Summer Team Building Ideas to Boost Employee Engagement

06.24.2024 | Summer, Adventure, Creative, 2024

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Summer is here, and there’s no better time to get out of the office and do some team-building activities! Team building is important all year long, but summer offers the added opportunity to take advantage of the weather and shake things up.  
 
Team building isn’t just about taking a break from daily duties; it’s a simple, effective way to build connections and foster collaboration on your team. Check out our recommendations for team-building activity ideas below!  

Why Team Building Is Important 

What makes team building so important? No matter what industry your business is in, you need to rely on your team to work together towards a common goal. That’s where team building comes in! Regular team building activities have been shown to enhance employee engagement and improve collaborative efforts.  

Summertime team building is especially helpful to keep folks connected despite summer travel and shifting routines! As many employees take time off in the summer or move to hybrid and remote schedules, planning a team-building activity can be a great way to make sure everyone on the team feels included, in the know, and connected to the overall mission and direction of the company.  

But team building isn’t just about better business results; it’s also proven to boost morale and trust among a team. These added benefits can improve employee retention and strengthen positive company culture. When employees are connected, engaged, and feeling positive about their work life, everyone wins.  

 

Four Types of Team Building Activities 

There are endless examples of team building activities, and if you’re looking to create your own it can be helpful to organize them by “type.”

Each type of activity has a specific goal:

1. Communications Focused 

2. Problem Solving

3. Planning

4. Trust Building 

Want to see these activity types in action? Read on for examples!  

Communication Activities 

Communication activities often involve active listening, critical thinking, varied communication techniques, and giving or receiving feedback. This is a great type of exercise for teams of any size, because everyone can benefit from improved communication. 

Plus, you might learn something about your team members in the process!  

Summer Team Building Activity: Outdoor Scavenger Hunt 

Most scavenger hunts involve three elements: items, clues, and prizes. Items are placed in strategic locations, and each clue offers a hint (sometimes even a brainteaser or riddle) to find the next item. Prizes are earned by solving the scavenger hunt quickly or with creative solutions. 

Scavenger hunts make great team-building exercises because teams must work together to find the items, solve the clues, and move forward through the challenge. They also offer an opportunity for friendly competition and connectivity, especially for larger companies with multiple departments.

Rather than having teams organized by specialty (e.g. Finance team, Marketing team, Ops team), try setting teams with folks who wouldn’t normally connect in their day-to-day workflow. This allows for more diverse perspectives and helps individuals get to know each other better, setting everyone up for more collaboration in the future.  

When the scavenger hunt is set and the teams are organized, let the games begin!  

 

Scavenger Hunt Swag

 

Solo Stove S'mores Bowl

Perfect for summer adventures, this portable tabletop s’mores roaster brings flickering flames and crackling campfire sounds with clean-burning, smoke-free gel fuel. Easy to use on the kitchen counter, dessert table, or anywhere you want to make lasting summer memories, the Solo Stove S’mores Bowl is a great prize for scavenger hunt champions.  

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Yeti 42oz. Rambler 

Don't forget to hydrate at your team-building event!

The Yeti Rambler is a favorite swag item for all seasons. Durable and with a large capacity for cold and hot beverages, this insulated tumbler ensures your team members will be sipping in style. 

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Problem-Solving Activities 

Problem-solving exercises offer teams a low-stakes opportunity to practice working together towards a common goal. Our favorite problem-solving activity is an Escape Room, because it tasks a group with getting organized, communicating, and figuring out a solution that works for all. 

Summer Team Building Activity: Escape Room Challenge

Escape Room Challenges are a top choice for group problem solving activities. From family reunions to corporate retreats, it’s clear that booking an Escape Room is a great way to get folks working together, and the thrill of racing the clock brings another level of fun to the activity. 

Want to make the most of Escape Room activities?

Break your team up into small groups ahead of time, and give each group the chance to select a team name and symbol. As the Escape Room date approaches, distribute custom T-shirts and hats with each team name. Nothing gets folks excited like team pride and some friendly competition!  
 
Planning ahead also encourages each group to connect and create a winning strategy. Allowing folks to work together before the activity begins can help everyone problem-solve more efficiently during the challenge, and ensure everyone gets involved in solving the puzzle.    

And of course, don’t forget prizes. The fastest team to complete the activity can get the top prize, with other teams getting participation prizes, too.  

