Learning & Development

How to Build Trust and Authenticity in the Workplace

The more the members of a team trust each other, the better they will perform together. Whether you’re on a professional sports team or a team at the office, this statement still rings true.

Unfortunately, building trust and authenticity might not always be easy. When you assemble a team, you bring in people from all different walks of life. They have different experiences and different perspectives that may not allow them to mesh well together. Once you’re on the job, there’s only so much time to get to know one another because there is work to do.

Trust and authenticity sometimes come naturally, but they often don’t. How, then, do you cultivate team members who trust each other? How do you build a group that wants to work hard with one another and pushes each other to improve?

If you’re ready to build a team based on trust and authenticity, the five teambuilding activities below are a great place to start.

1. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

One of the best ways to grow closer as a team is to get outside. There are numerous possibilities for all types of people. Whether it’s a game of soccer, horseback riding, or river rafting, not much can beat the childlike wonder of the outdoors.

You could also go to a nearby park and play various teambuilding games. But if you’re an adventurous bunch, consider getting a little farther away from the office for a while.

Riding horses is a great way to bond with each other. For some, it will be an exercise in overcoming fears, while for others, it will be a bonding experience with the team and nature. You could also go fly fishing. This activity will allow team members to talk as much or as little as they’d like while making for some gorgeous photo opportunities and stories they’ll tell for years to come.

2. Blindfolded Obstacle Course

A blindfolded obstacle course will help build trust because communication is crucial in this exercise. You can do this in the office with smaller obstacles or outside for a more significant experience.

You will want to set up an obstacle course—nothing too dangerous—and pair team members up. One person will be blindfolded, while the other will lead the blindfolded person through the course.

It’s an activity that requires communication, but it can also generate amusement, a sense of achievement, and a closer bond as a team.

3. Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt is an all-time favorite and a classic! You can do this either at the workplace or somewhere else of your choosing. For example, if you want to be creative, you could do it at different grocery stores.

Scavenger hunts are great because they are entertaining, can be as competitive as you like, and are great for building communication skills.

You can also create rules that incentivize working together and communication. Instead of sending everyone off on their own, split your team into smaller teams so they have to work together. After one round, change up the teams.

A scavenger hunt is a great activity because you could even do it during the workday. All you need is 30 minutes and a little bit of creativity.

4. One-Cent Story

One of the best ways to trust people is to get to know them. However, sometimes work can be so busy that we don’t get to take the time to get to know the people we sit next to for 40 hours a week. A 1-cent story is a quick activity that will allow your team members to get to know each other a little bit better.

Have each of your team members bring in a penny (or any other coin), making sure the oldest penny is the same age as the youngest team member. Put all the coins in a box, and pass the box around. Have each team member take one coin and then share a story of something that happened to them from the year on the coin.

This is an especially effective way to allow open communication among your staff.

5. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become quite popular and for a good reason! They are fun, exhilarating, rewarding, and excellent at building team camaraderie.

Most employees will be happy to take a day off to go to an escape room. They will have to work together to figure out how to escape, and the difficult challenges in escape rooms help with communication and promote group problem-solving.

If you want to add a fun twist, break your staff into teams, and have them compete to see who can escape the quickest!

Teambuilding activities should be planned annually. You will find that your staff will become more trusting of each other and, in turn, will be willing to work with each other that much more.

Patrick Sipp of Flying Pig Adventures has been getting his clients back into the outdoors, where the spray of the river, the warmth of the sunshine, and the immensity of the world around are clear and present. The most recent trip included horseback riding and river rafting by Yellowstone National Park. Sipp is a family man who has turned his passion for the outdoors into a gateway for his guests to experience an adventure unlike anything else.