ONLINE GUIDE: How Team Building Can Work for Every Type of Personality, Ability, and Group Dynamic

No matter how diverse your workforce is, there’s a team building activity out there that’s the perfect fit for your group.

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-1

No matter how diverse your workforce is, there’s a team building activity out there that’s the perfect fit for your group.  

Employee engagement, which is defined as the emotional commitment that someone has to their workplace, is critical to company success. An engaged employee is happy, motivated, and, in turn, more efficient and productive - 21% more productive, to be exact, according to research from Gallup. But most workplaces around the world actually suffer from disengaged employees: in fact, another recent study by Gallup found only 15% of employees feel engaged at work. And that's not good for either the business or the people working there.  

Research from Bit found 86% of employees and executives cite the lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Along with helping to create connections between colleagues, team building focuses on improving collaboration, communication, and a huge array of other important elements that are key to high employee engagementBut event planners face a big dilemma when it comes to planning a team building activity that appeals to everyone participating in it. Taking into consideration all the factors, from polar-opposite personalities to big age gaps, it can seem almost impossible 

So, the question is, can team building really work for everyone? Even the most diverse workforce, ranging in everything from physical ability to the way one processes information? What about departments with a variety of internal challenges, like ineffective communication? Vastly different interests? People who just think team building is the cheesiest thing ever? 

In short, the answer is: yes. At Outback Team Building Training, we offer a wide variety of team building activities that are designed to be inclusive of everyone. The key is finding activities that will resonate with your specific group. And best of all, we have a full team of designated Employee Engagement Consultants who work collaboratively with you to help you to the right activity base on your specific situation. 

In this online guide, we'll dive deep into how team building can benefit all types of personalities, team dynamics, and abilities. And most importantly, how to pick the type of team building activity that will best suit your work group. Read on for insight into topics including: 

  • Does Team Building REALLY Work for Everyone? 
  • Finding the Perfect Activity for Your Corporate Group 

Read the guide below or download it for free in an all-in-one PDF. The downloadable version also includes the blog post, 3 Key Tactics for Creating a Multigenerational Company Culture 

 

Download Your Free Guide 



Table of Contents

Part One: Does Team Building REALLY Work for Everyone?

Team Building is Worth the Investment – Here's Why and When it Works  
4 Common Pain Points When Planning a Team Building Activity and How to Avoid Them 

Part Two: Find the Perfect Corporate Team Building Activity for:  




Part One: Does Team Building REALLY Work for Everyone? 


Team Building is Worth the Investment – Here's Why and When it Works 
Want to know the secret to a successful team building activity? The answer is all in the name.

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-2

According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost American organizations between $450-550 billion annually - a challenge that businesses spend an additional $750 million each year trying to overcome. 

Many organizations find team building to be an effective and impactful solution, though, and when it's successful, it's usually for this reason: the needs of every individual on the team - and how those needs contribute to the overall function of the team - have been considered.   

That's because a team is ultimately a collection of individuals. But what makes them a great team is when everyone works together for the greater good of the group. In order to make a great team, it's important to find common ground. And that's exactly what great team building strives to do. It strives to find the sweet spot between balancing peoples' individual needs with the needs of the team and the organization in order to bring people together and teach them work more collaboratively for a common goal. Because success in the team is mutual success.  

When that sweet spot is found, team building can truly help coworkers reap benefits like fostering better relationships and learning to work together more effectively. Whether it be focusing on socializing informally or working on more serious issues such as developing problem-solving techniques and improving collaboration skills, the right team building activity helps colleagues build trust, achieve better communication, and become more engaged. And, with Gallup research showing that highly engaged teams demonstrate 21% greater profitability, engaged teams equals better business.  

And that’s priceless. 



4 Common Pain Points When Planning a Team Building Activity and How to Avoid 
Them 
Event planners need to consider these factors to ensure they choose the most effective activity for their team. 

