Team Builder Support 101

Hey there! Can you do me a favor and find a very creative “not boring” team builder activity for tomorrow’s meeting? Also, would you mind picking up the supplies today on your way home?

…Sound familiar?

Some managers are extremely creative but others will want to delegate their team building activities to YOU for two solid reasons:  1) They are way too busy and 2) most do not have desire or the creative flair to come up with their own. Most managers will also probably want assurance that it feels like it aligns to some real purpose, so they don’t have to see their employees roll their eyes again when the new activity is announced.

So if you happen to be either an office manager or administrator, you probably know that you are going to get delegated the task, and for some of you finding these creative types of employee engagement activities is most likely already imbedded into your daily responsibilities. The challenging part is that you most likely will have about 24 hours to find the latest and greatest team building idea. So what do you do? Well if you are like most, you’ll probably head directly to the internet and type in the words “creative team builder not boring”

Most likely, a few popular things are going to pop up after your internet search. Expensive team builders from professional companies for large corporate events, where destination trips and obstacle courses seem to be popular, and the famous spaghetti and marshmallow type of activities. Nothing wrong with spaghetti and marshmallows, but most of us have already tried building the tall leaning “oh shit it’s falling” tower, and we also have come to accept that elementary school kids are much better at it than we are.

So, this ends up leaving you with a few options when you can’t find anything good for your manager. You could go back to your manager and basically say “go find your own damn team builder, I’m out!” And by out, we mean you’re now out of a job! Or you could spend half a day to go expand your search further online. Which we all know you have tons of time to spend doing research on team builders.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, that’s where we come in!

This year, we decided to step up to the plate by launching our new Quarterly Team Builder Subscription Service!

How does it work? Simple! Every other month, we’ll deliver a box containing everything you need to host an over-the-top team building exercise with your team. Each box will come complete with all instructions, talking points, props, accessories, and anything else we think you’ll need to be an engagement superstar!

So if this sounds like something that interests you, then head on over to our Coming Soon page and sign up to receive updates around our launch. We may even provide some sneak peeks into how things are developing! ?

Why do companies do team builders, anyway?

No, seriously at WUHUU, we ask ourselves that every day – why team builders? We do that mainly because we’re in the business of spreading good vibes to offices everywhere and helping people to devise team building exercises.

Just the same, we know how people can grimace (and okay, sometimes even run screaming, or do other horrible things because they don’t want to participate in team building exercises).

The reason why businesses use team building exercises is simple, though – it’s because they work. They encourage collaboration, and they help people to connect. They get results.

They Work!

Here are eight ways in which team building exercises work.

1. They Improve Productivity
When you have people working together to solve issues, it improves morale. Better morale means improved productivity. Nuff said.

2. They Help People to Get to Know One Another
When people know each other, they tend to like each other. And when they like each other, they work better together.

3. They Improve Performance
Team building activities also improve performance, because they help people to better understand the strengths of their fellow workers. It helps them to solve workplace issues more easily and more cooperatively.

4. They Encourage Competition
Okay, competition but not cooperation? Why not? Competition, as long as it’s fun, can help employees to bond and work harder.

5. They’re Fun!
Team building activities help people to get to know one another better. People who participate in team building activities often end up having more fun together and liking one another more than if they were left to their own devices.

6. They Make People Feel Like Champions!
Any time a team gets a win, they feel like champs. Then, they feel even more like working together.

7. They Facilitate Communication
Any time there’s a problem in the workplace, it’s probably because people fail to communicate. People who participate in team building exercises communicate better.

8. They Encourage Imagination
People who work together are typically more imaginative. They think “What if…” and take that question to amazing conclusions!

Convinced? I thought so.

The Final Word

Team building activities should always work toward better communication. Any activity that works toward that goal is going to be worthwhile, no matter how silly it might sound in the beginning. Team building activities facilitate communication and collaboration, and they’re fun!

With a team building activity, you’re almost guaranteed to achieve something. Even if it’s just a bit of a break from work for your people, it’s good. So try a few team building activities. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


How Bad Bosses Make for Bad Teamwork

Bad bosses, a.k.a. Mr. Grump Asses, can be the absolute kiss of death when it comes to employee morale and teamwork. It’s a rare boss that claims he or she doesn’t want effective teamwork, but bad bosses often have management styles that make teamwork difficult, if not impossible.

