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problem solving activities for teams

Top 10 Problem Solving Activities Your Whole Team Will Love

Team building problem solving activities are the easiest way to build a great team. According to the HBR study, prioritizing “finding problems” always harms productivity and morale. The focus should be on problem solving rather than only problem finding. By doing this, HR can successfully build a great team and encourage them to nurture their relationship. 

Do you know problem solving skills are one of the demandable skills in the 21st century? We understand how the lack of communication, collaboration, decision-making, and adaptability among team members brings challenges for HR. Check out interesting facts and statistics related to team building shared by online event organization, Team Building.

Thus, as an HR, if you are also facing similar issues and thinking about activities to strengthen team building, we list the 10 most creative problem solving activities for building a strong team for you.

Team Building Problem Solving Activities

1.Rose/Thorn Icebreaker

Rose/Thorn Icebreaker

Pandemic has made us work remotely and over a certain period, lots of challenges in front of managers. The team is missing on-site team activities and feeling isolated and less productive. The continuous remote meetup is also getting them bored. We have one interesting problem solving activity for team to cope up this issue and make them more vibrant.

What all is required, and how to do it?

The only need is stable internet connectivity and video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to bring all team members into one place. As a host, pick any two members and ask one member to share one rose (positive task) and share one thorn (challenge) to another member. Do it again with the rest of the team members. This activity makes everyone more comfortable and energetic to one another.

Benefits: Encourage critical thinking, productivity, and team member engagement.

2. $2 Negotiation

$2 Negotiation - Problem Solving Activity

Unleashing creativity is vital for problem solving. For one team member, hesitation in expressing their different opinion is common, especially when the rest of team members are on the same side. Developing the practice of opinion sharing  will lead to better problem solving outcomes for teams.

What all is required, and how to do it?

For this, you need only two coins (plastic money, digital currency, or any similar thing). At first, you must divide the team into groups, and each group will have three members. Now, give those two coins to each group with 5 minutes to decide who will take them. If they fail to choose, a majority vote will decide. In case of no-decisions, the group needs to return those coins. Use “break-out features” of video conferencing tools for this activity.

3. Human Billboards

Human Billboards - Problem Solving Activity
Source : Make billboard like this

It is also seen that team members don’t know each other that well due to virtual working, and this lack of inter-connection brings issues. The lack of collaboration and compatibility in a team affects their performance. Human billboard is a kind of self-disclosure activity that encourages every team member to share as much as possible. This problem solving activity strengthens your team and nurtures interpersonal relationships.

What all is required, and how to do it?

This activity requires flipchart paper and colourful markers. Each team person should have these two things. Now, give 5 minutes to each member and ask them to write words, draw symbols and one animal to describe themselves.  You can also mingle it if you are playing it offline. Now, give another five minutes to read the billboard of everyone. At last, make pairs of two, so they can ask questions to each other based on a billboard. 

Benefits: Promote collaboration and coordination in team

4. Balloon Sculptures

Balloon Sculptures - Problem Solving Activity
Source : Learn balloon sculptures

We all know that encouraging existing and new team members to share their views is always challenging for the managers. Lack of team spirit, introverted nature, language barriers are common reasons that might cause to make an effective team, and team members hesitate to share anything. This fun activity will make the team creative at instant problem solving.

What all is required, and how to do it?

Colorful balloons are only materialistic items needed to play it. Make groups of 3-5 and ask them to make a sculpture (animal) representing team building values and commitment in 20 minutes. While playing online, one member will stretch and blend balloons. The rest will help them by sharing their ideas. In the end, the host will ask questions like what sculpture have you made? What is it representing? Your experience with the team? to finalize the best problem solver.

Benefits: Improve team collaboration and commitment

5. Origami

Origami - Problem Solving Activity
Source :

The managers have the responsibilities to establish open and clear communication among the team. Unclear thoughts and expressions always yield poor communication, which is a major growth barrier in a company. So, we have brought another interesting problem solving activity to enhance effective communication.

What all is required, and how to do it?

The only thing needed for this activity is a sheet of paper. The Origami activity says as a host, you must ask all your team members to close their eyes and listen to instructions. Each one needs to fold the paper after every instruction. At last, ask everyone to open their eyes and check out their folding.

