team building's NYC sales team helps restore buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Team building exercises can help people work together better, but they tend to be gimmicky. Rather than relying on old icebreakers, the modern business should be geared toward helping the community while bringing the team closer together as well. Instead of forcing your employees to endure a company-wide potato sack race, consider branching out and serving the community with a team building exercise that makes an impact.



Company-wide Fundraising

Fundraising is a great way to raise money while uniting employees toward a common goal. Unfortunately, it’s easy to approach fundraising the wrong way – having a month-long magazine selling drive may raise money, but those fundraisers are boring and don't require employees to work together. Consider entering the company in a bike marathon or a color run; get outside. If you choose to go this route, however, it is important that you don’t pit your employees against one another. Competition can hinder team-building, and the whole point of this exercise is to teach everyone, regardless of department, how to work together. Make it the office's goal to raise a certain amount of money before the marathon, walk, or bike ride so that everyone has a common goal. 

Participate in Bike Builds

A bike build is an event where people come together to help assemble bicycles for a local children's organization. Your company donates the funds to buy a few bikes and then all of the employees work together to assemble them. The organization getting the bikes typically helps make sure everything is put together properly, and in the process your employees learn how to delegate tasks and focus on a particular part of a larger goal. Your company can build more than bikes, too. Charities and children's organizations are always looking for volunteers to help set up outdoor swing sets and basketball hoops. What you are putting together doesn't really matter; the idea is to give your team something to look back on and be proud of.  

Community Beautification

A lot of times cities actually reach out and ask for volunteers that are looking to help plant trees or fix up parks, so it can be pretty easy to find an opportunity for your company to get involved. Spending the day fixing up a park also has very concrete results to justify all of the hard work. You can always tell you made an impact when you spend the day pruning bushes, planting seeds, and weeding. These activities make the community look nicer, band people together, and show them what they can accomplish simply by working together.


Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

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