Team Building Pitfalls

When developing a team building exercise, you want to be sure to include everyone. At a company my wife used to work for, they had a golf tournament for a team building exercise.  That excluded a lot of people – not just women – who had no interest in golf.  When this was brought up, management made the decision to make it optional. So now a team building exercise turned into a team breaking exercise as half of the team fragmented off and went bowling instead. Not good.

It can be difficult finding something that everyone can participate in.  To this I say: know your group.  If everyone’s a golfer, then a game of golf might be perfect. But if not, you may want to consider these other problems in team building.

Be Respectful of Time

Holding an event during working hours is probably your best bet.  Trying to do after hours events can run into snags with picking the kids up at school, soccer practice, caring for parents, etc.  Employees have lives outside of work.

Try Something New

A mall scavenger hunt or a visit to an escape room puts everyone on an even playing field. This way, you don’t have someone with immense skill (maybe a scratch golfer in the case above) who makes the event not fun for everyone else.

Get “Buy In”

Coming up with team building activities in a vacuum is just asking for failure.  Unless you know your team really well, run ideas past them (or at least a few of them) to see what interests them.  While you may love the idea of a paintball excursion, others may not.  forcing an activity on a group gives an outlet to dissenters (“This was stupid. I didn’t want to come anyway.”) Instead, come up with a list of team building ideas and then ask for more suggestions.


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