As someone smart once said, teams are not made but grown. Every optimizer-in-chief eventually learns you can’t force that kind of growth. What you can do is create the ideal conditions for teamwork, and that starts with a little thing called fun.
Come on, you remember fun! It’s the bike rides, the game nights, the crayon-eating competitions! (Okay, maybe not that last one.)
Believe it or not, you can also have fun at work. When you do, you set the stage for better communication, trust, and collaborative problem-solving for the whole team—one Crayola at a time (we kid, we kid!)
How do you accomplish this wizardry? Why, with corporate team-building workshops, of course!
Watch out, though: Any old activity package off the internet won’t deliver results. The trick is to find a team-building workshop that appeals to your team—and addresses your specific goal.
Maybe that’s showing your team how creative they already are. Maybe it’s boosting engagement as a whole. Shoot, maybe you’ve simply had a tough quarter and need to rediscover the joy of doing fun stuff together.
These team-building workshops can help. You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. We asked colleagues and business owners who’ve tried team-building workshops for their suggestions, too. There should be something here for everyone.
10 Corporate Team Building Workshops That Employees Actually Enjoy
On this blog, we talk a lot about team-building activities. Those are great, but they aren’t exactly the same thing as a team-building workshop. A workshop is longer, for one thing. It usually involves multiple activities. If it’s any good, a workshop is run by a trained facilitator.
Ultimately, an activity might just be an icebreaker, but a team development workshop is designed to teach you something—like how to communicate more effectively or unlock the creative superpowers of the group.
If that sounds good, consider working one of these team building workshops into your schedule this year:
1. Level Up by Firefly Team Events
Most team building companies pair you with a single facilitator. At Firefly Team Events, we have a whole staff of experts. Our team handles every single detail of your team building workshop, from planning to facilitation to clean-up. We also offer lots of tried-and-true team-building options, and Level Up is one of our favorites.
We like to think of the Level Up workshop as the Swiss Army Knife of team building. Whatever teamwork skill you need to, uh, level up, Level Up has a tool to make it work.
So in this metaphor, what are the blades and corkscrews and weird little plastic toothpicks? They’re activities. They’re engaging games and challenges that get people to talk, plan, and collaborate for success (or hilarious failure)!
That could be a wacky race like KeyPunch, in which you slap numbers in ascending order along a circular track. It could racing the clock or trying to lower a hula hoop to the ground (waaaay harder than it sounds). It’s hard to say, because the workshop will be personalized for your unique goals.
Regardless of the activities, however, at a Level Up workshop, fun is just the beginning of what the social scientists like to call an experiential learning cycle.
The experiential learning cycle of a Level Up workshop goes like this:
- Your team works on a challenge.
- Your workshop facilitator asks questions that draw out the meaning of whatever you just did.
- Your team uses these insights to decide how to approach the next challenge.
In other words, you start with an experience, reflect on that experience, and adjust your approach—and you do it all as a team. Then you repeat the cycle throughout the workshop, solidifying teamwork skills. That’s how Level Up workshops create lasting improvements.
- Location: Excellent locations include public parks, large lawns, sizable conference halls, or multiple meeting rooms
- Time Commitment: 2.5 to 4 hours
2. Team Building Workshops by Make Believe Works
Make Believe Works offers team building workshops that bundle a series of activities into an afternoon (or full day, or multi-day extravaganza) of workplace bonding.
Need to break down some interpersonal barriers? Try the Dance of Inspiration, in which you express your personal problem-solving process by moving your body. Or is unlocking creativity your goal? Maybe your team needs the Homemade Homage, art projects based on favorite albums.
A Make Believe Works workshop incorporates these and other activities into a broader program. But a game alone isn’t enough for real change. That’s why a Make Believe Works team building workshop incorporates at least four steps:
- A facilitated introductory discussion, designed to ease attendees into collaboration.
- Creative games or activities that emphasize teamwork.
- A post-activity sharing session, in which attendees reflect on their experiences.
- A final discussion emphasizing how attendees will apply the day’s lessons back in the office.
That approach helps to reveal the lesson behind the fun. It’s pretty similar to what we do at Firefly, so we know it works.
- Location: Varies depending on activity mix, but indoor and outdoor events are available
- Time Commitment: 60 to 90 minutes per activity
3. Parkitecture Theme Park Design Workshop by Firefly Team Events
What’s more fun than a theme park? Designing a theme park.
And what’s more fun than designing a theme park? Oh, you know the answer: Building a miniature model of your park while incidentally practicing the principles of the Agile project management framework!
If that all sounded oddly specific, that’s because it’s a description of our unique Parkitecture workshop. Yep, this creative activity requires teams to plan a park, model the rides, and negotiate with “customers”—all while putting into practice the core principles of Agile.
It’s a unique and hilarious way to stretch your collaboration muscles while pushing group creativity to the absolute limit. There’s nothing like the final reveal of your wacky model!
- Location: Indoors or out (although if you go outside, you’ll need wind protection for your design models)
- Time Commitment: 2 to 3 hours
4. The Breakthrough Play Field Trip with Gary Ware
Kids play. Adults work. Or do they? Self-described “play consultant” Gary Ware is on a mission to get professional teams to play together—and find out how much easier communication and collaboration become.
Gary offers three types of workshops for teams, with on-site and off-site options. Our favorite is called the “Field Trip.” This day of creative engagement starts by getting everyone out of the office—and away from their devices. All this outdoor play helps employees see work as a safe place to express big ideas. Besides, it turns out people bond pretty easily when you replace email with wacky improv games.
According to Gary, “employees that play together stay together.” We agree, and we can attest to the fact that Gary is a TON of fun.
