Team Building Tactics That Actually Work (and What to Avoid)

Small businesses face unique challenges compared to larger companies. Unlike their larger counterparts, small businesses often rely on team-based models, necessitating strong collaboration for success. With fewer employees, there may be a limited pool of innovative ideas generated. Individuals within small businesses may have to take on multiple roles to accomplish tasks. As a result, the participation of every team member becomes crucial in achieving shared goals.

So, how can small businesses overcome these obstacles? By incorporating team building initiatives specifically tailored for small businesses, collaboration can be strengthened, creative thinking can be expanded, and team members can acquire a diverse range of skills. Such efforts will foster a sense of ownership and dedication among employees, contributing to the growth and success of the company.

Effects of Team Building


Team building exercises are engaging activities, enjoyable games, and social events that unite a group of employees into a cohesive team. These exercises enhance communication, foster collaboration, cultivate strong relationships, ignite creativity, and bolster problem-solving abilities.

Team building supports innovation objectives by:

Building Relationships

Building a formidable team can be challenging when members lack knowledge or trust in one another. Effective collaboration requires a comfortable environment where team members can freely share thoughts and ideas. Without trust, misunderstandings arise and hinder progress towards shared goals. To foster trust, team building activities play a crucial role. These activities provide opportunities for employees to develop bonds and friendships, leading to increased happiness and productivity. Relationship-building initiatives and social gatherings can work wonders for your small business.

Enhancing Communication

Effective communication is vital for teams as it prevents misunderstandings and minimizes the risk of conflicts or subpar work output. Clear and concise communication is especially crucial during team building activities, as it encourages all individuals to actively contribute and share their perspectives. By fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas, teams can benefit from a diverse range of insights, leading to greater innovation.

Improving Collaboration

A team that fails to collaborate is merely a collection of individuals working independently towards a common objective. This dynamic hampers the team’s ability to achieve their best outcomes. Participants who collaborate on a task are more likely to persevere compared to those working alone. They also have higher levels of engagement and a greater success rate. Engaging in team building activities enhances collaboration within the team, enabling them to maximize productivity and foster a sense of collective pride.


Engaging in team building activities that expose your group to unfamiliar challenges compels team members to explore unconventional solutions. These exercises help employees unlock the potential of creative problem-solving, enabling them to overcome current or future work-related obstacles.

Identifying Leaders

At some point in their journey, small business owners experience the debilitating effects of burnout. When entrepreneurs take on too much and delegate too little, it takes a toll on their physical and mental well-being. To alleviate this pressure, nurturing leadership skills within your company can be a game-changer. Having dependable employees who can take the reins occasionally can significantly reduce the stress faced by small business owners.

Team Building: What To Do


Creating an effective team culture for small businesses requires expertise. By grasping the dos and don’ts of team building activities, you can sidestep potential pitfalls and dive straight into the rewarding aspects.

Have A Clear Objective

To effectively plan an activity, it is important to determine your desired outcomes first. If your team is facing challenges in collaborating constructively, consider selecting an activity that fosters collaboration as a key component. For team members who are hesitant to share their ideas, seek out a game that encourages input from everyone. And if there is a lack of laughter in the office, opt for an activity that guarantees a fun and enjoyable time for all.

Choose Inclusive Activities

To ensure inclusivity, it’s crucial to offer a diverse range of activities that can accommodate everyone’s comfort level. Consider the demographics of your group before selecting an activity. Are there any physical limitations to consider? Activities like a challenging hike or a ropes course may not be suitable. Likewise, alcohol-centric activities such as wine tastings or happy hours may inadvertently exclude some team members. Additionally, be mindful of scheduling conflicts and make an effort to find a time that works for everyone when planning your team-building activity. By prioritizing inclusivity and thoughtful consideration, you can create an engaging and accessible experience for all.

Leave Job Titles at The Door

Even small businesses have some form of work hierarchy. When planning team building activities that involve all employees (which they should whenever possible), it’s important to communicate to the group that company status should not play a role during the activity. This approach will encourage open dialogue and foster team bonding across all levels.

Ask For Feedback

Collecting feedback after a team building activity is crucial for assessing its effectiveness. If the game is dull and ineffective, it can discourage employees from engaging in future team building efforts. Losing their enthusiasm early on may make it challenging to persuade them to participate again. To gather feedback, you can encourage the team to share their thoughts via email, take notes, or if anonymity is preferred, create a survey using Google Forms.

Team Building: What To Avoid


Scheduling Team Building Activities Outside of Work Hours

Organizing mandatory team building activities outside of work hours can send a message to your employees that their time is not valued. It may reflect a lack of respect or disinterest in what is important to them in their personal lives. If scheduling the activity for evenings or weekends is unavoidable, consider making attendance optional to accommodate individual preferences.

Allowing People to Fall into Their Usual Roles

It is common for individuals to unknowingly settle into their designated roles within the workplace. However, team building activities have the power to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones. In the context of small businesses, having employees who possess the ability to adapt and excel in a variety of tasks is crucial for success.

Picking A Boring Activity

Engaging in passive activities such as watching webinars or inviting guest speakers on non-relevant topics can leave participants feeling exhausted. They may perceive their time as wasted and experience stress over lost work opportunities. To truly enhance teamwork in small businesses, it is crucial to introduce team building games that not only boost skills but also encourage movement and active participation.

Forgetting To Have Fun

While the primary purpose of team building activities is to enhance workplace cohesion, it is worth noting that they can also be immensely enjoyable! Engaging in well-planned team building activities can evoke laughter and a sense of rejuvenation among team members. Additionally, taking the time to bond with colleagues outside of the office fosters meaningful connections, strengthens relationships, and creates cherished shared memories that team members can fondly reminisce about in the future.


Building a strong and cohesive team is crucial for any organization’s success. By implementing the right tactics, such as effective communication, trust-building exercises, and promoting diversity and inclusion, you can create a robust team that works together towards a common goal. As you strive to build and maintain a strong team, always keep in mind the importance of constantly evaluating and adapting your strategies to fit the unique needs of your team members. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work, so never underestimate the power of a united and motivated group. Together, you can make a true difference in your organization’s culture and ultimately reach new heights.