 

Escape Room Swag 

Next Level Apparel Stretch ½ Zip Hoodie   

Bring team spirit to your Escape Room challenge with personalized swag. Available in a variety of colors and fully customizable, these half zip hoodies are sure to boost friendly competition and serve as a badge of honor for challenge winners. 

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Carhartt Backpack 20-Can Cooler  

Get the party started anywhere with this backpack cooler from Carhartt. With hands-free carrying and a water-repellent fabric, you’re bound to see the Escape Room winners sporting this cooler at the office and in their summer adventures.  Screenshot 2024-06-10 135827

 

Planning activities

Planning activities offer an opportunity for teams to collaborate, get creative, and exercise adaptability in the moment. No matter what kind of work you do, everyone can benefit from coordination and adjusting on the fly. Planning activities can also overlap with other types of team-building exercises. For example, if your company plans a field-day, there are multiple activities, games, and initiatives that could happen on that day.  

Summer Team Building Activity: Field Day on the Beach 

Summer and the outdoors go hand in hand, don't they? Companies can take advantage of summer weather and foster collaboration by coordinating games, exercises, and initiatives at a beach or local park. Getting folks out of the office  and into nature can also serve as a mental reset for teams, helping them bring a fresh perspective back to the office when it’s time to get back to work.

For a summer field day, try incorporating a few different types of activities from this list. An outdoor scavenger hunt, a sandcastle-building competition, relay races, and beach volleyball are all fun group activities to get folks engaged, communicating, and using their problem-solving skills in a fun and low-stakes environment.  

It’s a great practice to offer prizes and incentives for every activity, and if you really want to get creative, set up an activity bracket or tournament. Throughout the day teams can advance or fall out of the running for a grand prize, and the whole staff can get in on cheering for their colleagues.  

 

Custom Merch that's Perfect for the Beach

PARKIT Voyager Chair  

Designed for maximum comfort and ultimate durability, the PARKIT Voyager Chair is a summer relaxation prize for the outdoor enthusiast. It’s a cooler-chair combo with a built-in cupholder, carry straps, and enough space underneath for all your outdoor essentials. The Voyager chair also comes in additional colors and is fully customizable for your team.  

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SportTek Ladies’ Posi-UV Pro Shirt

Keep UV Rays at bay with the Posi-UV Pro customizable long-sleeved top from SoftShirts. Add your company branding to bring stylish and functional apparel to your team.  

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trust building activities

You might not think that trust and business mix, but for your team trust is essential. When team members trust one another, they’re more likely to brainstorm openly, offer honest opinions, try new ideas, and support each other. Trust is necessary to get the most out of your team, and any activity that challenges teammates to lean on each other is a good option.

The classic examples of trust-falls and blindfolded activities work great, but also consider collaboration games like a 3-legged race or a cooking competition. Another option is to invest in immersive offerings like a retreat to help people feel comfortable and more open to connection. 

Summer Team Building Activity: Team Recipe Challenge 

What better way to engage employees than by uniting over food? In this easy-to-facilitate team-building activity, break your team up into groups of three and offer the task of creating a recipe from scratch. Have one person write a recipe, another provide verbal instructions, and the third person to cook the food.

This activity encourages good communication and trust among colleagues, and often brings lots of laughs. Teams will quickly realize that being clear and straightforward with communication is essential and that listening to one another is key to finding success.  

Make this activity more engaging with simple details like custom aprons and chef hats and offer prizes for the teams who generate the most creative and tastiest recipes.  

 

Trust Building Swag

Recycled Cotton Bib Front Apron

Durable, stylish, and brandable. This recycled cotton apron protects helps you step into chef mode and while keeping your clothes clean and fresh. Consider gifting this to your team to help them get into the recipe challenge spirit!  

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Nomad Grill and Smoker

Now here’s a prize fit for a celebration! This premium-quality charcoal barbecue grill and smoker has unparalleled portability for all of your summer adventures. Aluminum construction and two diecast cook boxes ensure that this mini grill/smoker combo will be around for many summer outings.  

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Team Building is an essential practice in any business, and the onset of summer brings tons of opportunities to get out, get creative, and get connected. Customized merch adds a new level of excitement for team building activities, making the coordination and effort even more worthwhile. 

Want more team-building and custom product inspiration? Check out our summer lookbook and subscribe to our blog for all the latest trends in promotional products. 

 

related reading 

How Swag Can Boost Company Culture  

6 Summer Promotional Items Your Brand Needs  

Upcoming Product Trends to Watch Out For in 2024  

 

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