Team-building, in theory, sounds like an easy avenue towards getting the people in your office more comfortable and familiar with one another. This familiarity could lead to a host of great things, like easier collaboration, better inner-office relationships, and an improved office culture. It could lead to vastly improved collaboration in future projects and a more cohesive overall approach to problems. Unfortunately, creating a team-building experience that actually fosters these great benefits is a challenge.

For many managers, the team-building exercise that they’ve created and spent time and money on ultimately provides their team with little-to-no benefit. That’s why it helps to know a few tips for creating a great team-building experience before you embark on your weekend retreat.

Here are a few of those steps to consider.


Before you formulate a team-building exercise, it’s important to know the things which your team needs to build.

Perhaps formulate an office survey asking which aspects of the collaboration process your employees find most challenging. Hold an impromptu stand-up meeting to get some ideas about ways that your team feels their office culture could be improved. Get a general overview of what your employees find challenging and how they deal with those challenges.

Making these inroads with your team will not only give them a chance to express their concerns, it will give you great material for reference when creating the ideal team building experience for them.


Before vetting locations around your city for team-building exercises, get an idea of the activities and environments your team is interested in. Once you’ve locked down a few solid options, like outdoor activities, a weekend retreat in the mountains or a quiet day of conferencing at a coffee shop, for instance, you can narrow down your list of possible locations.

If you’re in or around New York City, you have a ton of options for team-building, for both locations and activities. Some of our favorite team-building options near the city include:

  • Make Meaning: this kids-or-adults-welcome fun center is the perfect place for a creativity-centered team-building exercise. From plaster-painting, regular painting, and cooking to other arts and crafts, Make Meaning is a great opportunity to get your team creatively synced.
  • The New York Open Center: this holistically-based education center offers tons of options for team-building exercises, from psychology and self-development programs to arts and creativity to special presentations with renowned speakers, the Open Center is a great place for a mind-centered team-building atmosphere.
  • Adirondack Sailing: For something wildly different, take your team on a sailing expedition with the Adirondack Sailing company. Sail Manhattan, plan for wine tastings and an hors d’oeuvres buffet, and enjoy selected musical entertainment for your corporate outing. The setting is perfect for getting team members acquainted and creating lasting relationships for the office.


Think carefully about the points you’d like to introduce during the team-building portions of your outing. Create a carefully curated itinerary and send one out to everyone so your team is aware of which things will be happening throughout the evening or weekend.

Ensure that your itinerary is crafted with your team’s needs in mind. If they find inner-office relationships to be non-existent, create a portion related to introducing everyone. Create questionnaires with relevant questions and have your team members interview one another.


At the end of the day, creating something elaborate and complicated for your team will do no good if they don’t engage with the experience.

If no one on your team is interested in outdoor activities, and you plan two days of zip-lining and scavenger hunts in the wilderness, the likelihood that your team will be engaged and receptive is slim.

Create an experience that is novel and fun, yet still allows your team members to be comfortable, to enjoy themselves and to get to the heart of the matter: getting to know each other as co-workers and people, leading to more effective strategies and collaboration in the office environment.

What are some of your ideas for a great corporate team-building outing?

Photo Credit: Dawn Willis Manser