Most people spend the majority of their day at work. Working eight hours a day surrounded by others can be a positive or negative experience, depending on how well colleagues interact with each other. A good team will be efficient and communicate well. A team with poor employee relations will suffer from lack of productivity, as employees will not communicate properly to get the job done.
As a manager, you are responsible for overseeing your employees, and making sure their work environment promotes productivity and cohesion. Therefore, it is vital for supervisors to know how to improve employee relations when tensions or conflicts arise. It’s important to continuously promote good employee relations with different exercises, like the ones below, and not to think that one or two sessions will do the trick.
Five Team Building Exercises
Life Boat – Tell your employees that they are on a cruise ship that is about to drown, and have them collaborate to decide on 12 things to take with them on the lifeboat to help them survive. This is a great exercise to promote decision making that benefits the team as a whole, making the staff work toward a common goal.
Charades – This classic game is useful in encouraging co-workers to communicate with each other. Create two teams, with each team nominating one person at a time to act out a word or phrase without using language. The employees will cheer for their own team, promoting cohesiveness.
Mine Field – This exercise is very beneficial for two specific colleagues who are experiencing tension. Set up a room or an outside space with “mines,” objects that will block someone’s way, like chairs, desks and shelves. Pair individuals up in teams, where a blindfolded individual must walk the field, while his partner must give verbal instructions to help him avoid the “mines.” This will lead the two parties to learn to trust one another.
Telephone Game – This game is suited for the office that is plagued by rumors and gossip. Have the employees sit or stand next to each other in a straight line. Have the manager start off with whispering a short phrase (four to five words) into someone’s ear. Then, the employees take turns whispering what they hear to someone else down the line. If more than ten people are present, the end result is usually hilarious and completely different from the first phase. This is a great example of how rumors and gossip get out of hand when spread throughout the office.
Positive Statements – At monthly team meetings, ask each employee to say one positive thing about every other employee in your group. It can be anything from a work accomplishment to a random nice thing that person did for someone else. These statements make employees recognise each other, and feel valued that their efforts are being noticed by others. It also makes the staff recognise positive attributes about their colleagues.
Team building exercises are important to improve employee relations and promote a good work environment.
Senior Trainer & Consultant