Maybe you’re working for a bad boss. Or maybe when you read the following, you’ll be going “Oh, holy crap, I’m a bad boss!” Although that’s not likely. Bad bosses most of the time don’t realize that they’re bad bosses.

Since there’s only usually one “big boss,” it’s more likely that you’re in a middle management position and wondering just what in hell you’re going to do about that asshat that’s making your team members miserable. Well, forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so in the material that follows, we’ll talk about how to identify the management styles of bad bosses and how they adversely affect employee morale.

No, wait. We have a better idea. Let’s have those Mr. Grump Asses speak for themselves. This is how we imagine it might go.

1. It’s All About Me

Look, I don’t really care about the company, and I don’t want to hear about your “team building exercises” and how we can all prosper if employee morale is improved. All I really care about is my position, and my bonus. Oh, and how I look to my bosses. Employee satisfaction is pretty low on my list of priorities.

2. I’m Not Going to Ask You; I’m Going to Tell You

Yes, I rule through intimidation. I don’t care about employee satisfaction; it’s all about results. If threatening you and bullying you is the easy way, then you can bet that’s going to be my approach.

3. My Boss Loves Me, So Screw You

Yes, I “manage up.” Too bad. If sucking up to my boss gets me where I want to be, then I’ll do it. I don’t care about motivating employees. My motivation is all that matters, and my motivation is my next promotion.

4. I’ll Take the Credit for What You Do

So, you wrote a great report? How nice for you. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see my name at the top, though. If I’m in a really good mood and thinking, “I really should do something to show my underlings that I actually need them,” I might mention that you assisted. Or not. I’m a big believer in “servant leadership,” which basically means that I am the leader, and you are the servant.

5. I Will Never Say That I am Sorry

I have no clue that employee morale can be badly affected if I hurt someone’s feelings and I can’t be bothered to say I’m sorry. As a matter of fact, I’m probably not sorry anyway.

6. I Am Always Right

I have never been wrong, and if I ever am, I’m sure that it will be someone else’s fault. Does that affect employee morale? Maybe. But who cares? Man up and grow a set if it bothers you.

7. I Don’t Have to Blah Blah Blah

Why should I communicate with my underlings? Most of you won’t even know what I’m talking about. And if you do want to know, talk about it amongst yourselves. Isn’t that what “team building exercises” are all about? Don’t let me hear you talking amongst yourselves though – that’s insubordination.

8. Motivate Yourselves, You Losers

I don’t have to bother with team building exercises to keep you losers motivated. I gave you a job, didn’t I? Oh, and by the way, pull up your socks. I don’t like people who work to the lowest possible level. What, you want to be appreciated? Well, that’s what middle managers are for with their team building activities and all that happy crappy – it’s got nothing to do with me; I’m above all that.

9. I’m Going to Lunch

I’ll be back in a few hours. Oh, I’m unavailable? Too bad. If you need me, you’ll just have to wait.

10. You’ll Do What I Tell You to Do When I Tell You to Do It

So, you think I’m a micromanager? Look, I don’t pay you to be creative or deviate from the plan. You want team building ideas? I don’t think so. I’d much rather you just do what you’re told and then report back to me. Every. Single. Day.

11. You Want Praise? HAH!

Oh, come on. I hired you to do a job. If you do it well, you get a good review and a reference when you leave. Not my job to be patting you on the back all the time. I couldn’t care less about employee morale – you don’t need recognition for doing what they’re supposed to do in the first place.

12. I Only Care About Work

Look, don’t come to me and tell me that you need time off because your wife has cancer, your father just died, your dog got hit by a car or whatever. I don’t care about any of that. And don’t ask me if I even have a life outside the office, because it’s none of your damn business.

13. Anyone Can Meet the Goals I Set

Look, if I want a 50,000 word report done in 24 hours, it’s your job to get it done. Use some of those team building exercises you’re always on about to get your people motivated if that’s what you think you have to do. I just want the goddamn report, and you’d better deliver it! What, you want me to pitch in and help? Not my issue.

14. I Love You, and I Hate Him

I will play you off against one another. After all, that’s what competition is all about. If you want to succeed in this company, you’d better be willing to trample all over your buddies, employee morale and team building notwithstanding. I’ll play favorites, because that’s what keeps you on your toes. You’ll be my favorite today, and tomorrow I’ll pick another favorite to play off against you. You’ll never know where you stand, and I figure that will make all of you try harder to gain my favor.