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-3

Sometimes, even the best efforts and intentions for planning a team building activity fail. And, often, that tends to be when wrong activity is chosen.  

This can easily be due to situations, for example, where the event planner doesn’t quite understand the team dynamic or when there’s such an assortment of personalities that the planner doesn't even know how to begin catering to their various idiosyncrasies. And whether you have a team of 10 or 500, finding an activity that is suitable to everyone and still achieves its purpose can certainly be tricky.  

Here are four common pain points event planners face when thinking about planning a team building activity:  

  •  A Range of Physical Mobilities: Some employees have health issues, allergies, or physical barriers that aren't visible or might not be common knowledge to everyone they work with. Age can also be a factor here - an athletic 20-year-old's physical mobility likely won't be on par with an elderly individual who might have limited range of motion.   
     
  •  Mixed Bag of Personalities: Everyone is different and, guaranteed, your team is comprised of a diverse assortment of personalities, from loud and chatty extroverts to those who have severe social anxietyand everyone in between.  
     
  • Finding an Activity that Appeals to Everyone’s Interests, Comfort Levels, and Lifestyles: Some people love to work with their hands. Others hate it. Some are incredibly competitive, while competition makes other people feel uneasy. There are fears of heights or small spaces to consider. Plus, there could be individuals on your team who choose to live sober and could be uncomfortable with certain types of activities if they involve alcohol. 
     
  • People Who Consider Team Building "Lame": No matter how perfect the activity may be for your group, there are those who simply regard team building with an eyeroll. Their negativity can even hinder the value they might gain from the program or even put a damper on the effectiveness of it for others.  

In order to alleviate these pain points, it’s important that event planners take them into consideration. The right team building activity can and will cater to everyone in your group and help them achieve the purpose of the activity – together. To narrow the scope of your team's needs, you can:  

  • Send out an internal poll or survey to see what kind of things your colleagues find challenging within their team or even in their role itself. This can help planners find out what aspects they need to work on within the team building activity. Here are five sample questions you could ask your group:    
  1. What do you consider your biggest strength in your current role? 
  2. What is your biggest opportunity for improvement in your current role?
  3. Is there anything you would change about the dynamic within your department? Within the company as a whole?
  4. If you're a leader, what things could your team stand to improve on? On the flip side, what could your leader improve on? 
  5. What skill do you think you'd personally benefit from developing further?   
  • Ask coworkers to come to you with concerns they might have about participating in team building activities, whether it be physical limitations or social anxieties.  
     
  • Conduct D.i.S.C self-assessments - a tool that provides insight on personality, work style, and more – and review the quiz results to gain a deeper understanding of the various personalities your teamThis can help you choose an activity that will align with everyone's character. Read more about the value D.i.S.C. can bring to your group in our online guide, A Practical Guide to Using D.i.S.C. in the Workplace

You can also call in the professionals. At Outback Team Building & Training, every single one of our activities are designed with elements that are inclusive of everyone in your group in order to help your colleagues excel as a team. A free consultation with an Employee Engagement Consultant can assist you in determining the right type of activity for your group. You can also check out our white paperThe Ultimate Guide to Team Building, which is a great additional resource for event planners. Read on to learn more about how you apply all this intel once you’ve gathered it. 



Part Two: Finding the Perfect Team Building Activity for Your Corporate Group

Now that you've gathered all this information on your team, how can you apply it? Taking into account your findings, you'll need to do a bit of research to find the right type of team building activity that will best suit your group. And there are tons of different options available to you, whether your group is full of extroverts, creative thinkers, or has individuals with limited mobility. 


Team Building Activities by Personality  
Whether your group is introverted, extroverted, or lands somewhere in between, these activities will provide the right levels of comfort and challenge.  

