10 Fun & Engaging Company Retreat Team Building Activities for Your Next Offsite
The words team-building can be completely cringe-worthy. We get it. From over-done “get-to-know-you” games to classic trust falls, there are some team-building activities that really just don’t cut it anymore. Company retreats are meant to help your team get inspired, realign on goals and connect outside of the workplace. When it comes to team-building activities for your next company retreat, it’s time to really shake things up if you want to see results.
Moniker plans company retreats for a living, we’ve seen it all, and we know what works! You and your colleagues deserve a team-building activity that is truly out-of-the-box. And we understand, it can be daunting when trying to plan an epic company retreat in a fantastic location while also coming up with unique activities. It can be a lot on your plate and you may ask, what is a team-building activity your team will actually want to do? We at Moniker plan retreats for a living, so here are not 1 not 2 but 10 Ideas for Company Retreat Team-Building Activities in 2023!
1. Scavenger Hunts
Picture this: Your employees are divided into small teams and dropped off in the city centre of Lisbon, with nothing but an iPad in-hand and competitive spirit in the hearts. Teams race through the city - taking quirky (read: ridiculous) selfies in front of monuments, completing culturally-specific challenges (tile painting, anyone?), and interacting with locals with the hopes of accumulating enough points to be crowned the victors.
Everyone knows the premise of a scavenger hunt, and they are a fantastic way to get teams working together quickly. Perhaps a little less well-known, is how much more an activity of this nature can do beyond fostering a little competitive spirit. Companies with teams that trust one another and are actively engaged in creating success for the group consistently return higher revenues than competitors that lack this type of cohesion according to the American Psychological Association. If you take a closer look at how corporate scavenger hunts are designed, their intrinsic value begins to come forward:
- Setting and Achieving Goals
- Task Management and Completion
- Authority Delegation
- Problem Solving
With this in mind, it’s easy to see that while a scavenger hunt can be a fun afternoon team building event in the sun for the group, it will also be engendering the fundamentals of company success in the process… win-win!
2. Board Games
Looking for a Risk-free way to get your employees engaged on-the-go? Allow us to Clue you in. Board games are an ideal platform for shaking things up and promoting a team spirit. Even if not everyone in the group is familiar with a given game, they are usually no Trouble to pick up and can lead to cost-effective fun, fast.
There are several companies that have designed board games specifically for corporate team building, but the standard version of games such as Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly can easily get competitive spirits going. Consider these your “get out of jail free” card from plain Jane team building activities.
Other games to think about bringing to the table are:
Codenames: Players are divided into two teams and each side chooses a Spymaster. Teams must identify each other using codes without revealing an enemy agent. Furthermore, it's just as exciting to watch as is it to play!
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The team must adventure through 19th century London and identify clues that will solve a case given to them by Sherlock Holmes. Working together to decipher the evidence found will lead the team to the killer.
Articulate: The group splits into teams and each have thirty seconds to describe a word on a card without using the word. This sounds much easier than it is and the urgency of the game can create an exciting and fun atmosphere.
Mafia: Ah, a camp classic. Everyone sits in a circle with their eye closed and are assigned the role of “Mafia” (1-3), “Detective” (1-3), or “Citizen” (Remaining players). The goal here is for the Detectives to correctly identify each Mafia member before they and all the citizens are killed off.
The Resistance: The group of up to 10 players are secretly divided into the resistance and spies. A bluffing game, the resistance must figure out who the spies are before the time runs out!
It is important games are not played by the individuals against each other but, rather, by competing teams. Try adding a board game or two as a relaxing team building activity during your next company retreat, we promise you won’t be Sorry.
3. Company Trivia
A bit better than your average game of Trivial Pursuit, if you put in the extra effort it can be a great way for the team to learn more about the company, each other, and have fun doing it. Using the traditional Trivial Pursuit board and rules a manager will create custom categories and trivia questions based on the business and team members attending the retreat. General company knowledge should be used such as sales goals, previous events, marketing plans and future milestones.