15. What Did You Say?

I will never listen to what you’re trying to tell me. I will interrupt you, check my phone, take calls and do everything in my power to let you know how unimportant you are.

16. I Love Suck-Ups

If the company is down-sizing, I will not care how hard you have worked to build a cohesive team that delivers great results. Your team building exercises and efforts will mean nothing to me. I will cheerfully kick your ass to the curb in favor of someone who has treated me like the god I am.

17. I Will Not Convince; I Will Dictate

If I have an idea, I will make no effort whatsoever to convince you that it is a good one and to bring you and your team onside. I will tell you that you will implement my idea even if it will be disastrous for profitability and/or employee morale.

18. I Will Always Judge You, and You Will Always Be Found Wanting

No matter what idea you bring to me, I will criticize it. If it is a good idea, I will claim it as my own.

19. I Will Lie to You

I will expect you to take everything I tell you as fact. Even if you catch me in a flagrant lie, I will expect you to nod respectfully and say “Yes, whatever you say, Lord and Master.” If you quote me from memory or from notes, I will deny the lie.

20. I Don’t Care About Your Talents

Okay, so you have a great team, and you’ve done all these team building exercises to make it even better, but here’s the thing – I don’t care. And I will still give your people tasks that don’t suit their talents or level of ability.

21. I Only Care About Today

Don’t bother me with projections and forecasts. I only care about what makes me look good today, and you had damn well better make me look good today!

22. I Will Never Appreciate You

I want your loyalty, but you will never have mine. It doesn’t work both ways. If it suits me, I’ll kick you to the curb tomorrow.

23. I Will Terrorize You

You need to know that I am always in control. I have power – power over you. I’ve fired people before you; I’ll fire people after you, and I can fire you. You’re next. You are so next!

24. I Don’t Have to Follow the Rules

You know, when you come to me with your candy-assed team building exercises, a lot of them are designed to show people the importance of following the rules. Here’s the thing – I don’t have to follow them. I can do whatever I want. The rules do not apply to me.

“OK” we acknowledge that there are many fabulous bosses out there.  But does any of this sound familiar? If you have a boss like this, then you and your entire team are under attack. The only thing you can do, since your boss probably isn’t going anywhere (except maybe to a special place in Hell when he dies) is to build the best team you can, and do the best work you can. Team building exercises can introduce a bit of fun into the workplace and help your people, and you as well, to develop the skills you need to deal with bad bosses who destroy employee morale. You’ll find tons of them online, and WuHuu can help as well. We’re introducing subscription boxes that contain tons of fun team building activities. Stay tuned!


What Should a Manager Do When Employees Are Not Team Players?

39 Traits of a Bad Boss

Motivating Employees to Embrace Teamwork

So, you’re trying to do some team building exercises to improve employee morale. You’ve said “Okay, everyone, put down your phones, get out of your email, leave your cubicles and come over here; we’re going to play some games!

Most of your people are going to be absolutely delighted that they get a bit of time away from the daily grind. But then there’s Bob. Bob does not want to do this, and he is going to resist it every step of the way.

Every workplace has a Bob. He’s the guy who grumbles and says “I’m busy, I’m on a deadline, and can’t you just leave me alone? Oh, and besides, I don’t want to play your stupid games!”

Chances are that Bob is the guy who’s dragging down the rest of the team, so you really want to bring him in on this. What do you do, though, with someone who simply refuses to be a team player? Who tells you, “If I wanted to be on a goddamn team I’d go out for softball, so leave me the frig alone”?

You could, of course, force Bob to participate. You could tell him that participation is a condition of keeping his job, and then you can watch his ass going out the door as he quits. But is that really going to do any good? Look, Bob just doesn’t want to play. So, you can do your team building exercises without Bob, or try to bring him onside. Or you could fire him. But if you do that, chances are that Bob is going to come back on you, all lawyered up, and saying “They forced me to play childish games that had nothing to do with my work.” We’re thinking you don’t want that to happen.

Gotta Deal With Them

Look, realistically, guys like Bob can be toxic when it comes to your business. They might not be doing a single thing to help you grow, and they’re dragging down everyone else who might actually benefit from team building exercises. So, what are you going to do, short of giving Bob the boot?

