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5 Simple Team Building Activities

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“All work and no play…” is a common saying that alludes to the danger of working all the time without taking a break to relax and have some fun. To avoid the fatigue and inefficiency that comes with incessant working, modern companies have started adopting a schedule that allows their workers to take a rest and play some games to unwind. However, in addition to being fun, there are some office games that have the added advantage of fostering an inter-office relationship between workers.

A Museum Hack group on a scavenger hunt.

A Museum Hack group on a team building scavenger hunt.

Here are some very effective yet simple team building games and activities:
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Interesting Indoor Team Building Activities

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Outdoor team building activities hold some advantages over indoor ones: a new environment, the feeling of freedom that comes with being out in the open, and a more extensive list of possible activities. However, there are times when it’s not feasible to organize outdoor events—when there is limited time or the weather is not conducive enough. In cases like these, there is no alternative but to organize an indoor event. Luckily, there are a number of indoor team building activities that bring as much fun (and are as effective) as outdoor games.

Team Building with Pinot's Palette in NYC

There are dozens of interesting indoor team building activities if you know where to look.

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ScavBoss vs. Watson Adventures

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Most times, the pursuit of a common goal is enough to get a team working together. However, there is a vast difference between a good team and a great team; between a good work environment and a work environment that engenders continuous advancement. How happy the workers are and how well they relate with each other is often the biggest differential. According to this infographic, companies with happy employees outperform their competition by 20%. A good way to bring fun into your workplace is through corporate team building exercises. These give workers the opportunity to relate with one another in an informal environment, allowing them to bond and maybe even become friends.

If you are looking to take your workers out on a team building/bonding trip, ScavBoss and Watson Adventures are 2 of the best in the business. In the spirit of good fun, here is how they compare against one another:

What they Offer

ScavBoss offers private/public scavenger hunts and fun activities that foster a connection between team members; mini challenges that get everyone working together, and an option to customize the entire experience to promote the values of the participants’ company. ScavBoss’ hunts are often described as “fast-paced and competitive”, and in addition to an exhilarating experience, prizes are given out at the end.

Watson Adventures also offers private/public scavenger hunts and group hunts. The company was founded by a veteran writer (and editor) and he started by giving tours laced with light-hearted commentary. Over the years, the tours became scavenger hunts.

Extras

ScavBoss’ scavenger hunts take place in different settings—parks, resorts, museums, monuments, and more recently, cities. By creating powerful storylines around these places, ScavBoss’ goal is to help participants unearth interesting secrets that would otherwise be overlooked. Team members go through this experience collectively; they complete tasks together, bond over puzzles, and learn new and interesting things.

Watson Adventures’ hunts are characterized by fast-paced games and witty questions that make for a fascinating experience. The whole arrangement was designed to bring the best out of all participants and their website describes it as “walking tours spiked with caffeine”.

Location, location, location

Watson Adventures organize scavenger hunts in 7 cities in the United States, and they promise to deliver a unique experience to all comers.

ScavBoss, on the other hand, focus their attention on New York City and the culture-filled locales that can be found in the Big Apple. Be it at the Grand Central or in the heart of the financial district, ScavBoss creates fun activities and exercises that “build strong teams and improve employee job satisfactions”.

Rave Reviews

Both companies have worked with some of the top brands in the world. ScavBoss, especially, has provided corporate team building services to companies you’re likely to see among “the best places to work on earth”. The likes of Google, Facebook, LEGO, Foursquare, KPMG and so on.

If you are looking to improve the relationship between your workers and foster a healthy work environment in New York, ScavBoss is, without doubt, your best bet.

5 Icebreaker Questions For Better Team Building

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When you have a room full of people with different interests and backgrounds, it can be hard to break the awkward silence that wafts through a room. Icebreakers are relaxed questions that help ease your employees into talking about themselves and learning about each other. Properly executed icebreakers are ideal for cutting anxiety in team building situations.  Sometimes people feel more comfortable answering questions that require a specific answer, rather than offering up a general personal fact.

However, not all icebreakers are created equal!

We’ve saved you from an icebreaker disaster by compiling a list of five fun and creative icebreaker questions.  You can use these to get your team warmed up before a team building activity or meeting. At their core, these icebreakers are light and fun but the answers you hear will be insightful. You’ll find your team bonding over shared qualities and laughing about things in no time.

Here are the five questions…

#1 If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?

  • The question, while sounding slightly superficial, will actually give your team insight into what people enjoy outside of work. That could be a type of food, music, or product!

#2 What was your least favorite food as a child or now?

  • An easy childhood question that doesn’t pry. The goal is to avoid having your team members feel uncomfortable sharing something. A simple question like this can give your employees a little background on each other.  

#3 If you had to be on a reality TV show, which one would you choose and why?

  • Pop culture questions are always funny and get people giggling, laughing and connecting. You’ll learn a lot about a person from the type of TV they like or dislike.

#4 If you were a wrestler what would be your entrance theme song?

  • Having your employees envision their wrestling personality is hilarious for learning about personal taste. What kind of music they choose could reflect the type of music they enjoy outside of work.