Benefits: Enhance communication and listening skills

Also Read: 24 Games to Play on Zoom with Coworkers

6. Share your crazy ideas

Share your crazy ideas
Source : Crazy ideas

We have many real examples of businesses that have achieved success because of one crazy idea. That’s why many team leaders prefer to start brainstorming with crazy ideas to find the solution to critical problems.

What all is required, and how to do it?

The execution of this activity does not need any material to make it interesting. You must come with a problem and discuss it with your team members. Now, give them 7 minutes to each one to share their only crazy ideas for the discussed problem. At last, as a host, select the best craziest idea because it often gives great results.

Benefits: Improve critical thinking and improve team morale

7. Know each other using acronym

Know each other using acronym
Source : Pinterest

What happens when one team member does not know other team members? It results in a weaker team with poor performance. Thus, every team member must be good at problem solving and should know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

What all is required, and how to do it?

You can exercise this activity to resolve various group problems without investing a penny. You have to give 10 minutes to every team member and ask them to write “one specific word” for every single letter of your name to describe yourself. After 10 minutes, ask everyone to read it in front of other team members.

Benefits: Boost team performance and enhance collaboration

8. Lost at sea

Lost at sea
Source : Oceanofgames

Under pressure and unpredictable situations subject talented teams to failures. The outcomes:  interpersonal conflicts and poor team performance. That’s why every manager must train their team at problem solving in under pressure situations.

What all is required, and how to do it?

This team building game is a kind of group survival game. While playing it online, you need only chart paper to write down the survival items. You need to divide team members into groups of 3-5 and play instructions to them. You can use “break-out rooms” to separate teams for discussion and regroup again at the end. Announce the winner to the team who scores high and proves their survival skills.

Benefits: Encourage collaboration in high pressure and excel critical skills.

9. Simon Sez

Simon Sez
Source : Thetilth

Adapting changes for team members is not easy, and managers need to put their effort in making them adaptable to being competent. Lack of adaptability brings problems for the individual and whole team, so it is better to encourage it using this fun activity.

What all is required, and how to do it?

No specific material is required to play this activity except preparing commands. Before starting, explain two rules to everyone: (1) if command starts with “Simon says…”, participant does not follow it and (2) If command does not start with, “Simon says…”, participant follows it. In both cases, they get eliminated from the game by doing opposite things. To start it, first you play the role of Simon and say commands to rest to drop someone. Do it in various rounds and give the role of Simon to everyone in each round.

Benefits: Enhance adaptability skill to embrace changes

Also Read: 10 Problem Solving Activities Your Whole Team Will Love

10. But Nothing (Feedback)

But Nothing (Feedback)

Listening, “But” makes anyone annoyed, especially when a team member hears it from another team member. Sometimes, it leads to various problems in the team. To encourage feedback positivity, we have brought activity to understand how to accept it and develop ourselves.

What all is required, and how to do it?

Like other activities, you need high-speed internet and video conferencing tools to start this activity. Use the “break-out rooms” feature and make pairs of two members. Give 60 seconds to each participant to think and write something they like about their team partner and how it could be improved. The only thing is that first, participants need to say it using “But” and then replace it with “And” like in the picture. By doing this, you can articulate that using negative words to say anything results negatively itself. Thus, replace it with good words and appreciate team members for giving positive opinions.

Benefits: Encourage team appreciation and constructive feedback

Final Words

The era of remote working and digitization has caused a lack of effective communication and collaboration among the various teams. The managers have concerns about increasing the engagement of their team’s participation in solving problems and making decisions. Moreover, we all know that managers and their team do not have much time to have fun during working hours.

To help the managers build a flexible workplace, we have presented interesting team building problem solving activities that neither take the time nor many items. The only thing that needs to be considered is that the activity’s aim should be clear and relevant to team problems. Because an inappropriate selection of the activity can’t give the desired results thus, choose proper activities.

As an HR, if you are looking for activities to make teams more productive, adaptive, collaborative, and attainable, you can get it through platform like Fundoo Friday, which offers a range of online games to support all these.

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