You can try bringing him onside. Bob is probably very full of himself, but if you tell him, “Look, Bob, I have a problem here, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me out,” Bob’s ego is likely to kick in and he might actually become your new best friend, bringing other people onside with the team building exercises.

Be Honest

If you’re going to do that, though, be honest with Bob. He’s going to know if you’re trying to sucker him. Offer him materials that he can read that will help him to help you – bring him onside. Tell him that you’re trying to effect a certain type of change, and you would appreciate his help. Don’t lie to him or condescend to him, because he’s going to pick it up in a heartbeat.

Option Number 2

So, that’s option number one – get Bob on your side. If you can’t do that, then hard as it might sound, you have to go to Plan B, which is going to be to kick Bob to the curb. You’ve made an effort, you’ve done your best, and if Bob is still recalcitrant, then there is simply no point in trying to push it any further. You have expended a great deal of time and effort, and Bob isn’t cooperating. Give it up.

Sometimes for the sake of employee satisfaction when it comes to the rest of your team, it has to be done. In the final analysis, though, it’s up to you – so how valuable is Bob? What will you lose if you cut him loose? Will employee satisfaction suffer overall if you let him go? How much do your other employees like Bob? Will they revolt if you fire him, or will they just move on?

The other thing you can do is move Bob into a position where he doesn’t have to work as part of a team. Most businesses have positions in data entry, stockrooms and other areas in which social skills really don’t matter all that much. Would Bob be better suited to one of these positions?

You Can’t Motivate Everyone to Work With a Team

Some people are simply never going to be able to work in a team construct. When that happens, you have to ask yourself if the employee has value in other ways. If he or she just doesn’t fit with a team, your best course of action might be to accept that and find a place for them in your organization where they don’t have to be sociable or compatible with other people. It doesn’t mean that they’re not valuable to your organization; it just means that they need to be in a position where social skills and teamwork don’t matter. So before you force Bob into team building exercises, consider finding another place for him. He can still be of value to your company without having to participate in teamwork that simply doesn’t suit him.


8 Ways to Handle Employees Who Are Not Team Players

How to Handle Employees Who Are Not Team Players

Team Building Exercises Don’t Have to Suck

There are two basic facts about team building exercises. The first is that they don’t have to suck. The second is that they usually do. Properly done, team building exercises can prove to your boss that you are working toward employee satisfaction within your team build employee morale. Handled wrong, they can send employee morale straight into the crapper. We actually know of a manager who hauled out that old “trust building” activity with a team of 8 people. You know, the one where you stand in with your back to your partner, fall backward and count on him or her to catch you? It didn’t go over well. Responses were, in no particular order, “No,” “Up yours,” “No,” “No,” “I quit,” “No,” “No,” and “No.”

So, if you want to improve employee morale by using team building activities, you’re going to have to come up with ones that don’t suck. This means, for starters, that you don’t ask your team members to do anything that could get them hurt or killed makes them feel unsafe. You also don’t want to ask them to do anything that violates their personal space or their dignity. You should also avoid activities that put people under a spotlight and hold them up to ridicule.

All that said, there really are team building activities that can be fun, and good for employee morale. There’s no reason why people can’t have fun in the workplace, take a bit of a break, get to know one another better and then get back to their mind-numbing, soul-destroying repetitive tasks work with smiles on their faces. Here are 8 great team building exercises that don’t bore the snot out of people and cause horrible resentment actually work.

1. The Shrinking Vessel

This team building exercise encourages creative problem solving, but if you have workers who will bite anyone who comes near them hate having anyone else in their personal space, you are simply going to have to try something else. There really are people who dislike having people close to them in a non-sexual context.

Here’s how it works. You get a nice long rope. No, you are not gearing up to kidnap and torture the boss or string him/her up from the light fixture to the delight of all in the workplace. But you can do that later, so don’t lose the rope! Right now, though, what you’re going to use the rope for is to mark off a space on the floor. Then, you’ll get your team to stand inside the rope. Bit by bit, you’ll take up some of the slack, and make the roped-in area smaller. The idea is that everyone has to work together to stay within the boundaries.

Of course at some point, they’re going to just start shoving their co-workers outside the roped-in area and laughing like hyenas, but that’s part of the fun.