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-4


Team Building Activities 
for Introverts  

Introverts typically prefer to process new information on their own, think carefully, and then discuss their ideas with others afterwards. They can get drained by spending too much time with big groups and need some solitude to recharge. These particular team building activities have just the right amount of stimulation for introverts:  

  • CI: The Crime Investigators: Split up into teams, your group will use their sleuthing skills to uncover clues and solve a mysterious crime. Once they've gathered the evidence, they'll need to put their heads together to crack the case. This cerebral activity promotes collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking 

  • Potluck at the Park: Sitting around and eating food is one of the easiest ways to make conversation. Host a potluck at a local park or even in the boardroom - people can show off their cooking skills if they have them or bring a treat from a local bakery. Especially if you have an introvert who loves to bake, they might be able to use their dish as a bonding tool.  
     
  • Book Club: Pick a book and then meet a month later to discuss it in a low key, welcoming environment. Be sure to rotate book choices – it's a great way to give everyone turn and cater to different interests. It also allows people to share their personal favorite reads with colleagues and have something new to bond about. 
      
  • One Question Icebreaker: Have colleagues pair up and answer one of the following icebreaker questions: 
    1. What’s one thing the group doesn’t know about you? 
    2. What’s your dream vacation spot? 
    3. What book, movie or TV character is most like you? 

Rotate every five minutes, until you go through the whole group. This is a non-invasive way to get one-on-one with your colleagues, especially if big crowds are intimidating for some individuals.
 

Team Building Activities for Extroverts  

Extroverts love the opportunity to talk. They usually like to process information by literally thinking aloud to develop their ideas. They can increase their energy and refuel through exciting interactions with others and the things around them. Activities such as these are perfect for them:  

  • Cardboard Boat Building Challenge: Split into teams and engineer a boat made from cardboard and tape. The tricky part is that it needs to float and sail across water without sinking! After making their boats, teams will create a presentation to explain why their boat is the best. The final challenge will include a race across the water!   
     
  • Wild Goose Chase: In this fun scavenger hunt, your group will form teams and complete challenges by taking photos and videos around the city. Some examples of challenges you can do in this smartphone-run activity are:
     
    • Parkour: Take a picture of three team members attempting to jump over an object. 
    • Beautiful Mind: Snap a photo of a team member solving a well-known mathematical theorem.
    • Puppy Love: Take a photo of your team members petting an adorable dog. 
       
  • Blind Retriever: Compete against your colleagues to try to retrieve an object – blindfolded and in five minutes or less! Here’s how it works: one person is blindfolded on each team and, using directions and commands from their teammates, they must try to find the object before their opponents do. Take turns with each member being blindfolded trying to find an object in a new place. This is an excellent way to work on communication and leadership skills. 
     
  • Urban Fear Factor: This outdoor activity encourages your colleagues get out of their comfort zones with daring challenges that push your limits. Urban Fear Factor can be run through Outback’s own smartphone app. A couple of the challenges you can do in this activity include:  

    • Sea Food, Kiss Food: Get close with your favorite crustacean by snapping a photo of you kissing a crab or lobster. 
    • How Low Can You Go?: Take a candid of a teammate doing the limbo under an object. 

 

Team Building Activities for Both Introverts and Extroverts  

People can often identify as ambivert: both an introvert and extrovert. Their personality falls somewhere in the middle and can lean more towards either trait, depending on the situation. Team building activities such as these, with elements that speak to both types, are ideal for catering to that balance: 

  • Conducted Story: Stand in a line. The first person in line starts the story with a sentence like, "Rod went to the market to buy...” The next person continues the story, "...Eggs to bake a cake.” The story continues like this until it reaches the last person in line, encouraging just enough communication and collaboration for introverts, as well as helping extroverts develop listening skills.

  • Picnic Party GamesWhich team can complete as many goofy photo and video challenges as possible before time runs out? This fun activity has a diverse array of challenges that range in energy levels, catering to both introverts and extroverts. It’s also a great way to get outside. Some examples of challenges your group can do here include:
     
    • Catapult Cuisine: Use a utensil to launch a food item into another person’s mouth from 10 feet away.
    • Tree Hugger: Snap a photo of someone hugging a tree trunk like a koala bear. Legs and arms must be completely off the ground!
    • Spoon Relay: Participate in a relay race while balancing a small rock on a spoon.

