14 Activities That Help Employees And Leaders Get To Know Each Other

05/26/2017 09:38 am ET Updated Jun 28, 2017

While trust falls and drum circles are known for building camaraderie, sometimes you just want to know if someone is a fellow Green Bay Packers fan or why they have a framed picture near their desk that says, “Neville Would Have Done It in Four Books.” So what are real activities leaders and employees can participate in together to help get to know each other better?

Play Two Truths and a Lie

“Two truths and a lie” is an easy childhood game that can be played on a lunch break in the office or during happy hour after work with both new and old co-workers. The premise is each person states three sentences and everyone must guess which of the two sentences are true, and which is the lie. This simple game can lead to interesting conversations and revelations about people you thought you knew well! - Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

Grab Dinner or Drinks with the ‘+1’s’

Sometimes a more introverted employee may not want to talk about his or her time spent backpacking across South America, but their significant other might humble brag for them! Bringing someone that they care about with them in a casual setting allows everyone to build trust, tell stories, and open up in a way that provides new information to the whole team. - Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game

Go Hiking

I’ve found hikes to be a great way to get out of the office for a low impact exercise and great conversations. The time spent hiking is typically filled with many great conversations, some about work, and others about personal lives. Other sports, such as paintball, might be too involved for allowing conversation, but they may be good for team building nonetheless. - Andy Karuza, FenSens

Take Part in Room Escapes

Room escape games involve figuring out how to get out of a locked room or building and require people to work together under pressure and find a way out. This is a good exercise for leaders and employees to do because no one person has the answer, making it a real team effort. - Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

Do Something Physically Competitive

Nothing allows people to get to know each other better than an activity that involves physical competition and adrenaline. It gets people to stop focusing on hierarchy and brings out the kids in all of us. Of course, you can also consider other adventure activities, like zip lining or one of the many 3K races that include things like obstacle courses. - Peter Daisyme, Due

Get Involved in the Community

A great way to have your team bond is through volunteering. Your company has the ability to make an impact on your community, and team building naturally occurs. Take on a project like building a habitat house, doing a charity walk or volunteering for a food bank. Encourage management to get involved and others will jump in, creating a fun meaningful way for people to get to know one another better. - Aviva Leebow Wolmer, Pacesetter

Meet to Discuss Non-Work Topics

Our employees are like family. I schedule weekly lunches and individual meetings that aren’t work-related. We like to discuss what’s going on in their lives, common interests, or other things that take the focus off of work for a while. It helps us all feel closer and enhances our work as a team. - Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media

Go Camping

Spending a full day and night with your employees builds a unique bond. Having to rough it with your employees and see them in the morning opens up a brutal transparency rarely achieved with other activities. Camping creates camaraderie from spending time together, getting down to the basics and seeing everyone experience the same “struggles” together. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

Hold a Regular Company Conference

At least once a year, hold a company conference to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Make the focus getting to know each other and the company more, not checking things off to-do lists. Through company retreats, you’ll have the chance to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level and find common ground as you work together each and every day. - Stan Garber, Scout RFP

Do an Overnight Event

I have found that an overnight getaway with the staff is a great way to learn about one another. The one key rule is, no business discussions. Whether you’re hosting a family style dinner, getting everyone involved in board games or doing a yoga retreat, steer the conversation away from work and about each other. - Renato Libric, Bouxtie Inc

Put Together Office Furniture

Assembling office furniture as a team taught me more about our employees in a couple hours than any team building activity we’ve ever done. That’s right. We rolled up our sleeves, told stories, and hand-screwed office desks and chairs together until we had new workstations. Sounds lame, but accomplishing a singular task as a team helped us get to know each other in a new way. - Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS