13 Team Building Activities for CEOs & Senior Executives
From enhancing communication and collaboration to increasing problem-solving and critical thinking skills, the right team building activities for CEOs and senior executives can provide big benefits for the entire organization.
Updated: July 17, 2023
When you think of team building activities, you might get the idea that they’re mainly intended to benefit employees ranging from entry-level to mid-management and are less of a priority for senior executives and C-Suite professionals.
But you’d be mistaken—team building activities for senior executives offer a ton of benefits which in turn have a positive trickle-down effect on the rest of the organization.
This fact is backed up by stats from a Gallup survey which indicated that a highly engaged leadership team can boost employee engagement by as much as 39%—in turn creating a happier and more productive team.
The Key Reasons Why CEOs and Senior Executives Benefit from Team Building Activities
For senior leadership, team building activities serve a number of valuable purposes, including helping them to:
- Get aligned by creating something together
- Improve collaboration and communication
- Develop their coaching skills
- Learn to work together on strategic planning
- Hone their decision-making abilities
- Build leadership team trust and decrease resistance and barriers
- Focus on active listening and problem-solving skills
- Connect in a different way by seeing each other in a different light
- Break down silos (for more on this topic, read our blog post that provides five tips for breaking down silos and creating cross-departmental collaboration)
At Outback Team Building & Training, we work extensively with leadership teams of all levels to facilitate group activities that help achieve specific business goals (for an interesting case study on the topic, read our article: How Kickstart Seed Fund Engaged 110 CEOs with the Right Team Building Event). As a result, we’ve identified common trends in the types of team building activities that business leaders find most appealing – and why.
When it comes to senior leadership and CEO team building activities, we find that our customers often opt for events that are some combination of the following criteria:
- More serious than light-hearted
- Hyper-focused on smaller groups
- Tailored to incorporate some form of learning
- Include a philanthropic element
- Focus on helping people get to know each other, compete, and break down barriers
Based on these factors, here is our list of the top four best team building activities for senior executives.
Team Building Activities for CEOs and Senior Executives
For leadership teams who work together at the office, in-person team building activities and group skills training workshops can be a great way to create cohesion and support a stronger dynamic.
Being a leader is fraught with unique and unexpected challenges, and being able to overcome them as a team is critical to the success of your organization.
That’s what makes Hollywood Murder Mystery such a valuable team building activity for CEOs and senior executives.
In this activity, a famous actress is found murdered. So, you’ll need to put your problem-solving skills to the test as you share theories, collaborate, and think outside the box with your fellow investigators. Together, you’ll review case files and evidence including police reports, coroners’ reports, photo evidence, tabloids, interrogations, and phone calls as you determine the motive, method, and murderer and bring justice for the victim.
Silos in business occur as a result of teams and departments failing to communicate and collaborate. That’s why, for senior leadership, team building activities that focus on breaking down silos and integrating multiple departments can be tremendously valuable.
With an activity like Domino Effect Challenge, your group will split into teams that will need to complete their own respective section of a chain reaction machine. But then, they will also need to come together as a full group to collaboratively assemble their sections into a fully-functioning device.
Clear communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are among the most critical points of focus for any leadership team. With a team building activity like CI: The Crime Investigators, you’ll need to think analytically and work together to collect evidence, decipher clues, and solve a mysterious and deadly crime.
Doing good deeds has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and make people feel better. That’s why philanthropic team building activities are a big hit among senior executives. Our Wheelchairs for Charity activity fuses philanthropy with real-world learning outcomes to help participants give back while sharpening their business skills. Together, teams will build and test fully functional wheelchairs before donating them to those in need. This exercise is great for helping leadership team members increase their empathy while enhancing their communication and collaboration skills.
Group Skills Training Workshops for Senior Leaders
Many of the leadership groups we work with also like to pair their team building activities with a training and development program. Doing so allows them to gain in-depth insights, knowledge, and skills, and then put them to work in a fun, engaging, and practical way. If you’re looking for a great training and development program to pair with team building activities for senior executives, you might like:
Each day, leaders are faced with dozens of decisions, ranging from minor to major. That means the ability to make effective decisions quickly and confidently is of paramount importance. With the Confident Decision Making training and development program, your leadership team will learn best practices for tackling complex choices, avoiding common decision-making traps, and becoming more accountable. You can bring this to life with a team building activity like Domino Effect Challenge.