  • What’s My Name?: Just like Heads Up – whether you're familiar with the classic headband game or the iPhone variation – this is an interactive guessing game. As a group, write down a set of names, anything from movie stars to types of candy bars, on small slips of paper. One person picks a slip and places it, without looking at what it is, on their forehead. They then must go around the room asking people yes or no questions until they correctly guess what the name is or until time runs out. It also encourages you to interact with colleagues you might not have before. The activity is perfect for introverts because it allows them to contemplate internally, while extroverts will enjoy the social aspect 
      
  • Team Pursuit: In this smartphone activity, your group takes on four different types of challenges - mental, physical, skill, and mystery. With a variety of themes to work through, this activity is ideal for different personality types to play to their individual strengths. Some examples of challenges here include:

    • Tasty Trivia: Riddle us this: what do you throw away the outside of and cook the inside, then eat the outside and throw away the inside?
    • Yoga PoseTake a picture of your teammate doing a yoga pose by balancing on their hands.



    Team Building Activities by Physicality Level
      
    Want to participate in a physically active team building activity but your group is comprised of a range of mobilities? Don't worry: these activities are designed to be accessible to all needs. 

    online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-5

Chances are, your workforce is comprised of a wide variety of people who range greatly in age, mobility, and fitness levels (for more on how to create a company culture that appeals to multiple generations, read our blog post)And, if you’re doing a team building event that requires some sort of physical activity, it is imperative that the individuals participating feel comfortable and able. Before planning any type of physical team building activity, reach out to your colleagues about their fitness levels and accessibility concerns. You can send out a survey over email or simply let them know that your door is open if they have something they’d like to discuss in person.   

 

Team Building Activities for People Who Love Being Physically Active   

If your team includes fitness enthusiasts, athletes, or folks who just enjoy being active, they'll love these activities 
 

  • The Amazing Chase: Inspired by the popular reality TV show The Amazing Race, this interactive scavenger hunt has teams following clues around their city and taking on physical and mental challenges to move on to the next destination. Not only do colleagues get the chance to bond with one another while exploring their location, but they're faced with an exciting element of competition, too.  
     
  • Hiking: Pick a local trail to explore, gather your coworkers, and enjoy taking on nature's Stairmaster. You can even start a monthly hiking club – one of our team members here at Outback did that and it’s been a huge hit with fellow employees. A tool like AllTrails can help you find a good spot that poses the right level of difficulty for your group.
  • Corporate Castaways: Inspired by the popular "Survivor" TV show, this activity splits your group into “tribes” to strategize and then tackle fun physical and mental challenges before time runs out. Some examples of challenges in this activity include: 
    • Jumbled: Working in pairs, try to collect three hidden sacks that contain letter tiles, which you must use to form a phrase.
    • Tuckered Out: Tribes go head-to-head as they attempt to be the first to eat something unappetizing.
  • Beach Volleyball: There’s nothing like a little friendly competition out on the court to bring colleagues together! Hit a local beach, set up some nets, split up into teams, and play ball.  

 

Team Building Activities for People with Lower Physical Ability  

Having a limited range of motion doesn't mean that you can't be active with your colleagues. These team building activities are ideal for those who like to – or can only – move just a little bit:    
 

  • Mini Golf: Mini-golf is a great way to infuse some friendly competition into a decidedly slower-paced activity. Golf Link features a directory of miniature golf locations across the United States and Canada.  
     
  • Play It Forward: In this charitable scavenger hunt, your team completes “good deed” challenges around the community by taking photos and videos. Whoever completes the most challenges when time is up, wins! Those with limited mobility can go at their own pace in this smartphone-based activity. 
     

