6 Team Building Activities at Corporate Events To Increase Employee Motivation

Executive Summary

  • Team building activities are key opportunities for building motivation through fun, engaging activities and providing a break from the traditional event agenda.
  • The best team building activities are those that foster community and encourage communication through shared experiences.
  • Motivational team building activities should be fun and enjoyable, and offer activities that cater to a diverse audience.

Motivational Team Building Activities for Corporate Events

Corporate events are critical  to connect your people, communicate key initiatives, and foster employee engagement.. Creating a positive environment and choosing the right activities for your event are crucial to ensure that you make the most of the opportunity and leave your employees motivated to succeed. Employee motivation refers to the level of commitment, inspiration, and drive that an employee has when showing up to work on a daily basis. Motivated employees are more driven to perform better, more creative, and more focused on the success of the company. Incorporating motivational team building activities into your corporate event can increase trust and morale across the team, boost productivity, and even improve job satisfaction, all while inspiring collective motivation.

The Best Motivational Team Building Activities

Effective team building can go a long way toward energizing teams and fostering a positive work environment, and maximizing your event ROI. To be truly motivational, it’s important that these activities are fun and engaging for employees, not just another forced work activity. The following are great motivational team building activities to include in your event.  

1. Icebreaker Games

Sounds cliche, but icebreaker games are helpful in breaking through the initial awkward silence and building new relationships. They help start conversations, allow individuals to learn more about their teammates, and develop stronger professional relationships. Because relationship building is a valuable component in a work environment, creating these opportunities can motivate employees further when they go back to work and know their team members even better. Some fun icebreakers for your next corporate event include:
  • Switching name tags – Pair up participants and have them learn as much as they can about their partner before having them switch name tags and quiz each other about what they learned.
  • Finding things in common – Encourage participants to go around the room and find something interesting they have in common with someone else, and then have them add people to their group who also have that thing in common.
  • Collecting signatures – Each participant should be given a sheet of about 10-20 prompts about hobbies or personal traits with the goal of collecting signatures of different people in the room who fulfill those prompts.

2. Volunteer & Community Service

Volunteering and community service opportunities are a great way to bring the team together for a greater purpose while also giving everyone a chance to connect. These activities offer an opportunity to talk and get to know coworkers better while also participating in a shared, rewarding experience that leaves the market you visited better than when you arrived. Community service opportunities can also be motivational by showing what the power of teamwork can do and how fulfilling it is to get involved in the local community. Volunteer opportunities can include:
  • Conducting a trash pick-up
  • Volunteering at a local food bank
  • Assisting at a local animal shelter
  • Organizing a toy or book drive
  • Planting trees
  • Spending time reading to classrooms
Consider connecting with a local non-profit to make the organizing process easier. Because they already have experience in these areas, community organizations can help coordinate the activity and provide guidance around the logistics.

3. Escape Room Challenges

An escape room challenge is an out-of-the box opportunity to engage employees in a fun and exciting activity – with many organizations offering a turnkey experience onsite for your group. These challenges not only bring everyone together for a group activity but also encourage teamwork, problem-solving, and communication, which are all great skills to have on your team. The activity puts everyone in a situation where they can have a shared experience that they can enjoy and bond over.  Keep in mind that escape rooms have limits of about eight to 20 people depending on the venue, so you may have to split your team into smaller groups to make it work.

4. Outdoor Activities

The outdoors is a literal breath of fresh air, and getting everyone outside for a corporate event can enhance the employee experience. Although outdoor activities may not be for everyone, they can be a great way to bring everyone together while engaging with nature—just be sure to offer alternative activities for those who can’t physically go outside.  The outdoors can also be a calming, enjoyable experience, providing a break from the hustle of the corporate environment. Getting outdoors for a little while can inspire motivation with a nice sense of relief so that employees feel recharged and ready to take on their responsibilities after the event is over. Some options for outdoor activities include:
  • Going on a guided hike/tour
  • A curated outdoor scavenger hunt
  • Attending a local sporting event
  • “Amazing Race” experience throughout the property to complete challenges as a team
  • Challenges like relay races or obstacle courses
  • Build-your-own _________ (these activities challenge small groups to build a bicycle, legos, etc. with guided directions) 

5. Wellness Challenges

Wellness challenges are a great way to engage employees and encourage physical activity.. Engaging in group wellness challenges inspires employees to incorporate positive habits and activities, but even better, it provides a shared experience and goal for team members to connect around, all while inspiring a bit of healthy competition. In addition to the motivational potential of bringing everyone together, these challenges also help address employee needs, putting them in a better position for increased work output. Employees who feel better holistically and take charge of their health tend to perform better overall. Wellness challenges can take a variety of forms. You can carry out the challenge over the span of  a conference, like encouraging teams to get the most steps during the event. Or, they can simply be daily activities to optionally participate in.  Wellness challenges can include:
  • Step challenges
  • Drinking more water
  • Attending the gym
  • Habit tracking
  • Phone screen time tracking
  • Mindfulness challenges
The key to wellness challenges is that there needs to be some type of incentive for the winning individual or team. This can look different depending on the workplace and what motivates your unique employees, but make sure it’s something that employees would actually want. Some examples include a gift card for a popular store, or a material prize that would generate excitement.

6. Employee Recognition and Appreciation Programs

Employee recognition programs are a great way to give back at your corporate event, generate a sense of teamwork and community, and an even better way to boost motivation and morale amongst your employees. One study showed that employees who feel appreciated with a simple “thank you” are 69% more likely to bring extra effort to their work environment. Incorporating appreciation programs into your event can be a welcome addition to this formula. Using recognition and appreciation programs can generate buy-in and show that the effort put into the team matters. Even small tokens of appreciation generate a cycle of hard work, as everyone likes to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a genuine return for the effort they put in. Some ways to express appreciation in a corporate event include:
  • Personalized notes, gifts
  • Signage throughout the property featuring attendees
  • Panel of award winners or high performs on stage during a session
  • Employee appreciation testimonial videos
Employee recognition can look different depending on the event and the group dynamic—for example, some may want to do an award ceremony that targets employee successes, whereas others may prefer to take a more comedic approach with superlative awards based on personalities or running jokes between the team.

Prioritize Motivational Team Building Activities at Your Corporate Event

Team building activities at a corporate event can be a valuable tool for motivating employees and building community between them. However, it’s important to choose the right activities to maximize this opportunity. In order to truly motivate employees, it’s important that these activities are fun, engaging, and not just any other work activity. If you’re looking to maximize the impact of your corporate event and truly motivate your employees, working with an event planning agency can make all the difference. CPG helps you lead impactful meetings and events through meaningful engagement activities and thoughtful experience design while supporting you in all the logistics.  With values grounded in open communication, innate passion, and purposeful growth, we’ll take all the steps necessary to generate measurable outcomes. Contact us today at CPG to learn more about how we can help you magnify employee motivation at your event.