GettaMeeting

Fall Team Building and Bonding: 14 Autumn Inspired Activities Your Team Will Love

Fall Team Building and Bonding: 14 Autumn Inspired Activities Your Team Will Love

Team building and team bonding are essential to a positive workplace culture. Building a cohesive team leads to higher performance, greater employee satisfaction, skills development, and creativity. According to Forbes, investing in team building can even lead to 21% greater profitability.

Team building has become a buzzword and some professionals groan at the term. Activities that are aimed toward bringing a team closer together or challenging a team to work better together can easily fall flat and feel like a waste of time to employees. This is why it’s important to find and host intentional activities and tailor them to your team’s needs, employees’ preferences, and the organization’s goals.

Before we get too carried away, let’s discuss the difference between building and bonding and how your team can benefit from both.

Team Building VS. Team Bonding

Team Building

Team building is the term we are most familiar with. Team building is creating and strengthening collaboration through participation in goal setting, discussion, and problem-solving among employees. Activities should work to better employee communication and further establish shared company values. Through team building, teams become more productive and motivated while growing soft skills and developing their professional prowess.

Team Bonding

Team bonding, though quite similar to team building, emphasizes the cohesiveness of a team through coworker relationships. Team bonding focuses less on refining skills and more on growing support and understanding between team members. Through team bonding activities, coworkers learn to understand and value each other more which creates a deeply supportive team. Bonding as a team allows employees to recognize and appreciate differences in each other while growing closer when discovering similarities. Team bonding activities can make employees feel a greater sense of belonging, inclusion, support, calm, and confidence which all contribute to a more welcoming and productive environment.

Which one is right for my team?

Chances are, your team can greatly benefit from both team building and bonding.

If you want to prioritize one over the other, here are some questions to help you choose the best fit for your team:

  • Have you noticed miscommunication between team members recently?
  • Are there some employees who rarely have the chance to work together?
  • Do you feel like the decisions being made in the workplace could use more perspectives?
  • Does your team struggle with reaching out for help?
  • Do some team members work better together than others? Do some experience friction when working together?
  • Is dialogue during meetings dry and problem-solving slow?

If so, choose team building.

 

  • Do you feel like you truly know and understand your employees?
  • Are the decisions being made by employees aligning with shared work values and the organization’s objectives?
  • Have you been celebrating big and small accomplishments or events at work?
  • Is the turnover rate adequate/expected? Is absenteeism low?
  • Do most employees “click” with each other (get along well)? 
  • Does everyone seem to feel welcome and included?
  • Do you believe everyone on the team recognizes each member’s expertise?

If not, choose team bonding.


Typical team-building and bonding activities can feel like a chore, but when they are thought out and executed well, team members get so much more out of the experience, especially if they are excited about the relevant theme (autumn, for instance). Choosing activities specifically appropriate for fall lets your team know you’re investing in them and personalizing activities for their benefit.

Fall Team Bonding Activities

Try some of these activities this autumn to help your team get to know each other better and build a more supportive network.

Paint pumpkins. Your team can opt to carve pumpkins, yet that often takes more time and the risk of injury is much higher! Simply acquire different sizes of pumpkins, paint, and brushes and lay them out on a protected table. Let everyone paint a pumpkin or two and display them where they would like! Be sure to encourage conversation and prompt team members to get to know each other better. Go a step further by voting for and deciding the best decorated pumpkin!

 

Escape room. If your city has an escape room, go as a team after work to solve puzzles and work on your collaboration and problem-solving skills. Not only is this a fun and engaging activity, it’s a memorable experience that the entire team will have in common to remember and cherish.

 

Paint-and-sip. After work head to a paint-and-sip event where the entire team can follow a painting tutorial while sipping wine or beer. Everyone will leave with the same yet personalized souvenir and a casual, enjoyable bonding experience.

 

Tea or cider tasting. Depending on your team’s schedule and preferences, have everyone try different types of teas or ciders. If your team does not have much time to spare but wants to participate in something that they can discuss and enjoy, prepare and set out a few different types of teas that the team can pour and enjoy anytime throughout the day when they have a free moment. If your team can spare some time after work, head to a cider house and sample a few different drinks. This option certainly allows for more conversation and true bonding.

 

Candle making. If your team is in need of relaxing and no-stress crafting, this one is for you. Purchase containers, wicks, wax, and fall scents to create candles. Let everyone create their own personalized candles together and take them home or light them at their desks.

 

Halloween contests. Go further than a pumpkin decorating contest and challenge employees to decorate their desks or go all out with their Halloween costumes. Communicate the day and rules for the contest (and mention prizes to get the excitement going) and let everyone run wild!

 

Iconic fall movie trivia. Find online (or create your own) trivia questions about fall and Halloween movies. Split the team into multiple groups and award fun seasonal prizes to the winning team.