- Location: Any large, ideally beautiful, outdoor space
- Time Commitment: Varies; usually an afternoon to a day
5. Virtual Connection Labs by Scaling Intimacy
It’s not easy to create a real sense of connection over a Zoom screen—but it is possible. Learn how with a 75-minute Virtual Connection Labs workshop.
Most of the workshops on this list are actually for your teams. This one’s a little different. It’s for those of you who plan to run your own team building activities, and who must do it online.
Each Virtual Connection Labs workshop teaches you two to three fun and effective team building activities from Scaling Intimacy’s Play On Purpose library. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a collection of tried-and-true virtual games that foster connection for today’s workforce.
Learn the activities, plus tips for facilitating them at your next virtual meeting. This isn’t really a team building workshop; it’s a workshop for team builders. Sometimes that’s all you need.
- Location: Remote (but live)
- Time Commitment: 75 minutes
6. New Leader Launch by Firefly Team Events
It’s tough to step into a leadership role. It’s also tough to adjust to a new leader! Smooth over the rocky adjustment period with a dedicated team building workshop, just for new leaders and their teams.
The New Leader Launch from Firefly Team Events starts with a little homework. (That may not sound super fun, but trust us, it’ll be worth it!) Leaders and teams come to our session with a set of goals, preferences, and practices in hand.
Our facilitators use these ideas to align the team—all through collaborative activities that create real human connection. You could slowly build these bonds over months, or kickstart the teamwork in a single afternoon with this workshop. Your call!
- Location: Just about anywhere, including videoconference
- Time Commitment: Half-day
7. Design Thinking Workshops by Creativity at Work
Corporate team building workshops fall onto a spectrum, from simple business training on the left to “laugh-so-hard-you-cry” on the right. We’re bigger fans of the right side, but this workshop’s more on the left, and there’s a place for that, too.
At any rate, design thinking workshops come highly recommended. Ritika Asrani, founder and head broker at St. Maarten Real Estate, says that these workshops “emphasize a collective mindset for problem-solving, an essential skill in real estate transactions.”
Asrani should know. The broker ran an in-house workshop similar to this one by Creativity at Work. In a design thinking workshop, participants learn a step-by-step process for thinking like a designer. Whatever that means in practice, it worked for Asrani’s team.
“Having facilitated a design thinking workshop for my real estate team, the crossover between design thinking and property development was eye-opening,” Asrani said. “It ignited a fresh perspective, encouraging innovative solutions to our challenges.”
- Location: Online or in-person
- Time Commitment: Varies
8. The Equus Team Building Experience by Natalie Currie Enterprises
We know what you’re thinking: “If we’re doing all this team building, then where are the horses?” We were wondering the same thing. Now we have our answer: They’re at the Equus Team Building Experience from Natalie Currie Enterprises.
This team building workshop takes place in an outdoor arena with not just one but multiple horses. Don’t worry, though: You will not be riding these horses.
“Your team’s feet stay firmly on the ground,” Natalie Currie, founder of the aptly named Natalie Currie Enterprises, said.
Instead, you’ll explore notions of trust, safety, and non-verbal communication from the experts. No, we don’t mean the horses! We mean a trained facilitator along with the horses.
“As herd animals, horses have their unique culture, which workshop participants experience firsthand, making this experience among the best learning tools for honing teaming skills,” Currie said. Saddle up.
- Location: A stable near you, anywhere in Canada or the U.S.
- Time Commitment: 4-hour, 1-day, or 2-day sessions available
9. Ask Powerful Questions by We and Me
Chad Littlefield literally wrote the book on asking powerful questions. (It’s called Ask Powerful Questions.) According to Chad, asking the right questions can improve team communication and create an atmosphere of psychological safety—which unlocks greater innovation.
But why read the book when you could learn from the man himself? Chad’s Ask Powerful Questions workshops teach your team to replace certainty with curiosity, how and when it matters.
Best of all? He runs these workshops in a fun, engaging, and interactive way that involves absolutely zero PowerPoint slides.
Chad will visit your place to run one of these workshops, or he can show up virtually.
- Location: Just about anywhere
- Time Commitment: 60 minutes and up (some long-term workshops take months!)
10. OKAY2PLAY by Firefly Team Events
Anyone on your team ever say something like, “Oh, I’m just not creative?” Two things: That person is wrong, and you need an OKAY2PLAY workshop pronto!
Participants learn to unlock their inner creative genius while having their expectations turned fully upside down. The secret is, the curveballs we throw illustrate creative thinking approaches like substitution, combination, and inverting assumptions.
For example, we might have a friendly game of Tic Tac Toe. Boring, right? Everybody knows how to win. But in our version, we ask you to add one rule that makes Tic, Tac, Toe more challenging ie fun. Will you add a new box every turn?
Suddenly, there are infinite ways to win—and your team can return to this “plus-one” way of thinking at your next brainstorming session. Each OKAY2PLAY workshop teaches multiple creative thinking skills through play, and gives participants the confidence they need to go wild with innovation.
- Space Requirements: This is more of an indoor, classroom-style workshop. Host it in a hotel ballroom or a conference room.
- Time Commitment: 2.5 hours
Find The Perfect Corporate Team Building Workshop With Firefly Team Events
Nothing on this list quite scratching that team building itch? Let the experts put something together just for your team!
At Firefly Team Events, we get team building. We always serve up fun with a purpose—and we’ll use our 20-plus years of experience to personalize your workshop so your group is sure to love it.
In other words, we’ll work with you to create a corporate team building workshop that works, whatever your goal may be. Even better, we handle all the hard stuff so you can kick back and get ready for the fun. All you have to do is fill out this form.
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