Team Building Activities That Work for Both High and Low Physical Abilities   

Team building activities that have a variety of low and high physical elements in them can gently encourage people to get moving or allow those with limited mobility to contribute to a part of the activity that doesn’t require a lot of movement.   

  • Minute To Win It: Split into teams and tackle fun, 60-second challenges with this exciting activity based on the popular TV show of the same name. The team who completes the most challenges will be the winners! Examples of challenges here include: 
    • Elephant March: Using stockings with tennis balls attached to their heads, teams will attempt to knock down 10 cups. 
    • Bite Me: Transport five paper bags from the floor to the table – using your teeth! 
  • Squirt Gun Fight: This team building activity also provides a shot of nostalgia. Grab some water guns from your local dollar store (or borrow your kid's), split into teams, and fire away. It caters to any level of physicality because - walk, run, sprint, or stand - your game playing strategy is totally up to you.    



Team Building Activities for Philanthropists
  
Along with giving back to the community, these charitable-themed activities also incorporate hands-on and problem-solving elements.

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-6

More and more, organizations are making corporate social responsibility (CSR) a priority. And it's not just the greater good that's benefitting from it – research from the Center for Creative Leadership found that that knowing a company's "good deeds" can even make an employee feel more committed to their job. Participating in charitable team building activities is a great way to both engage with CSR and create meaningful connections with your colleagues. For more on CSR, check out our free guide, Everything Your Business Needs to Know About CSR 

  • Random Acts of Kindness: How many good deeds can you do in a limited amount of time? This charitable activity has you and your team vying to complete as many feel-good challenges as possible within your community.  
     
  • Charity Bike BuildathonIn this philanthropic activity, your group builds and decorate bicycles for kids in need. After you've decorated your bikes, your team will present them to the other groups with an ad campaign. Then, your creations will be donated to a local children's charity of your organization's choice. 
      
  • Wheelchairs for Charity: In groups, your team will tackle challenges in order to earn supplies to build wheelchairs. After assembly, you'll test the chairs' functionality and then donate them to a charitable organization in need.
  • School Supply ScrambleEmbark on a variety of brain-teasing challenges to earn school supplies for kids that your group will fill backpacks up with. After the packs are all put together, they’ll be donated to a charitable organization. 



Team Building Activities for Creative Thinkers
 
While these activities are ideal for individuals who want to focus on creative thinking, they also include other elements that make them completely inclusive to all types of cognitive styles.

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-7

Most often, creative thinking is associated with artistic expressions like writing, painting, or music. But not all creative thinkers are artists! Many jobs require creative thinking, including within the realms of business and science. Creative thinking really means thinking outside the box. It involves lateral thinking or, in other words, the ability to perceive patterns that aren't obvious. Of course, some people are naturally more creative than others, but creative thinking can be easily developed – and team building activities focused on creative thinking are perfect for that. These activities can help natural creatives hone their skills (and sharpen others that are present within the activity) and encourage non-creatives to further develop their lateral thinking.   

 

Team Building Activities for Those Who Like to Work with Their Hands   

Calling all engineers, designers, architects... you get the idea. If your group likes to get hands-on and problem solve, these team building activities are perfect for them:  
 

  • Bridge Builders: Collaborate with your colleagues to create a sturdy, functional, and free-standing bridge. Split into teams and design your group's individual bridge segment. Then, all the teams will come together to connect their segments and test the structure's functionality.  
     
  • Eagle Glider Construction Challenge: In groups, you'll build and customize glider planes made from cardboard. After testing the glider's functionality, you'll put it to the ultimate test: seeing if it can take flight or endure a crash landing! 
     
  • Domino Effect Challenge: In this collaborative activity, your group will split into teams to design and build a gigantic “chain-reaction” machine using provided materials. Each person on the team will have their own set of responsibilities to take care of. Then, all the groups will come together to connect their respective sections and set it in motion! 
     

