No two people are alike. You put two together and there is bound to be a difference of opinion, leading to problems and conflicts. Now, think of organizations where multiple people coming from diverse backgrounds work together. More the people, more the number of problems. Each of the employees will have his own way of looking at a business issue or doing particular work. This makes it very important that employees, whether managers or sub-ordinates, develop problem solving skills.
Team building activities, such as games, are an effective means of developing cooperation, communication, understanding, and motivation among employees. By participating in such activities, employees learn how to be patient, understanding, and solve problems as a group. That's why most organizations today are very keen on conducting these activities on a regular basis with their employees. Given below are some of the most effective, and at the same time, fun group activities.
Majority of the offices today have structured work processes, what with every one being trained in what one has to do and how. This leaves very little room for creativity. Large group activities, such as this one, are especially designed to keep the creative juices of your employees flowing. Simply ask each of your employees to get one prop from home; it can be anything like a ball, a piece of clothing, a plastic tumbler, or a book. Make the employees stand in a circle and keep the props in the middle. Ask the employees to come one by one and pick any three props and explain their various uses to the others in the group. The rule of the game is that the uses cannot be repeated. This fun game ensures that the quietest members of the group too come forward and give their opinions. When this activity is going on, the leader of the group should write down the most interesting and productive uses and discuss them with the entire group, once the activity is over.
Division of Work
This activity can be played in a group of five to six people. To conduct this activity, the group leader selects a picture, it can be anything, a landscape or a cartoon character or a picture of a restaurant. The leader keeps this picture hidden from his subordinates. He cuts the picture into five equal parts and gives out one part to each of the group members. Whatever part of the picture the subordinates have, they have to draw its exact copy on a piece of paper, albeit three times bigger in size. The subordinates set out to draw their picture part, without fully knowing the 'bigger picture'. Once they are done, the leader collects all the pictures and puts them together to make one 'big whole'. He explains to his subordinates how he divided the work among them to meet the main goal of creating the 'bigger picture'. He tells them how important each individual's work is, so that the main target of the group can be achieved. The game clearly brings out the importance of division of work in the group.
This activity for kids is designed to improve co-operation and communication among them, besides upping their problem solving skills. Ask the kids to stand in a circle. In the middle of the circle, mark a round area with a chalk. Now, as soon as you whistle, the kids have to run and stand in the marked area. Once they do that, they again come back to form the circle. Next, you decrease the marked area by drawing another circle in the middle, the kids now have to adjust themselves in this area. Likewise, you keep on decreasing the marked area. The kids may have to hold each other tight or stand on each others toes to fit in. This activity is a lot of fun for the kids, at the same time increases their bonding with each other in the group.
One of the best ways to foster problem-solving skills in people is to let them come up with their own problems, and then arrive at solutions for the same. To conduct this activity, divide the members of the group into teams of five or six. Next, ask them to choose any work-related problem which they are facing and then solve it. Give each group fifteen minutes to discuss this activity among themselves. After the allotted time, the group members have to give a presentation stating the 'problem' they solved, how they went about solving it, and the best possible solution for it. This activity fosters leadership skills as well. For the organization, this activity can suggest some practical solutions to problems faced by employees.
Activities such as the ones mentioned above, emphasize on teamwork by developing understanding among the employees. They keep the employees motivated, improving upon their productivity. And high productivity among employees always translates into more profits for any given organization.