Team Building with treasure hunts

You can use a scavenger hunt to strengthen and build your team

Being successful in the workplace requires the contribution of all team members. A strong team is important to meet company goals and function more efficiently in the workplace. That is why it is important for a team of employees to perform as a team, as they are called. There are many ways to develop and build a team atmosphere in the workplace. A great way is to sponsor a team scavenger hunt.

What is a treasure hunt?

I’m sure you know what a scavenger hunt is, but to jog your memory, it’s simply a challenge to find specific items within a specific set of limits. Each team is given a list of items and must find and return them by a specific deadline. The team that returns with the most items found from its list in the designated time is the winner. Scavenger hunts can be done individually with a winner or, for team building purposes, can be done in teams. They are a fun way to get your teammates to work together.

Do the scavenger hunt in the office or out of the office to build the team

You can make the search business-related by selecting items that relate to your business or market, or you can make it more fun and select random items that will be harder to find. If you have time to do your scavenger hunt outside of the office, it can be even more fun and challenging.

To do an office scavenger hunt, set aside a day (possibly the weekend before the event) and hide certain items (or search for existing items) throughout the office building. Make sure to list them all. You can make it more challenging by adding very specific items to the list, like a paper clip that has a red string attached to it. If you have a tub of paper clips that people go to when they need more, place the rope-tied paper clip in the bottom of the tub so it won’t be easily noticeable when glancing through the trash can. If there are plants in your office, you can place small items, such as small glass beads or perhaps a pin, in the dirt at the base of the plant. Make sure to be specific in the list of what you are looking for. If you want them to find the glass bead that is on the ground, indicate “a clear glass bead covered in dirt.” This will make them search for a specific item.

Guidelines for the Team Building Scavenger Hunt

Before starting your treasure hunt, be sure to establish some general guidelines. Make sure they know what limits to set themselves against. Make sure they understand that the idea is to work as a team to gather the items on your list. You can add additional rules and requirements to force groups to work together as a team, that is, everyone must stick together, etc.

Choosing equipment for the treasure hunt

When starting your scavenger hunt, you may want to assign people to the teams that they will work with. This gives you the opportunity to break any office clicks that may be in place or to bring together certain people who need to become a more cohesive team. You can also choose to place participants who are already nearby on opposite teams to allow them to meet other people who are working in your office but don’t communicate with often. Your teams should be chosen based on your objectives for the treasure hunt.

Each team will have to decide their strategies and how they will work together to complete the treasure hunt. Regardless of your strategy, you will have to work together to come up with a plan and execute the task.

Choice of prizes for the Team Building scavenger hunt

You can decide to tell the participants what the prize will be or, to make it more intriguing, not tell them. Just tell them that they will really like the award the winning team receives. The mystery will likely make them work harder to win.

The prize of the treasure hunt must be thought through carefully. You need to make sure that it is something that most of the office staff want. It’s virtually impossible to please everyone with the award, but you can definitely find something that most will enjoy. It can be a pizza party that the administration staff organizes for them. If possible, paid time off is always a great reward. You could offer the winning team a half day off with pay. If time off is not feasible due to workload or other reasons, consider other options, such as a signed certificate of completion. This needs to be signed by senior people in the company, not just your immediate supervisors. This will be more meaningful if senior management personnel participate in your recognition. A great reward for all participants can also be in order. You shouldn’t tell the teams that everyone will be rewarded before the treasure hunt is over. This will work as a work against them because it will demotivate them. If they know that everyone will be rewarded, they surely won’t put as much effort into the task.

Report on the treasure hunt

Without any additional input, the activity itself will bring the team together in a fun way that carries over to work. But you may also want teams to report on some of the behaviors that take place during the scavenger hunt. While the scavenger hunt is in progress, watch how the employees relate to each other. You will definitely be able to see the leadership possibilities in certain employees. You will also see which employees follow the instructions best. Many strengths and weaknesses may be revealed, and the management staff can make full use of the information gained from this exercise. Some strategies and behaviors will be more successful than others.

To highlight these points, you may want to have a basic team briefing right after the scavenger hunt is over. Ask participants to discuss some of the following questions:

  • What happened?
  • What was the results? Why?
  • What was successful? What could have been done better?
  • What strengths of the individuals were discovered? What skills and strengths were not fully utilized?
  • How could you compensate or overcome weaknesses?
  • What could have been done differently?
  • What did you learn about the others on the team?
  • How can what you have learned from each other be useful in the workplace?

Benefits of a treasure hunt for team building

Conducting an office scavenger hunt is a great idea. Not only will it be a fun break from day-to-day responsibilities, but it will give you the opportunity to practice teamwork. There are benefits for both participants and management staff. Management staff will be able to observe and recognize traits in their employees that they might not have noticed without the treasure hunt. Homework is office friendly and fun for everyone involved.

Do you need some ideas?

You can get ideas for specific scavenger hunts at

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