Team building activities

These team-building activities can help improve team effectiveness. Leaders and team members can learn how to resolve issues and support each other. 

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Developed by experts, these activities can help improve the ability of leaders and team members to respond effectively to workplace stressors and challenges. Choose activities that will benefit your team. Facilitator notes are included in each activity to support your success.

Building stronger teams is a free downloadable book that contains many activities that you can facilitate with your team in 30 minutes or less. You can also review the list below for activities related to improving team morale, emotional intelligence, and communication as well as developing resilience and problem-solving skills. Using these activities as part of regularly scheduled team meetings, can help improve both the engagement and effectiveness of your team members.

Team cohesion

These activities can help reinforce high-functioning teams or reset teams with lower levels of cohesion.

Acknowledge our accomplishments. A team-building activity to help acknowledge team accomplishments. Have employees share a success for a quick sharing activity.

Improve team culture. This team-building activity helps you ask the right questions and pay close attention to the answers.

Positive intentions. This team activity helps team members set positive intentions for a day, meeting, project, event or season. 

Recognize strengths. This team-building activity helps team members think about and articulate the strengths that others bring to the team. 

Volunteer together. This team-building activity can help build resiliency through improved social support and self-efficacy.  

Improve communication

These activities can help improve how your team interacts.

Communicate with clarity. In this fun activity, the team will learn how to communicate without their message being misinterpreted. 

Identify your communication styles. This team activity allows team members to think about their interaction styles when under stress.

Interpret negative feedback accurately. This team activity helps team members to learn how to interpret feedback accurately by focusing on its constructive intent and keeping it in perspective. 

Practicing non-judgmental interpretations. This activity assists team members in developing constructive and non-judgmental interpretations of workplace situations and behaviours. 

Specific active acknowledgement. This team-building activity is focused on improving the way we acknowledge and respond to others. 

Team huddle. Celebrating each other's wins and supporting one another's challenges can help build team and organizational resilience.

What were you thinking? This activity helps team members consider how their external behaviour can better reflect internal intent. 

Manage emotions

These activities help your team to manage emotions such as anger, fear and shame.

Anger as a symptom. This team activity examines situations where anger is a symptom of an underlying emotion like guilt or shame. 

Deal with worry. This team-building activity helps build effective problem-solving skills to reduce the stress that worrying can cause.

Emotional triggers. This activity helps us understand our own emotional triggers in order to choose an effective response rather than react to the emotion. 

Express anger constructively. This team activity explores how expressing anger constructively may be the best way to minimize problematic circumstances in the future. 

The function of emotions. This activity allows team members to examine different ranges of emotional responses and what functions they may serve.


These activities help boost both confidence and competence in dealing with work-related challenges.

Identify and overcome obstacles. This team activity can help you and your team work together to overcome specific obstacles.

Implement needs-based problem-solving. This activity will help improve effectiveness and reduce negative emotions in the workplace.

Identify workplace risks. This team activity engages teams in reviewing past stressful work situations to develop strategies for future stressful work situations.

Learning from the past. This team-building activity can help develop awareness of personal coping strategies.

Mistake meetings. This activity encourages fostering a sense of openness and trust amongst the team.

Build resilience 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after adversity. These activities can help build team resilience so that stress becomes easier to manage and challenges are more likely to be seen as opportunities.

Check out Resilience for teams to understand more about why this concept can support high-functioning teams. 

Each of these activities contributes to personal as well as professional growth and development. Doing them together as a team benefits the organization as well as the individual members. 

Deal with disappointment. This team-building activity helps team members develop skills to move beyond a disappointment.

Good enough vs. perfection. Developing shared and reasonable expectations in terms of quality of work.

Identify your strengths. This activity helps team members to identify and think about specific ways to build their strengths. 

Identify your values.  It can be helpful to identify the workplace values important to you, now, and to consider how they relate to your goals as a leader.

Mindful minutes to destress. This team-building activity helps team members develop skills for calming the mind, improving focus and reducing stress.

React to change. This team-building activity can help develop an awareness of how we react to change. 

Reacting to workplace stress. We can experience stress in both in person and virtual or remote work settings. This activity will help you brainstorm potential solutions and coping strategies for workplace stress.

Improve well-being

These short wellness activities can be added to any team meeting.

ABCDs of team de-stressing    This team building activity can help reduce stress and increase focus.

Journal gratefulness. This activity helps the mind focus on what is positive to balance out the need to deal with the negative.

Energizing break activities. Energizing break activities can help improve your sense of well-being, focus and productivity. Do these activities alone or with co-workers to improve health and feel better.

Calming break activities. Calming break activities can help release stress and improve your concentration. Do these activities alone or with co-workers to improve health and feel better.

Relaxing break activities. Relaxing break activities improve physical and mental capacities and can reduce stress at work. Do these activities alone or with co-workers to improve health and feel better.

Wear a Mona Lisa smile. This group activity reminds team members that reducing tension in the face and body can reduce the intensity of negative emotions and help lift your mood. 

Inspire meaning

This is a collection of activities based on SPIRE which is an acronym for strategies that help support more meaningful work (Steger, 2016). It comes from the field of positive psychology which focuses on building strengths rather than exclusively on addressing weaknesses. In the workplace, this approach has multiple benefits as identified by the research and practices shared through the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

Below is a description of each of the words that make up SPIRE and a resource that you can use to help facilitate an activity to inspire meaning at work.

Strengths. What are they and how can or do you use them at work? Assign VIA inventory and then have team members share their answer to the question. Identifying strengths can help you to facilitate this and has the link to the VIA inventory.

Personalization. What are you most proud of in terms of your work? What do you care most about in terms of your work? Ask people on the team to answer these questions individually to the leader first to support a discussion. Then ask them to share with their team. The Hero exercise can be used to help support this.

Integration. List all the ways this job benefits your personal life, beyond a paycheque. Ask people on the team to answer this individually to the leader first to support a discussion. Then ask them to share with their team.  Some or all of the questions in the Career review might be helpful as part of the discussion.

Resonance. Review the organizational values and purpose. Ask each team member to assess their own personal values and purpose. Then have them list the ways these values align with or are different from organizational values. Discuss what this might mean for them. You could use Identify your values, which includes a worksheet to help facilitate this.

Expansion. Ask each team member to write out how the work they do benefits others – consider others in the organization, clients and society. You may also want to engage your group in creating a Team purpose statement .


Helping your team embrace and appreciate differences avoid discrimination and stigma.

Hero exercise. This team activity asks each member to anonymously share how they have contributed to a positive work environment. By sharing these stories, others may be inspired to do the same.

IntersectionalityIntersectionality focuses on the overlap of various social identities one person may hold. This activity can help reveal areas where we may hold unconscious bias towards particular groups. 

Microaggressions. This team-building activity helps to understand and avoid microaggressions. 

Workshop materials

All of the activities on this page are meant to take 30 minutes or less. If you have more time to devote to team building, we have many 1-3 hour workshops on topics ranging from wellness to workload management. You can find them all on our Assessments, tools and workshops page.


Steger, M.F. (2016). Creating Meaning and Purpose at Work. In The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Positivity and Strengths-Based Approaches at Work (eds L.G. Oades, M.F. Steger, A Delle Fave  and J. Passmore).

Contributors include.articlesMary Ann Baynton

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