasks, bringing new ideas to the table.


It’s essential for employees to feel connected to their peers, as it provides them with a support system. When difficulties arise in the workplace, they know they can rely on their coworkers to help them minimize stress and find solutions. They can even unwind with their coworkers during team-building activities when they’re feeling overwhelmed, thus caring for their mental health.

What To Avoid When Creating Team-Bonding Activities For Work

Forced Participation

If you notice that some people don’t want to participate in team-building activities, don’t force it. Instead, it’s better to ask them how they would feel more comfortable. If they don’t want to engage in similar activities, it’s fine to proceed without them. Everyone’s story is different, and some people may need more time to open up. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t feel welcome in the team. So, make them feel assured that sitting this one out isn’t something that they should feel bad about.

Competitive Activities

Competition isn’t healthy in every context. Before engaging in group activities to build a stronger team dynamic, highlight that their purpose is to bond with others and have fun. If employees compete against each other, it may have the opposite effect and may divide them. For example, sports games—or games in general—are competitive by nature, but as a team, you should focus more on their collaborative side.

Physical Activities

Activities that require exercise are beneficial, but some people may not be interested in them. The reasons may vary from being unprepared to health issues. You can always resort to some other alternative or take it easy and enjoy physical activities at a slow pace. Nevertheless, every activity should be inclusive, and you have to be mindful of everyone’s boundaries.

Costly Initiatives

Before deciding on an event, consult with the finance team and check the cost of the team-building activity you have in mind. Remember that there may be additional costs, like transportation. Even if you have more room in your budget, hosting more frequent activities that are affordable is better than having an extravagant yearly event.


If your company’s culture is problematic, meaning there’s toxicity and negative working conditions, team-building activities won’t be helpful. Ensure that whatever you do aligns with your organization’s values and niche. Employees will know if your efforts aren’t genuine. So, always ensure that your actions are meaningful and bring actual results to the team.

How To Navigate Potential Challenges In Team-Building Events


You have found the perfect icebreaker activity, and you think it’s a great opportunity for the whole team to find out more about each other. But you notice that your employees are reluctant to share information about themselves. As a leader, creating a safe and supportive working environment that encourages participation is important. This means sharing your own experiences and being there to listen to your team’s concerns. When choosing team-building activities, it’s also crucial to ask your team members what they would prefer to do. Employees come from different backgrounds and may have specific preferences or limitations. Apart from choosing accessible and inclusive activities, you can provide them with many options so everyone can contribute. Even if you enroll in an activity that isn’t exciting for your team, you can always step in and ask for suggestions to make it more interesting.


Team-building activities can raise many issues, such as disagreements among team members. People have different ways of approaching issues, and not everyone communicates in the same way. This can cause conflicts and misunderstandings. To avoid these problems, set examples of good communication by encouraging active listening. Also, it’s essential to prompt everyone to respect different perspectives and create an empathetic environment together.

Fun But Not Productive

Keep in mind that activities need to be both enjoyable and meaningful. You should set specific goals and try to achieve them through team-building initiatives. If the sole purpose of an activity is to have fun, it might be better to do it outside of the workplace. Before enrolling in a team-building event, clearly set your expectations and what you aim to achieve.

Maintaining Connections

An effective team-building activity can bring your team closer together, but the challenging part is reinforcing those connections afterward. As a team leader, you should foster ongoing communication and schedule regular meetings to stay in touch, as well as give them opportunities to interact with each other during the workday.

Measuring Effectiveness

It may be challenging to measure the success of your team-building efforts, but it’s a necessary process to see if they’ve had a positive impact on your team’s dynamics. Gathering feedback from your people before and after the activity can help you identify issues in the group and understand if they’ve been resolved. Don’t forget to gather feedback from upper management, too, to see the overall impact of these programs on the organization. Then, check if there are positive changes in your productivity and turnover rates after you’ve established team-bonding activities.


Your company culture should be centered around openness and healthy communication. Upper management should always be transparent and trusting toward employees. This results in employees who are more comfortable expressing their ideas, thus connecting more with their peers. Managers should also be approachable and create a sense of shared purpose. A common goal brings people together and drives them to work more efficiently.

Before putting collaborative culture into practice, your employees must also learn about it in theory. Arrange for them to train in topics concerning healthy workplace cooperation, like communication skills, conflict resolution, active listening, and DEI training. You can also reward those who have completed their training with certifications or gamification badges to improve engagement.


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