6 Small Group Team Building Activities for After the Holiday

6 Small Group Team Building Activities for After the Holiday
Yana Zatsarnaya
November 15, 2021
Last updated: November 15, 2021

There’s nothing like the holiday or a long weekend to make you excited to go back to work and see your teammates again. Then again, holidays can sometimes create a sense of disconnect that may take time to shake off. Whatever the reason, no time is a better time for a little team building outing than after the holiday.

As with everything else in the workplace, a team building session needs to be planned properly. Otherwise, it will not serve its purpose and you would have a wasted opportunity to strengthen bonds. Are team building activities worth it if you have a small team? If you’re fresh out of team building ideas, you’re in the right place. Here are 6 small group team activities for after the holiday. But first, a few essentials:


What is team building?


First off, it should be understood that team building should be an ongoing process with the understanding that as circumstances and time change, people change with them so you need to recalibrate your team to make sure you always have a solid, strong work group. For this, you will need regular team building sessions.

Your team building activities do not always have to be big or extravagant outings. Sometimes, you won’t even have to leave the office. They can be small and intimate but however you choose to go about it, your goal should always be the same and, if done right, should have exactly your desired outcome.


The benefits of team building


The name itself gives it away. Team building sessions are designed to do just that: build teams, along with a lot of other good things:

●      Create a sense of community

●      Build trust

●      Strengthen bonds

●      Bridge the gap between departments as well as leadership and rank-and-file

●      Encourage teamwork, problem-solving and communication

●      Reintroduce team members to each other by nurturing work relationships

●      Boost employee engagement

●      Advance the company culture

●      Encourage healthy competition, company pride, and collaboration 

●      Show employees they are appreciated and valued

It’s beneficial and would be helpful if you have regular team building sessions and team building games, whether you have a new employee joining the company or not. Doing this will build employee morale and motivation and will give them a whole new appreciation for their jobs and the company they work for.


Getting started


There are a few things to consider before you roll out your initiative for team building exercises for work. If you have an idea brewing and feel like another session is required, find a quiet place to sit and take the time to plan the details. Here are a few items to consider:

  1. The need – Is your team tired? Do you overhear some bickering or grumbling? Have you observed a breakdown in communication? Is a team building session warranted?
  2. The venue – Will it be onsite or will you need to go somewhere else? Will it be a virtual meeting or a face-to-face activity?
  3. The budget – How much will you need? Will you need to spend money on it or can you do it without spending a dime? Will you also need to spend money on prizes?
  4. The schedule – When will it be? Will everyone be able to make it?

Make sure to get everyone’s commitment to be there. Otherwise, it will be a lost cause since one part of the team will be missing. With the team building ideas, tips, and recommendations in this article, however, you'll soon be known to everyone in the company as a team building genius and everyone will want to join in! Here are 6 small group team building activities for after the holiday.


1. 2 Truths and 1 Lie


One of the team building activities that can work in both virtual and face-to-face scenarios is 2 Truths and 1 Lie. This game is good for building affinity among team members while breaking the ice. You can break away from the usual getting-to-know-you activities in favor of this fun contest.

Start off by allowing each team member to introduce themselves, one after the other, letting everyone have a feel of each other’s personalities. Once everyone is done, go around again and have each person tell two truths and one lie about themselves. Using what they know from the initial introduction, team members will have to guess which of the statements is the lie.


2. Circle of Appreciation


If your team is tired after a really big project or if you happen to observe a dip in everyone’s spirits, this is one of the team building exercises for work that you should definitely try. This activity is extremely helpful if your team has been together for some time and you need to center the team whether virtually or personally on premise.

Allow each team member their turn in telling everyone what they appreciate about the person on their left. Once everyone is done, reverse the direction and ask each team member to state what they appreciate about the teammate on their right. You might end up with a few teary eyes but if you want to reinvigorate the love, trust, and appreciation within your team, this is the thing to try.


3. Active Listener


Another one of the team building games that you should try is Active Listener. You’d think it’s more fun for you as the facilitator but this is useful if you want to encourage your team members to listen more, pay attention and practice critical thinking.

Call a meeting where you discuss things per normal, only this time, inject a few non-consequential things like a line from a song here or a non-relevant jargon there. You can go off and start telling a story or quote someone famous. Once you’re done, quiz your team and find out who’s listening and actually paying attention regardless of how bizarre the meeting is looking like. The person who has the most answers wins and their prize can be as bizarre as a box of paper clips or a puncher.


4. Scavenger Hunt


If you want to elevate teamwork, cooperation, communication, and decision-making to a new level, challenge your team with a scavenger hunt. Take your time and map out their course, plan and plant clues, arrange the obstacles and highlight the end goal or the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Divide your team into smaller groups and set them free all around the office or the immediate vicinity of your building. Or you can let them loose in the city using clues that will lead them to the ultimate goal. Be sure to instruct each group to take a photo at each milestone and the first group to arrive at the end point with the proof or items wins.


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5. Puzzle Barter


Divide your team into smaller groups and give each one a puzzle to put together without telling them that each one is missing a piece and that the missing piece is with one of the other groups. Once they find out, instruct them to barter whatever they can, using their best tactics for finalizing deals to retrieve the missing piece from the opposing team. The first team to complete their puzzle wins.

If you’re looking for team building activities that will encourage your team to be more creative, better problem-solvers, and wise negotiators, you should give this one a try. Although your groups do not appoint one going in, you’ll observe some people naturally emerge as leaders or decision-makers and others being more confident and bolder in their bartering.


6. Escape Room


If you really want to challenge your team with one of the most popular team building activities, you should get everyone together in an escape room. Keep in mind that you don’t even have to go to an actual venue. You can book a conference room and deck it out to look like a bunker or a facility and fill it with clues for their escape.

The goal is to encourage team members to cooperate and coordinate with one another to gain freedom from the room. This is another of the team building ideas that will show you who among your team members are natural leaders, great thinkers, and clever problem-solvers.


Other team building ideas to try


The great thing about team building is that it doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. You can also have it anytime and anywhere. Even if you don’t have enough budget, there are other ways to build camaraderie, rapport, and loyalty among the members of your team. Here are other team building exercises for work that you can try:

●      Karaoke night – Pick one song for everyone to sing. Whoever gets the highest score wins.

●      Go Kart Racing – Divide your team into groups and race each other. The group with the most wins is the champion.

●      Office Lunches – You can assign a group this week and another group the following week. Ask them to cook their best dishes and bring them in for everyone to try. The most “yums” wins!

●      Potluck – This is a team building activity more than a contest where everyone is asked to bring a dish to share with the team. Let everyone gather around a big table and have a family-style lunch with the team. Everyone wins because everyone gets to eat a lot of delicious food!

●      Community Service – Win two goals with one team building idea. Get your team together to do a good deed within the community, putting your company on the social awareness map.

●      Dress-up day – Have a holiday coming up? Invite team members to dress up in honor of the occasion. The best costume wins! You can also ask them to bring their kids or their pets to work for the special day.

●      Family Day – If you want to get to know your team better, get to know their families. Open your office doors to their kids, siblings, spouses, and parents and get a little bit personal.

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