Motivation is just as important as skills when it comes to making a success out of your company. Not only does each employee need to be motivated, company members must learn to work cohesively as a team. A number of motivational exercises have been developed to help build team spirit, and some of them cannot be performed in the office. Although some companies charge to provide such activities, you can perform them on your own for little or no cost.
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All Tied Up
This exercise should take no more than 30 minutes, and can be used as an icebreaker. It builds teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills. The participants first form a circle facing each other. They then move forward and tighten the circle until they can easily grasp each others' hands. The participants entwine each others' arms around each other and grasp each others' hands until the group resembles a tangled thread. The challenge is to untangle the group without letting go of anyone's hands, a task that can require considerable flexibility and planning.
This exercise is particularly appropriate for developing creativity and company spirit. It can also be used to help widely separated team members get to know each other better. The team creates its own story, which is part fact and part fiction. The story involves their collective journey within the company including obstacles, setbacks and future events. The participants are encouraged to interweave mythic elements into the story to create a humorous, magical and epic tale.
Search & Rescue
This exercise builds teamwork by having team members respond to a simulated emergency. The group is divided into four teams -- command and control, navigation, first aid and transport. Each team is briefed on how to performed its functions. A message is announced over an intercom stating there have been two accidents, and that victims need to be located, treated and transported to local hospitals. The "victims" have been pre-placed in hard-to-find locations, and the "hospitals" are pre-determined sites.
This exercise builds teamwork and creativity. The group is broken into competing teams of five to 10 participants each. Each team is given a box containing commonly used items and are instructed to design, build and test an invention. They are provided with specifications and judging criteria and given two or three hours to complete the task. A judge determines which team built the most useful invention, and every team receives a score for their inventions.