2. Office Trivia

You don’t need any props for this team building exercise, just a list of questions that relate to your workplace. You can start off with simple questions that even the most unspeakable moron anyone on staff can answer, like “What color is Mr. Grump Ass’s chair?” The first person to answer gets a point. Then you might try “What color are the floor tiles in the break room?” and move on to “Who on our team last had a birthday?” or “How many computers do we have in our office?” Rack up the points and give something useless like a crappy pen with the company logo on it a great prize to the winner.

3. Community Service

This is one of the best fun ice breakers, and also works for team bonding. You’ll have to schedule a few hours away from the mind-numbing grind office, and it won’t work if you’re too cheap to pay your people to participate. Think of it this way, though – done right, it can get your business some free publicity. Call local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations and let them know that you and your motley crew employees are heading out to do something great for the community. Whether it’s picking up strangers in bars roadside garbage, canvassing for a worthy cause, or doing something else that reflects your company’s values, you’ll get noticed, and your people will love the time that they get paid to be out of the office!

4. The Marshmallow Spaghetti Building Project

This team building exercise helps to build collaboration and problem solving skills. Split your people into groups, and give each group a couple dozen pieces of uncooked spaghetti, a single marshmallow, and a roll of masking tape. If they take the spaghetti and the marshmallow, leave the tape and high-tail it out of there screaming “No, Precious is mine,” you might want to ask yourself if you’re paying them enough that they can even afford to eat.

If they stick around, the idea is that they use these materials, and only these materials, to build a tower. The marshmallow has to be at the top, and the structure has to be free-standing – they can’t use anything else to support it, not even their hands. The group that has the tallest tower, that stays up for at least five seconds, wins. Now give each one of them a crappy pen.

5. Work Mostly Sucks but Is Good Sometimes

You don’t need anything for this team building exercise other than your people, a hat, and a few scraps of paper. This is one of the most fun icebreakers ever, if your team isn’t in the habit of communicating with one another all that much. You simply count up your team members, and write the numbers 1 through whatever on bits of paper. Everyone draws a number out of the hat, and the person who draws number one has to tell everyone about their best ever, and worst ever, day at the office. You can bet that much abject depression hilarity will result as, one after another, they tell their stories.

6. Arctic Adventure

When it comes to team building activities, this one is a bit complex, but lots of fun, and it helps workers with collaboration and creative problem solving. You’ll need some construction materials, so just take what you think you might need out of your office or cubicle – paper, card stock, rubber bands, paper clips, post-it notes, etc. You’ll also need an electric fan.

Your people are going to be split up into equal teams and pretend that they are not horribly depressed, borderline suicidal drones office workers. Instead, they are fearless explorers navigating the Arctic wilderness. Have each team choose a leader. Now, the problem is that the leader has frostbite and is not able to use his or her hands, and the rest of the team is snow blind and cannot see. Give each group their construction materials, start a timer, and tell them to build a shelter. They have two choices – either work together or tell you to go screw yourself and go grumbling back to their cubicles freeze to death. Once all the shelters are built, turn the fan on. The team whose shelter stays standing the longest wins, and each and every member of that team gets a valuable prize shitty pen!

7. Scavenger Hunt

We just made this one up stole this from probably a million different websites, but dammit, it’s fun, and we’re going to include it. It’s a classic team building exercise that helps members of your team to bond and learn how to collaborate. Split your people into groups, and send them out of the office. Again, you’re going to have to pay them for their time, but they’ll come back rejuvenated and ready to work (if they don’t, just fire their asses). If they all have mobiles, just have them photograph everything they need to find, or you can go the traditional route and have them bring back actual items. The first team to complete the list wins – you guessed it, crappy pens!

8. My Dog’s Better Than Yours!

You can pretty much bet that several people on your team have dogs. So here’s what you do – have all the dog people bring in pictures of their dogs, and then do a little speech about what makes their dog special. Then, the dog owners step aside, and the remaining people vote on the best dog, and state their reasons why they chose that particular dog. The worker who is deemed to have the best dog gets a shitty pen and a package of Pupperoni!

The whole idea behind these team building exercises and fun ice breakers is to help your people learn to tolerate one another without going all “Lord of the Flies” get to know one another better, ease some of the stresses that go hand-in-hand with a 9-5 job and build employee morale. You have probably noticed that none of these team building activities are designed to cause anyone humiliation, or to raise any individual above anyone else. They’re just fun – oh, wait, shouldn’t have done that, because they are fun, pure and simple, so why not give them a try?


the 10 most horrifying team-building exercises