Team Building Activities for Artistic Groups  

If your group sees the world in color, these team building activities are for you. They're also great opportunity to get individuals who don't typically engage with art out of their comfort zones and thinking more creatively:    
 

  • Painted Flower Pots: Grab some plain terracotta pots, decorate them with paint, and plant some pretty flowers inside. Afterwards, donate them to a seniors' home or a care center. This activity is a great way to get in touch with your artistic side and give back to the community at the same time. 
     
  • Bookworm Builders: Split into teams to assemble and customize bookshelves for children. Challenge yourself to get creative with your decorations, whether it be painting animals on the side panels or using balloons to create funny faces. After you’ve built your bookshelf, you’ll present it to the rest of the group and then donate it to a local charity. 
       

Team Building Activities for the Musically-Minded   

Music is an amazing antidote for everything from workplace stress to collaboration challenges. And who doesn't love making noise together? These team building activities infuse music with a wide variety of professional development skills like communication and creative thinking:  
 

  • Hardware HarmonyCollaborate, communicate, and use creativity as your group completes music-themed challenges and puts on a musical performance using everyday household hardware and items! After, the items will be donated to a charitable organization as supplies to assist those in need of affordable housing. 
     
  • Body Percussion: This rhythmic activity will ensure that your group is working together as a team. Standing in a circle and using background music to help keep the beat, you'll use your body as percussion instruments to create a rhythmic pattern. Take turns leading the group in new and unique patterns. 



Team Building Activities for Critical Thinkers
  
Analytical minds will enjoy the intellectual element of these activities, which also resonates well with all types of thinking styles.  

online-guide-how-team-building-can-work-for-every-type-of-personality-ability-and-group-dynamic-8

Critical thinkers are engaged by intellectual challenges and often thrive when it comes to problem solving. Critical thinking is an essential part of any business -- and any role within it, for that matter -- because it goes hand-in-hand with problem solving, allowing one to be aware of the different approaches to a problem and evaluating these approaches systematically. Critical thinking can especially benefit a workplace that includes workers from different backgrounds and strengths -- it provides an opportunity for people to work collectively to find solutions and promotes teamwork.  

Whether your group is analytical or could simply benefit from developing those skills further, these particular team building activities will stimulate the left part of your brain:  

  • Corporate Escape Rooms: Our Escape Rooms are specifically designed for corporate groups. In these activities, your team will be challenged to decipher clues in order to solve a series of puzzles that require collaboration, communication, and creative problem-solving. We offer two options:  
    • Jewel Heist: Which team will be the one to recover the stolen jewels? To crack the case, your group will need to find clues and then solve a series of brain teasers.   
       
    • The Mummy's Curse: Using mysterious items provided, your team will be challenged to strategize and problem solve as you figure out a series of puzzles that uncover the secrets of Ancient Egypt. 
  • Clue Murder Mystery: Just like in the classic board game, your group will search through clues and try to figure out who committed a deadly crime. The group answers the most questions correctly and can point out the murderer wins! 
     
  • A Shrinking Vessel: Problem solving is largely connected to adaptability -- which is a key component in this activity. Take a long rope and create a shape on the floor that everyone in your group can fit into (split out into smaller groups if you're working with a lot of people). Then, over a period of 15 minutes, slowly adjust the rope shape to make the space smaller. The challenge is to work together to try to figure out how to keep everyone within the boundaries! 
     
  • Code Break: In this brainteasing smartphone activity, teams compete to see who can complete the most puzzles, riddles, and trivia before time runs out. It’s a great way to exercise your creative thinking and problem solve as a group! 



Learn More About How to Find the Right Team Building Event for Your Corporate Group  

For more information on how team building can work for your group, just get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Employee Engagement Consultants. They’ll be happy to provide further insight and recommendations on the perfect fit for you and your colleagues. Plus, all our activities are applicable to any group size, in any location across North America.  

Get in Touch