The purpose of the game isn’t to prove who doesn’t know enough about the business, so make sure at least a few members of each team will likely know the answers to most questions with a few tough ones mixed in. We promise it's an easy but engaging team building activity that will enhance any company retreat!
5. Karaoke | A Fan Favorite
Share that inner-diva way past the bath mat with some karaoke. We get it - people can often be too abashed to sing their hearts out in front of their colleagues, but by breaking the performance into groups and adding some incentives, you’ll be hard-pressed to find guests unwilling to participate.
For example, you may choose to give out prizes based on the following criteria:
- Most Original Song Choice
- Best Costumes
- Best Dance Routine
- Best Artist Impersonations
These will get you started, and the sky is the limit. The key here will be less emphasis on singing talent and more on showmanship and daring-spirit. Once you've hosted karaoke once at your company retreat, it will become a staple team building activity for years to come.
6. Local Cooking Classes
Cooking classes are one of our favorite team building activities for a companyretreat. The options are endless - we have had groups make fresh pasta in Florence, ceviche in Cartagena, poutine in Quebec City, there are too many to list! The classes are not only fun, but also an opportunity to tie in local culture and have your group test out some new cuisine (or beverages!).
Furthermore, enjoy the cost-savings of combining the price of a meal and an activity all in one! We find it works best if you divide up into smaller teams, with each making one dish. Afterwards the group can come together to sit-down and enjoy the meals they just made. Alternatively you can make it a competition to see who can make the best dish! Either way it will be a great time, and really bring your team together.
7. High Ropes or Zip-lining
Move over trust falls! This typical team-building activity with a capital T has been overdone, but instead of throwing it away completely, why not build on the ideas? The root of working together and learning to trust your teammates can be taken to new heights with a tree-top high ropes course or even ziplining. This bonding experience brings people together and encourages the practice of teamwork, communication, problem-solving and stepping out of your comfort zone. Not only are these fantastic qualities to foster in your company, but this company retreat team-building activity will make for an incredibly amazing memory for you and your colleagues to have post-retreat.
8. Escape Rooms
The highly popular and wickedly fun phenomenon of escape rooms are really unique company retreat team-building activities for 2023. While these addictive games swept the scene a few years back, they are constantly innovating, improving and getting increasingly challenging. We’re talking hydraulic systems, multiple rooms, obstacle courses and very complex and well-thought out themes. Always a crowd-favourite, escape rooms encourage problem-solving, workthing together toward a common goal, meeting a tight deadline and decision making in a high-stakes environment. These are all directly transferable skills that you can take from your retreat back to the office and will be a huge hit for your company offsite!
9. Dragon Boat Racing
The shared experience of going on an adventure is invaluable to your company retreat. Add in some friendly competition and you've got yourself a recipe for success. If your destination lends itself to this activity, we highly recommend taking advantage of it. Hop on the water and try your hand at paddling in large dragon boats of around 10 - 12 people each. Your team will have to work together, take paddle commands from an elected leader in your group and try to race to the finish! Not only will the fun competition inspire and excite your team, but your team-bonding is easily integrated into a fun memory. Your company trip can only be made better by the addition of getting on the water and having some fun!
10. Learn Something New
Don’t under-estimate the value of learning something new. From an art class, to mixology class and maybe even a new sport like pickle-ball; nothing brings people closer together than trying something different. Learning something completely new evens the playing field, helps encourage the discovery mindset, the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, and especially encourages a whole lot of laughter. If you want a truly unique company retreat team-building activity, this is the one for you. Bonus tip: Choose something that is specific to your destination to encourage immersing yourselves in the local culture.
Ask The Experts
We don’t shy away from saying we here at Moniker are experts when it comes to company retreats. If you’re not ready for a company retreat, check out our virtual team-building ideas instead!
If you want to know where to start for planning your company retreat, check out our step by step blog post! Not sure how to budget your that same company retreat? We’ve got you covered there too. If you’re feeling ready to jump into the process, reach out to us and we’ll get you started on this exciting company retreat planning journey.