The term ‘team building’ has something of a bad rap these days, hence often inspiring eye rolls and visions of trust falls and group hugs. Rather, a high-quality team building activity developed by experts in communication and cultural strategy, can produce real results.
You may be looking for team building ideas, however it can be tricky to know where to start. A Google search for ‘team building activities’ produces a seemingly endless list of results, nonetheless these activities are often listed on blogs and websites without a mention of who developed them or why they work.
Enter our list of the 10 best team building blogs of 2018. In short, we’ve cut through the noise by compiling some of our favorite, quality blogs on team building and team engagement. There are websites full of specific team building activity ideas from industry experts, as well as blogs that delve into the philosophy behind team building. Many also examine why certain exercises can be effective in improving employee engagement and managing cultural change.
In summation, in no particular order, are our 10 favorite team building blogs of 2018.
Great for gaining high-level team building advice from elite military professionals
Jim Murphy, a former Air Force F-16 instructor pilot, launched the management consultancy Afterburner. It was his way of applying the cultural discipline and alignment of the U.S. military to the corporate world. Many of Afterburner’s employees have both combat and business experience, therefore share their unique expertise in the firm’s blog.
The Afterburner blog includes articles, webinars and podcasts on team building and team training. Thus, it’s a great resource for mid to senior level leaders who are managing change and looking to improve organizational alignment.
Great for getting an overview of common team building topics and questions
This blog is powered by the Source Consulting Group, a team building consultancy whose past clients include Dell, Chevron and REI. In the company blog, founder Solomon Masala shares insights on high-level team building and fostering employee engagement.
You can also download a free team building activities e-book with exercises geared toward improving team trust and collaboration.
Check this out: How to Do Team Building (Without Wasting Money)
Great for searching for free team building activities based on length, group size, and topic
WorkshopBank provides team building and workshop facilitation tools to major companies around the world. They also offer an excellent roundup of free team building exercises on their website. You can filter by strategic objective, group size, and duration, making it easy to find an activity tailored to your company’s needs.
Check this out: How Well Do We Know Each Other?
Great for gleaning expert insights on team building and coaching, with an emphasis on adventure-based learning
This blog from the Corporate Learning Institute (CLI) focuses on team building strategy, adventure-based learning, and other leadership development topics. Co-founders Tim Buividas and Susan Cain and other members of the CLI team share wisdom gleaned from nearly 30 years of running the CLI. Their website also offers white papers on team building, coaching, and related subjects.
Check this out: Bring Your Team Together with an Offsite Outing
Great for getting practical team building tips from experts and industry leaders
This no-nonsense blog offers a wealth of articles on various leadership topics, including an extensive section on team building. Executives, HR professionals and other experts offer advice on strengthening employee bonds, tackling team dysfunction, and designing team building activities that employees won’t hate. For instance, there’s also a free, downloadable handbook of team building activity ideas for managers.
Check this out: How I Use Disagreements to Build Stronger Teams
Great for finding team building activity ideas developed by mental health experts
Some of the most effective team building activities are grounded in an understanding of psychology and group dynamics. The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in Winnipeg, Canada, compiled an extensive list of team building activity ideas, all developed by mental health experts.
The activities are organized into categories based on their purpose. Areas of focus include improving team dynamics, fostering resilience and problem solving, developing emotional intelligence, and improving communication. It’s an excellent resource for leaders looking for team building ideas informed by psychological expertise.
Check this out: Team Building Exercise: Matching Intent and Behavior
Great for comparing different types of team building activities and understanding why they work
This blog from the team building company Strayboots is full of practical workplace activity ideas that actually produce results. Above all, many of the articles explore the philosophy behind team building, examining how group learning activities can improve employee performance and generate revenue.
Check this out: Types of Team Building Activities that Really Work
Great for reading about how certain activities worked in reality for individual teams
Outback Team Building and Training is a consultancy specializing in team building and employee engagement. They have a blog full of practical tips for organizing team activities, including advice for planning an event that isn’t “corny.”
Additionally, they also offer case studies revealing how major companies used team building activities to build cultural alignment, navigate change, and improve communication among remote workers.
Check this out: How to Plan a Successful Team Building Event in 9 Easy Steps
Great for getting advice from an industry-leading team building consultancy
Team Builders Plus tout themselves as one of the first team building companies in the U.S. For example, their blog overflows with expert advice on how team building can motivate employees, increase innovation, and improve a toxic workplace.
Check this out: Team Building? 12 Questions to Help You Make the Right Decision
Great when you’re looking for fun, free team building activity ideas
The motto of the TeamBonding team building consultancy is “where work meets play.” Their website is full of fun and original team building ideas. For example, from team challenges like “Dining in the Dark” to icebreakers like “Teams Against Humanity”. Their tone may be playful, however they have serious team building expertise to back it up. Thus, their clients include Google, Apple, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Above all, they also offer articles on how team building can enhance communication, engagement, and conflict resolution.
Check this out: Yes And … Game
Consider Experience to Lead’s experiential programs which focus on a range of leadership lessons, including team building. For instance, The Gold Medal Experience offers insights into team building and performance from Olympic athletes and coaches. While, the Apollo Experience instills powerful lessons on leadership, team building, and innovation by immersing you in the stories of the men and women of NASA. On the other hand, our Gettysburg Experience cultivates team alignment and communication by engaging you in key moments from the heat of battle. And lastly, the Brace for Impact Experience prepares your team to deal with an unexpected crisis by delving into the story of the famous ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ airplane landing.
In addition, learn more about our experiential learning programs, and check out our Leadership Examiner blog for more valuable insights into team building and other leadership lessons from leaders of the past and present.