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We DO NOT advise Swapping Spit as a Team Building Exercise.

Posted on: February 8th, 2013 | Category: Employee Relations, HR Training Programs, Human Resources, Our Blog, Talent Management

Bad employee team building ideas can be downright shocking.Oh. Wow.

If you ever wondered what NOT to do while trying to build a strong work team, wonder no more. Read this instead. It’s a list of some of the most uncomfortable and bizarre team building exercises we’ve heard about, posted last year by The Fast Track. The particularly cringe-worthy ones included:

“We had to take a big gulp of soda, and spit the soda into a partner’s mouth! It was incredibly disgusting. I have no idea who thought that was a good idea, and who approved it. Some of the guys got into it, but most everyone declined.”

And then there was also this:

“During a previous job, I worked in a team that was having trouble getting along, so they brought in someone to help us work together as a team. First activity? We had to go around the room and tell each other what we didn’t like about each other. We might have also had to add what we did like about each other but I honestly only remember the criticisms and the people bursting into tears. We went from simply not being able to work together to actively disliking each other in about 30 minutes. Then we ate a boxed lunch and ended the day by filling out personality tests.”

But wait! There’s more! As much as we like dolphins, this one had us shaking our heads too:

“I once had to sit through two hours of a team-building exercise that first involved us all sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding hands with our eyes closed, while the leader described us flying over the ocean into the “temple of the dolphin.” She got very vivid in her description of this imaginary place. It was incredibly difficult not to laugh. After we opened our eyes, we had to watch videos of dolphins and point out the leadership skills they were demonstrating. I am not joking. We did that for well over an hour.”

These exercises were certainly not in the keeping-it-real realm of team building, and they probably amounted to little more than a number of disgruntled employees and a few good laughs at how ridiculous the activity seemed, after the fact.

What’s so important about team building exercises anyway?

Well, when done right, team building exercises help enhance employee performance and morale, which ultimately leads to business results. And it all starts at the top. In a recent study published in the journal Human Relations, it was reported that effective teamwork among an organization’s top management makes for a workforce that is happier and more productive. Since retaining and motivating talented employees is of key interest to most organizations, the research findings are eye-opening when understood on an executive level.

myHR Partner can help you share modern and effective ways for executives to use team building to their advantage, their teams’ advantage and ultimately the company’s advantage. And we promise that nobody will be asked to spit soda or to visualize dolphin temples at all.

Interested in learning more? Click here.

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