Team Building Activities For Mission-Driven Boards

Some teams sadly become oversaturated with activities. Team building might just be one of them. But here’s the thing: it might be a buzzword, but we promise you, it’s vital to healthy, happy, and productive teams.

This article will quickly define what team-building activities are, why they’re essential, and how board members of mission-driven organizations can do them effectively.

Team Building and Why it Matters

Team building activities are an all-encompassing term for any activity that improves one or more of the following: communication, relationships, loyalty, and core skills.

They cover a great versatility in their format as well as their function. They can be collaborative or competitive. They can be merely experiences to be enjoyed or social occasions to revel in. They can be done in-house or externally, during work or after work. The unifying rule, as far as we’re concerned, is that they have to be fun. Otherwise, it’s just another work task!

  1. Communication: Team building activities foster excellent communication between colleagues. That’s good for their well-being and personal relationships, and it’s also good for productivity. Specifically, it increases problem-solving capabilities and reduces work-related issues. It’s no surprise that as many as 86% of workers believe work-related problems stem from a poor communication culture.
  2. Relationships: In organizations with poor work cultures, you’ll hear things like, “that’s not my job.” These toxic environments can be mended with practical team building activities. When relationships are authentic, you’ll see colleagues willing to help each other out instead of thinking of themselves.
  3. Valued Employees: It’s a simple tale. If employees feel valued and respected, they will work harder for their manager, team, and organization. They’ll go that extra mile to maintain that respect they’ve hard-won. If your people don’t feel respected, you won’t get the most out of them. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Company Loyalty: Similar to employees feeling valued, team building activities can inspire loyalty. If you invest in high-quality team activities, you’ll get a more invested team in the organization. It’ll result in a cohesive unit that isn’t just working toward a paycheck but a common goal.
  5. Skill Building: And finally, team building can also be practical! They can develop crucial critical thinking skills. They can be literal hands-on workshops related to your field, and they can develop managerial skills, whatever you wish!

How Mission-Driven Organizations Can Strive For More with Team Building

The classics work, from bowling, drinking, and eating. And you know what, you should certainly offer those opportunities.

However, to develop the culture of your mission-driven organization, creating team building activities with a charitable and ethical ethos is an inspired way to go.

Team building activities for board members of mission-driven organizations should kill two birds with one stone: achieving traditional team building goals and helping others directly and/or indirectly spread awareness of good causes.

What’s more, by partaking in team building activities that help others, you’ll lead by example to the teams and volunteers that work under you.

Idea #1) Recycling

Our first team building activity idea is recycling. It’s a special feeling to not only do something virtuous but to do it together! The timing has never been more prescient. The environment is on everyone’s lips.

In every city, you’ll find exciting recycling team building exercises. They don’t have to be as arduous as they seem. They can be fun and touristic experiences. How about spending the day on Barcelona beach clearing plastic with the Clean Beach Initiative? Or how about combining it with a boat trip around Amsterdam’s canals with Plastic Whale?

If there’s not an affordable opportunity like that near you, simply create your own opportunities and recycle locally.

Idea #2) Collection Drive

A collection drive might not be the most glamorous team building activity, but it can be the most rewarding. Helping others is good for the soul and community and can make a real difference in other people’s lives. It can be anything from clothes, food, or essential household items. It’s a selfless thing to do and will boost team morale.

Idea #3) Get Physical

A great way to raise money is to put yourself through physical pain — almost every city hosts running events. Sign up as a team, and raise money for some good causes. You can even dress up to make it fun.

These can be as intense as you like, from gentle river cruises to the Oxfam Trailwalker, a grueling 100km charity trek with loads of international locations, or humble 10K fun runs.

Not only will you raise vital money for good causes, but you’ll also get more in shape. And a healthy body leads to a healthy mind!

Idea #4) Build Something

The satisfaction of making something with your hands is a special feeling. You might be tired, bruised, and calloused, but it’s a primal satisfaction that nobody can take away from you.

You can build any number of things for your community or for people in need. For your community, you could build a garden. For people in need, you could develop bicycles or homes.

Idea #5) Remote Team Building

Remote team building should be an essential fixture for board members, especially at mission-driven organizations.

Firstly, many of us are now working from home, so it’s a practical consideration. And secondly, many board members of charitable organizations will be voluntary or part-time, thereby not in immediate contact with their colleagues.

Remote team building has seen an incredible 2,500% increase since the outbreak of COVID-19. Such a considerable increase has led to a new industry rising out of nowhere. Companies like Okun aim to develop well-being and prevent burnouts with various workshops such as yoga, cocktail-making, and sports. Here are few remote ideas that may work well for building a stronger team:

  1. Cook-a-long: Our first and most unique idea is a cook-a-long. It’s a virtual workshop where one team member is elected — or volunteers — to lead a cooking session. They choose a dish, send out a shopping list, and teach the team to make it on Zoom or another video conferencing platform. You cook together, and you eat together. Speaking to CEO of Spacehutnr Dietrich Moens, he told us, “During the lockdown, we found our most popular team building activity was our monthly cook-a-longs. Our team is obsessed with food, so it makes sense. What is so great about them is they demand engagement. They’re loud, messy, and always hilarious. And best of all, you end up learning how to make something pretty nice!”
  2. Pub Quiz: A good old-fashioned pub quiz could be the perfect thing to fire up everyone’s competitive spirit. Games are rarely as engaging as this. The chance to show off your knowledge and even win some prizes is great fun and can be done anywhere — virtually, in the office, or at a local bar.
  3. Buddy Calls: To foster solid relationships, your board members could try buddy calls. It’s an elegant system where members are put into new pairs each week, where they take 10 minutes on Monday and Friday morning to have a quick call. They can talk about work, about their social plans, or whatever they feel like. It’s an excellent way for people to bond and know they’re in this together.
  4. After-Work Drinks: As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A classic after-work drink is a timeless way to unwind, have fun, and bring a team close together. And the beauty of doing it virtually is you don’t have to dress up or waste time and money on transport.

Wrapping up

So there you have it, our guide to team building activities for board members of mission-driven organizations. We hope you’ll agree that team activities are a vital part of a healthy working environment. Generic ones are great, of course, but for board members of mission-driven organizations, they’re all the more effective if you can put a charitable twist on them. If you have any thoughts or ideas of your own, then we’d love to hear from you!

This article was contributed by Harry Prince, Creative Content Manager at Spacehuntr.