Team Building Idea

Team Accountability

Free team building idea tool introduction:

"The idea of team members taking accountability for their results,
while not new, can sometimes surprise employees."

Organizations all over the globe are recognizing that the more you hold your employees accountable for their results, the more likely it is that the individual will perform at the expected level.

"Accountability takes place when leaders INSPECT what they EXPECT."

Leaders need to balance their message of accountability with supportive actions that help to teach and coach employees to new levels of success.

Large and small companies are now linking their success in service delivery, employee and customer retention and overall business growth, directly to their ability to hire and retain high functioning employees who thrive on personal accountability.

As a team member or a team leader, no one should be surprised to learn that if they do not consistently follow through on their commitments to the team, then they quickly become the weakest link.

You must understand that as a natural result of a lack of follow through, you can quickly become the one that is the most at risk of losing his or her position on the team.


Activities & Exercises: Team Building Idea for Accountability

Ready? BREAK...Old Habits!

Purpose of this activity: To show team members that they are accountable for continuous improvement. In order to grow and expand their skill-set they must remain open to trying out new ideas and creative solutions.

Explanation: Ask each team member to identify something very basic, something they are used to doing almost daily. For this team building idea, each task must be something that they can demonstrate right now. Ideas might include:

  • Putting on their coat
  • Tying their shoestrings
  • Combing their hair
  • Putting on their make-up
  • Writing their name

Once everyone has identified a common task, explain to the group that they need to work in partnership with another team member and they must complete the task using the opposite hand that they are used to using.

Encourage each team member to try his or her best knowing full well that it will be uncomfortable. Instruct the teams to take turns conducting the task and observing the other person as he or she attempts to complete his or her task.

After the first round, instruct the teams to repeat the exact same task.

Once two rounds are complete, discuss the importance of:

  • Being willing to attempt new ways to solve common problems.
  • The more you do something different, the easier it becomes.
  • Knowing that it’s FEAR of the unknown that is our greatest enemy
  • Challenging ourselves to seek out new ways of improving service delivery and product quality
  • Holding each other accountable for bringing new ideas to the table versus simply leaning back and being an "order-taker".


US vs. THEM-blem

Purpose of this activity: Increasing personal awareness of how team members can positively or negatively influence the work environment by how they choose their words. This team building idea holds employees accountable for the words they use in meetings and in the workplace.

Explanation: Too often, employees respond to a newly introduced challenge by using words that reflect poorly on the employee as well as on the team.

Although the employee may have good intentions, they mistakenly use words such as:

  • Sure, but are you sure we can do that?
  • I’ll try my best.
  • I can’t say for sure, but I’ll give it a shot.
  • I won’t promise anything, but I’ll see what I can do.

In the above examples, while the overall message seem to be positive, they still give off a sense of doubt by using the words "BUT, TRY, CAN’T, & WON’T".

Coaching your employees to become more aware of this in their everyday life, and especially when they are in your meetings and on the phone with customers and/or business associates, will aid them in their future success.

Encourage your employees to replace "BUT, TRY, CAN’T, & WON’T" with more positive and constructive words such as:

  • AND
  • WILL
  • CAN

"Employees often unknowingly send out messages of doubt, uncertainly and low self-esteem when they respond."

To hold employees accountable for their words and to encourage team members to become more in tune with the language of the overall team, identify or create a special item known as the THEM-blem award.

The item can be something as simple as a rubber chicken, a stuffed animal, or a trophy of some sort.

Whenever a team member catches another team member using negative or unproductive language, they get to pass on the award to the offending team member – in effect holding that team member accountable for their choice of words.

The person who holds the Them-blem award is now the person who must identify someone else using language unbecoming of your team.

Make the point to your team that negative and unhelpful language is fine for your competitors, but not for US. That’s what THEY do, but WE are better than that. Creating an US vs THEM mentality is a team building idea that can do wonders to promote teamwork and a strong sense of accountability.


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Next Team Building At Work Chapters

» Commitment

» Communication

» Creativity


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead








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