Strong communication skills are vital to the success of any leadership team, but they aren’t always intuitive.
With a training and development program like Clear Communication, your senior executives can learn to hone their verbal and written communication skills, interpret and understand non-verbal communication signals, and enhance how they communicate during conflicts and decision-making.
These skills can be seamlessly exercised in a team building activity such as Code Break or Clue Murder Mystery.
The most successful teams have one thing in common: a positive team dynamic. In order to create this, it’s important for leaders to be able to build a framework for what a successful team looks like, enhance the way their employees work together, and, most importantly, the way they contribute to the team.
With the Positive Team Dynamics training and development program, your leadership team will learn to get aligned, create increased productivity, build trust, collaborate effectively, and take on greater ownership and accountability. You can compliment this with a team building activity like Charity Bike Buildathon which makes for the perfect way to apply these skills in a real-world setting.
Virtual Team Building Activities for Remote Leadership Teams
The pandemic caused a lot of leadership teams to have to work from home. Whether you’re still working remotely or you’re back in the office together, it’s more important than ever to partake in activities that can strengthen and rebuild bonds between them and ensure they’re able to run your organization effectively.
If your leadership team works remotely, or if you’re unable to get everyone together in the same place at the same time, we also offer fully-virtual team building activities for CEOs and senior executives.
Senior executives work in a high-pressure environment and, all too often, it can result in stress and strain. That’s why a light-hearted team building activity can go a long way to helping you and your colleagues relax, unwind, and regroup as you enjoy some low-pressure time together.
With Virtual Friendly Feud Social, you and your colleagues will break out into teams to compete through Family Feud-style survey questions focused on culture and human nature.
And, as an added social element within the game, each round of questions will be followed by a guided social mixer where you’ll have the chance to take part in a group discussion and more deeply explore the survey questions from the previous round.
As a senior leadership team working under intense professional circumstances, your valuable interpersonal relationships can sometimes fall by the wayside. But to be successful as a team, you also need to know each other on a more personal level.
With Virtual Social Shuffle, you’ll get to know your fellow leaders even better and build better connections that will help you carry your organization forward. With this ultra-social virtual team building activity for remote groups, your group will learn fun facts about one another as you tackle a series of themed discussion topics together and engage in exploratory conversations.
As a senior leadership team, you’re constantly faced with complex and outside-the-box challenges. That’s why it’s so important to continually and proactively develop your collaboration and problem-solving skills. With a team building activity like Virtual Code Break, you’ll become even better equipped to tackle real-world issues by communicating and working together to complete brainteasers and mental exercises.
Healthy competition can have big benefits in business (for more on this, check out our blog post on the topic: How to Create Healthy and Beneficial Workplace Competition). With Virtual Team Pursuit, senior-level executives can get to know each other, compete, and break down barriers in a low-pressure environment. In this activity, your group will break out into remote teams that will earn points by tackling physical, mental, skill, and mystery challenges as they compete to be crowned the champions.
When it comes to building collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, Virtual Clue Murder Mystery is a perfect team building activity for senior executives. It will allow your group to exercise these key skills in a relaxed environment – a welcome change to the high-stakes, high-pressure real-world business challenges you face on a daily basis! With this app-based activity, your leadership team will need to put their heads together to use clues, case files, and logic to crack the case of a mysterious murder.
Sometimes, your leadership team needs to let go of the stresses caused by your jobs, cut loose, and just have fun. With Virtual Game Show Extravaganza, your team can go head-to-head in your very own virtual game show. Together, you’ll need to tackle photo and trivia challenges covering everything from pop culture to politics as you compete to earn points and be named winners. An activity like this is a great way to help boost your communication skills and connect in a different way.
Whether your leadership team works in the office together daily or operates remotely, team building activities can be an incredibly effective way to build stronger bonds which in turn help create a stronger organization.
What types of activities do you and your leadership team do to stay connected and build your skills? Let us know in the comments section below!
Learn More About Team Building Activities for Your Senior Leadership Team
For more information about how team building activities can benefit your senior leadership team, just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.