Fall Team Building Activities

For teams that need help working together and developing team skills, try some of these team building activities.

Lead a walking meeting. Walk through an area near your workplace and admire the fall colors. Take this time to pick the brains of your employees, find a solution to a problem, ask for feedback (and provide it in return), or relay information that is easily digestible.

 

Explore fall color theory and apply it. Read up on fall color colors and how they affect our emotions, then discuss with the team and talk about how the team can utilize the colors in their work, dress, etc. Consider including visuals and fall items to make the discussion more engaging and applicable. This activity helps remind teams to use tools that are outside of the box and practice reflecting on and applying the things they learn (which is incredibly important to a healthy learning culture at work).

 

Lunch ‘n learn: fall potluck. Have everyone sign up for and bring one of their favorite fall dishes. Once everyone has their sampling of foods, dive into a meeting centered around a professional development topic. The casual and comforting meal along with engaging content makes for a great environment for teams to learn, discuss, and reflect together.

Need a topic for your lunch ‘n learn? GettaMeeting has 12 comprehensive meeting modules, designed for you to simply plug in and press play. With each module comes team-building activities, food suggestions, takeaway items and so much more. Consider the Build Relationships: Breaking Bread meeting module for a cozy team-building and bonding experience 

 

Giving day. ‘Tis the season for giving: National Giving Day takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so find a local organization with a cause that aligns with your organization’s values and volunteer your time. Be sure to discuss as a team the impacts of your work, how your community will benefit from your dedication, and how it aligns with and further establishes your company’s values.


Outdoor meeting or picnic. It is never too late in the season for a picnic! Get bundled up, grab some snacks and warm drinks, and head outside for a meeting or lunch picnic. A meeting outdoors changes the work environment which allows for better focus and a necessary break in routine. Plus, some fresh air never hurt anybody!


Host a Snack & Feedback session. Celebrate World Listening Day the day after Thanksgiving by setting out some snacks and having a meeting meant only for going over feedback team members have gotten from customers/clients and listening to feedback from leaders. This is a great time to shout out employees, encourage employees to recognize each other, and better understand customers.


Duo scavenger hunt. Pair people up who do not usually get a chance to work together or who don't know each other well. Send the duos on the hunt to find things in nature that match specific colors or find a specific fall scavenger hunt online. Getting people to work together in this casual capacity can create a new link between coworkers that encourages fresh collaboration and problem-solving.

How long should activities take?

The golden answer: it depends.

Activities planned to strengthen team dynamics can range from events to quick activities. It depends on your organization’s resources, team structure, time constraints, and problem areas.

The key to planning team building or bonding activities is to work backward. Start by determining what your goal for the activity is. Perhaps it is to increase collaboration and communication, foster a sense of belonging, or learn more about each other.

After determining your goal, decide who needs to participate in the activity. Most of the time it will be the entire team, but if the goal and problem are specific enough, not everyone will be needed. Perhaps a certain department or group is in particular need of bonding.

Once we know how many people will attend, we can figure out how long it will take to prep the activity and set a date and time. 

Need activities that take very little prep and that coincide with meeting material and team-building goals? GettaMeeting’s comprehensive meeting modules include activities such as icebreakers, games, and thoughtful prompts for building teams. Check out the many modules available and consider purchasing the Team Building series, three meetings that specifically address and work to strengthen team dynamics.

Choosing a date and time for the entire team to come together can be challenging, so if the activity is one that would take a lot of time, consider inviting participants weeks in advance when their schedule is more open. If activities are short in nature, plan those soon when everyone has a time slot available. Sometimes team bonding events can be hosted after hours which makes it much easier to gather everyone together.

It is important to not neglect the time constraints and deadlines of employees. If your team is working hard on a project, choosing an activity that could take hours is not respectful to the team. If your team can spare this kind of time, however, the benefits are huge but the activities must be facilitated well (and in line with the goal) to have such an impact.

Final Thoughts

Because some employees feel that team building or bonding activities are a waste of time, it can be incredibly effective to involve your team in choosing the activities. Narrow down the activities that align with what your team needs and the goals you have for them, then ask employees to vote for the activity they want to do. Whichever receives the most votes wins!

Something to keep in mind when planning and facilitating team building and bonding activities are limitations and needs for accommodations. Team building activities should be fun and accessible for everyone, so keep in mind the disabled folks on your team. It’s also important to remember anyone with food allergies and adjust your activities accordingly. Around the holiday season, some people might not enjoy some activities due to religious reasons, so be open and communicative when settling on activities appropriate for everyone.

Have fun and happy fall!

 

You might also enjoy:

Why You Should Be Hosting Team Building Activities During Meetings

9 Tips for Creating a Strong Learning Culture at Work

Improve Your Meeting Culture By Facilitating Different Types of Meetings