9 Team Building Ideas That Aren’t Cheesy…We Promise!

a woman smiles as she volunteers with her dental team

If the idea of “team-building” brings to mind mandatory corporate events or episodes of your favorite workplace comedy, you’re not alone. While the benefits of team-building exercises have been well-documented, they have also developed the unfortunate reputation of being cheesy.

But they don’t have to be! Check out our fun, cheese-free guide to team building and let “Two Truths and a Lie” finally get some rest.

Start small at the office

If you’re looking to start small, a quick group activity at the office can boost morale, raise energy and encourage team bonding. But before you start brainstorming icebreakers, it is important to read the room. If your group has lower energy, stick with something simple. A more enthusiastic group will be more apt to try something that involves a few more steps.

  • Share a GIF or meme: This one has a low barrier of entry and is a fun way to get your team sharing a laugh. Have each team member share the best meme or GIF they came across that week!
  • Celebrate the wins: Whether it is a job well-done at the practice or a success at home, have each teammate celebrate a win they’ve recently had for instant good vibes.
  • Dental scavenger hunt: This one requires a little more planning but can be a fun way to work together! Send your team around the office in search of dental-themed clues and have a fun prize, like breakfast, waiting for them at the end!

Give back to the community

It is important to give back to the communities we serve and few things bring people together more than goodwill.

  • Ask your team: Find out the causes that your teammates are passionate about and start a giving program! As often as you’d like (monthly, quarterly, etc.), choose one of the causes and make a charitable donation.
  • Volunteer on-site: See what charities or organizations are in your community and see if you can volunteer at their location. For example, you can assemble care packages for a food bank or sign up for activities at your local library.
  • Donate dental resources: Look within your community to find charities for families and children in need and create dental care packages to distribute. You can include items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and printed resources.

Tip: Volunteer efforts are also a great story to share on social media!

Take it offsite

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a part of our day-to-day, the availability of venues or your teammates’ comfort levels with going out will vary. But if you’re looking for an after-hours event to bring your teammates closer together, you can’t go wrong with something hands-on! Now, we know happy hour is a popular choice, but it can also make people who don’t drink feel left out. That’s why we recommend having an activity be at the center of your event instead. 

  • Go head-to-head: If you have the personalities that would mesh well with a little friendly competition, look for something outside of the box such as ax throwing, bocce ball or fowling.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work: If co-op is more your team’s speed, try activities that encourage everyone to play a part, like a group cooking class or the ever-popular escape room.
  • Get outside: Take advantage of nice weather and host a picnic or potluck at the local park! You can even have teammates invite their families and play lawn games.

The bottom line: Team building doesn’t have to be cheesy! Get a feel for the make-up of your team and plan some activities to boost morale and forge bonds.

Related Reading: 3 Ways to Build a Positive Culture at Your Practice