# Team Building Activities to Increase Productivity

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Being productive is one of the foundational building blocks for any successful business. Without the ability to produce a product or service in a timely and efficient manner, your business' growth will be hindered. One of the best ways to train your team of workers is with team-building activities that emphasize the importance of doing the same thing with greater efficiency and accuracy. The principles taught during the training activities will help each individual team member apply what he experiences to their working environment. Use different activities to focus on a different aspect of productivity and then take time to talk about the lessons learned.

## Coffee Shop

• This team building activity uses the concept of working at a coffee shop to help each team member to think quickly and act. Prepare around 20 different coffee combinations including size, drink type and modifier such as "decaf-tall-nonfat-vanilla-cappuccino." Assign each person to be a different aspect of the drink. For example, one person represents the size of the cup, another person is responsible for the flavor of the coffee and the other is the modifier. Give each person index cards with all of the possible names for their category such as "short, tall, grande and venti" for cup sizes. You call out a drink combination and the objective of the team is to organize themselves in that order by only hearing it one time. Time each round and then move on to another drink combination. This activity will demonstrate the need for organization and listening skills to increase productivity.

## Puzzle Pieces

• Find a puzzle with a modest number of pieces that the team can put together as a team. Time the team the first time (it should take some time) and then have them to put the puzzle together again. Compare the first amount of time to the second and then have the team put the puzzle together a third time and so on. You can do this as many times as you would like. At the end, compare the team's first time with their last--it will be significantly different. Point out how the team naturally organizes itself and how productivity increases as each member knows her purpose. Also, talk about how the more you do something, the more productive you are at it.

## Blinded Course

• Have your team separate into pairs. Blindfold one person in each pair and have the other lead him through an obstacle course. You can time the pairs to see who gets through fastest and then discuss the need for verbal communication. Repeat the activity, but this time remove the blindfolds and allow the pairs to go through the course with sight. Talk about how much more productive it is when everyone is able to see the same challenges and know what's in front of them. Discuss the importance of team vision and direction.

## References

• Photo Credit note work image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com
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