One of my favorite team building activities that we executed was a lip sync battle challenge. The event was created as a way to reward and give back to employees for their hard work, while pushing them out of their comfort zones to build a stronger more aligned team. In retrospect, I had no idea how impactful the day would be.
The day began with everyone being nervous about the day ahead. “what are we going to HAVE to do”. When the theme was unveiled, and people randomly assigned to groups, many people were excited, and some not so much. I had reactions from some that said “this has nothing to do with my job” and “I don’t understand why we have to do this”. As a leader, I encouraged everyone to have some fun with it and trust me.
You could see early on, leaders who took charge and rallied their team to quickly assign the different tasks to achieve the required outcomes even though they had never directly worked with everyone on their team before. You could also see instances where there was no clear leader, but a collaboration where things were decided unanimously.
As the day unfolded, individuals became more comfortable with one another, they learned who was creative to come up with costumes, who could carry a tune, who could choreograph some steps, who was really funny outside of their cubicle as well as numerous other things they did not know about their co-worker.
When everyone regrouped to “perform” in front of each other, their spouses and guest judges, the comraderies in the room was palpable. Everyone was having fun. Once the first team hit the stage, the laughter and entertainment began. Everyone embraced their role, including Elsa and the Spice Girls.
The event was followed with a dinner and I had many people approach with their comments from the day. Spouses, thanking the organization for including them and what a “wonderful, fun and caring place to work”.
The following week I had reach outs from 4 of the participants, two of whom were not at all excited about the event when it was announced. The feedback was “I didn’t really like that person and having them on my team made me see a new perspective of them, thank you for that”. Another was “I was not comfortable approaching that person for help, I now will use them as a resource”. Or, “we are really lucky to work for an organization that believes culture is important, many say that, here they mean it”. My favorite one was “I didn’t understand how this pertained to my work. I really thought it was stupid but now I get it. If we know one another better, and are more comfortable, we can work together more effectively to achieve better results!”