#5 If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

  • A fun way to ask what qualities people value in themselves. Your employees will have fun thinking up answers but also get insight into what their co-workers feel they are good at.

The great thing about icebreakers is that they involve little to no planning. Keep this list of icebreakers on hand and use them at team meetings or at the start of a particularly busy work day. You don’t have to make it a big event. Just remember that the more relaxed and comfortable your team, the better the exercise will work!  

6 Tips For Building Stronger Teams

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Building strong, cohesive, and powerful teams can be a daunting task. From team building activities to creating a positive company culture, the ways to boost performance and help teams succeed are endless – which is why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips for creating – and sustaining – strong teams.

Check out these six simple tricks to help you create an amazing team!

Focusing on building a strong team now will pay dividends later.

#1 Show your teams that you value them.

  • Teams often perform better if they know they are valued and feel the work that they do matters. Be creative and show your teams how important they are to overall company success.

#2 Encourage team members to congratulate each other.

  • This type of camaraderie and pride is great for making your teams stronger. If your team is remote try creating a space for positive feedback and small wins where employees can share something AWESOME a co-worker did or accomplished.

#3 Don’t leave any team members behind.

  • Sometimes it can be difficult to get teams together outside of work hours. When planning team building events think about doing them during work-day-hours or cater to your employees’ personal lives by providing services like childcare or a car service during the activity. This gives everyone the opportunity to get involved.

#4 Create a safe and open environment so everyone feels comfortable sharing.

  • Teams are normally made up of an array of personality types: introverts, extroverts, ambiverts (that’s someone who has both introvert and extrovert qualities) – so don’t forget to plan activities and organize meetings in a way that embraces all personalities. Everyone should feel comfortable participating or get a chance to speak.

#5 Practice, teach and get better at problem-solving.

  • Encourage your teams to try creative problem solving and solve problems on their own first. This can help make them become more confident in their roles.

#6 Encourage collaboration!

  • If you create an environment that promotes collaboration, your teams will share ideas, create new ones, and help each other do their best and make decisions.

Clue Chase

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What They Do: Clue Chase is New York’s largest escape room venue. They specialize in corporate team building events and offer themed escape room games like The Lost Spy, Egyptian Tomb, Ultimate Heist, and Alien Encounter.

Part of the Egyptian Tomb Escape Room at Clue Chase.

How They Do it: Clue Chase will work closely with you to accommodate your corporate team of up to 100 for a 60-minute experience. Your team will need to work together to solve mysteries, find hidden relics, and infiltrate secret vaults.

What Makes Them Special: At over 4000 square feet, Clue Chase is the largest escape room space in New York City. Each escape game includes a story-driven mission that brings it to life. The entire experience is very polished and all of the rooms have been built by by professional movie, TV, and Broadway set designers.

Quote From The Website: 

Corporate Events at Clue Chase

Our escape games immerse your team in cinematic stories that invigorate their group dynamics and promote long-lasting bonds. Together your team will sharpen their skills in an unforgettable 60-minute experience, including:

  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork under pressure
  • Adapting to evolving challenges

The perfect activity for groups up to 100! Ideal for:

  • One-of-a-kind team bonding
  • Celebrating team goals, employee birthdays, retirements, and more!
  • Holidays and other special occasions
  • Welcoming new hires
  • Entertaining out-of-town clients and co-workers

Photos:

Visit their Website: https://cluechase.com/corporate-events/

Contact:
+1 646-829-1690
Email: info@cluechase.com
Concourse Level, 1114 6th Ave, New York, NY 10110

 

5 Restaurants in NYC You To Host Your Next Team Meeting

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New York City is a true haven for small to medium business (and businesses of all sizes, for that matter), and the advantage of living in a  city with so many places where to network is that you will be able to find a massive amount of places where to network and host business meetings of all kinds. Whether you want to host your business meeting in a hip Brooklyn restaurant or want to remain right in the hassle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan, there are many opportunities to turn your next team meeting into a truly unforgettable experience.

Roberta’s: Roberta’s is currently one of the most trendy pizza restaurants in NYC, and the vibes are really fun: this isn’t your average NYC slice, but a rather gourmet, Neapolitan-inspired pizza that will blow your mind. The locale is huge and you can book large areas for even the largest meetings.

Courtyard by Marriott: a very upscale place that does not only offers great food and a cozy space, but also amazing facilities such as great free WIFI and a full-scale business center for all of your meeting needs, right in the middle of Manhattan!

Tutus: this cozy bar also serves amazing food, inspired by classic American fare with a southern touch. The restaurant is located in one of Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood, Bushwick, and it is just a 5 minutes walk away from a mainstream subway line, making it a perfect spot for a meeting. There is a nice large room in the back, which can also be booked for meetings and other special events.

Cipriani: Probably one of the most expensive and well-known restaurants in NYC, this is a great place for anybody looking to impress on a business meeting.

Shake Shack, Madison Square Park: A meeting in a fast food restaurant? Ok, this might sound rather unorthodox, but meeting in the middle of stunning Madison Square Park on a sunny day is absolutely priceless. During the weekdays, you could grab a meal and sit outside with your team, enjoy the energy of a good day for some amazing experiences and for a unique NYC memory.

 

Check Out These Awesome Books About Human Resources

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Human Resources encompasses a set of truly vital processes for your business, but the odd thing is that HR is often overlooked, particularly by smaller businesses. You might think that if you have a great idea and a great product, you are set and ready to carve your space in your market niche, but driving a business and making any product or service successful is a herculean task, let alone if you embark on this journey without a great team behind your back! HR is not only about finding the right people to work with and bring an influx of talent into your own company, but also about turning these talented minds into an amazing team and form common goals. The name “Human Resources” is pretty revelatory in itself. This list of 5 engaging, clever and thought-provoking books will finally help you seize your most precious business resources: the humans that are a part of your business!

  1. Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi
    • This particular book is very informal, but don’t let the friendly and discursive tone fool you: “Never Eat Alone” is a goldmine of sound business advice, which explores several areas of HR management, starting from the important concept that your business is made of people, and people have needs, feelings, priorities and goals. Any successful business should address the above things and make them work in the favor of the business.
  2. Managing Human Resources, Scott A. Snell and George W. Bohlander  
    • This particular publication offers a very hands-on take on managing human resources, as its title simply advertises. This book will take you from the Alfa to the Omega of HR, and you might find yourself discovering aspects of human resources that you never even considered before reading this book
  3. HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP, Leon M. Hielkema
    • This particular publication is almost like an extended tutorial: it is easy to understand, hands-on and very in-depth on many issues, but in a way that you do not need to be particularly business savvy to be able to understand.
  4.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, 50Minutes.Com
    • This book is particularly interesting, because it takes an in-depth look not only at HR, but at the psychology behind it, revealing how needs and the rewards of achieving these needs will influence the power of your business and the productivity of your team
  5. First, Break All the Rules, Gallup Press
    • Thought-provoking, innovative and even fun to read, this book will teach about great HR practices and strategies by portraying some amazing example of successful people who truly set out to leave a mark in their particular industry. What do they all have in common? Innovative HR management.

 

Team Building With Your Remote Team: 4 Tips

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When you think about team building, remote work likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But, it’s just as important as any one location for building a strong and successful team. No matter where your business is, or how your team might come together, creating a better bond will have the same positive effects on your company. So, how can you build a better remote team to work together?

  1. Schedule Regular Calls

The great thing about working as a team remotely is that technology is so advanced. Scheduling a daily call to check in with each other is easier than ever: You can do it over the phone, through Skype, FaceTime, etc. Try to have these calls reflect both work, and a bit of your personal lives. It’s important to get to know your remote co-workers beyond the work you’re doing.

  1. Use Icebreakers

Icebreakers don’t have to be the old cliche one-liners used on dates and in awkward situations. Make a list of quality icebreakers, and start off every remote meeting with one, making sure everyone gets their answer in. You may be surprised at what people have to say, and you’re learning more about your team every single time.

  1. ‘Hangout’

Similarly to hosting daily calls, try hosting a Google Hangout one day a week where work is on the back-burner for a bit. Friday is a great day to do this, since everyone can be in ‘weekend mode’ already. By hosting a Hangout on a Friday afternoon, where you all can talk about your interests, plans for the weekend, etc., it’ll feel more like water-cooler talk, and can help to further build relationships and trust. You’ll likely find you look forward to these Hangouts week after week.

  1. Meet-Up

Meeting up once or twice a year can be extremely beneficial – even more beneficial if it’s just the remote team that meets up, and not the entire company. Whether it’s for work or specifically designed as a team-building ‘retreat,’ being face-to-face with your team is exceptionally important when possible, and can help to boost the trust you have for one another, even if you only see each other once a year.

As you can see, team building with a remote team is all about communication. The more a remote team can stay in touch with each other, the better. Thanks to technology, that’s easier than ever!

Icebreaker Questions for Better Team Building

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There are hundreds of perfect icebreaker questions out there, and it’s for a good reason! You’ll love these questions that encourage team building. When you get a group of people together, no matter how talented they may be individually, it can be awkward at first to bring everyone to the same page.


Friendships and working relationships will form over time, but if you want to build the strongest team possible, sometimes it takes a little encouragement. That’s exactly why these icebreaker questions work. Use them to get your team comfortable with each other, and well-bonded. The closer they feel, the better they will work together. As a result, you’re likely to see more success throughout your business, as you create an environment that will ensure everyone loves coming to work each day.

1. What sport would you compete in if you were in the Olympics?

2. If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be, and why?

3. You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life – what is it?

4. What fictional world or place would you most like to visit?

5. If you could live in any country, where would you live?

Again, these are just a few questions to get you started. As stated above, there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating questions that will get your team thinking, connecting, and growing together. Use these five icebreakers as a way to jumpstart that bonding experience, and encourage working relationships throughout your business. The more comfortable your team is, the better they’ll be able to work together, and that can start with something a simple as a great icebreaker.