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This is it. The first in the series of our teambuilding tips articles, the Team Building Recipes! We wanted to start with something familiar, so we chose table tennis as our first game. In this article we’ll show you some recommendations (aka possible variations) regarding table tennis game-types, which skills it can improve, plus some KPIs, based on which you can monitor the success of this type of team building in your organisation!

 

Type of activity: both indoor and outdoor

Team/individual: both

Required time to play: it depends, appr. 10-25 min.

Requires sports equipment investment? Yes

Best for: stress relieving, quick energy boost

Popularity: high

 

Ingredients

  • table tennis balls
  • rackets
  • a table tennis net
  • a proper table tennis desk (can be two long desks put together)

 

Instructions

Get up from your desk, find a buddy/buddies, grab some rackets, table tennis balls and go to your company’s table tennis desk. If you don’t have, don’t worry: find 2-4 desks which are currently not used, push them together, get a net and voilà, you have a DIY table tennis desk! If you have large desks, then 1 desk will suffice.

 

Rules

The rules are simple: you two have to toss the tiny ball with the racket and…meh, you know this game’s rules already, let’s jump to the possible variations then! 🙂

Only two things: first, who gets the chance to start can be decided on numerous ways. One way is rock-paper-scissors. The second and most popular way is by tossing the ball by hand. The first one who gets a point will start the game.

Second, how does the serve change? Well, according to the rules the serve passes to the other player in every 2 points. Meaning, if Player A starts the serve, gets a point, then serves again and Player B gets a point, then the total score is 1+1 = 2, so the serve goes to Player B. If the total number of points reaches 4 points, then the serve goes to Player A, and so on…

 

Types and variations

There are a lot of types of games within table tennis you can play. The basic aim is to achieve the maximum points before your opponent(s). The maximum amount of points is (officially) 11, but you can play until 21, as well. Here are the types we picked and recommend:

 

Classic 1 vs 1

Variations:

  • It’s up to you how many matches does the player have to win in order to be the winner – 2 out of 3, 3 out of 5, or you play only one match. We recommend you to play one match if you pick the 21-point one.

 

2 vs 2

Same rules apply, but in this case you always have to toss back the ball towards the opposite area diagonally to your side. In addition, the person who has to toss back the ball changes constantly. You toss the ball, player A tosses it back, then your teammate tosses towards player B, player B tosses to you and so on.

 

Variations:

  • Circle 2 vs 2 – same as the normal 2 vs 2, but you have to run continuously in a circle. After every toss, you have to run half a circle to the opposite side, toss back and so on. Whether you run clockwise, or counter-clockwise, it’s up to you! 🙂 The team which reaches the maximum number of points wins.

 

6 people-table tennis

You run around the table and pass the ball to your opponents. The rules are the same, as you get to the opposite side, you toss back the ball. If someone can’t pass the ball (or loses it), drops out immediately. The aim is to drop out the others until there are only two players remaining. Then the last two players play a 1 vs 1 match. The winner of this match wins the whole game.

There are no variations for this game, we recommend playing this type with a maximum of 8 people. The best thing in this game is, that it’s pure fun! 🙂

 

Skills improved

It’s advised to know the weaknesses of your teammates – if you bear them in mind, then it’ll be more easy to find a proper team building exercise to improve them.

In the case of table tennis, they are the following:

  • concentration
  • agility
  • reflexes

KPIs

In this section we show which KPIs we recommend you to use. With these KPIs you’ll be able to measure the success of your specific team building exercises. The KPIs have a 10-scale system – the best is to ask your employees to evaluate the company based on these metrics before and after a team building. Thus, you can collect and convert qualitative data into quantitative. Plus, depending on the number of participants different KPIs can be improved – a 6-player circle game will boost connection more, for instance.

In the articles we show which specific KPIs can a particular team building exercise improve.

 

First, let’s clarify the KPIs!

 

1, Connection – this metric shows how employees feel connected to the others, meaning to what extent employees feel themselves as a member of the company community

 

2, Engagement – this metric shows an employee’s degree of loyalty for the company. In other words, it shows how gladly an employee comes to work on an average day.

 

3, Culture – it shows a team building’s ability to improve overall company culture

 

4, Health and wellness – simple: the physical challenge of a team building activity and its biological effects on a person

 

5, Happiness/satisfaction – it shows how much a team building exercise improves an employee’s overall good mood in connection with working at the company

 

6, Ambassadorship – this metric is a bit tricky one. Ambassadorship means the desire of employees telling other people/their friends and relatives how much they love working at their company – without being asked to do so.

 

And now let’s see which KPIs can table tennis improve the most – and how much (in our opinion); the bolded ones are the most relevant KPIs:

  • connection: 8/10
  • engagement: 5/10
  • culture: 7/10
  • health and wellness: 4/10
  • happiness/satisfaction: 6/10
  • ambassadorship: 4/10

 

Bon appetite!

Table tennis is an easy, relatively short play, which is widely known and liked. We didn’t really dwell on the rules as practically everybody knows how to play it, but as you see there are numerous types and variations to this game. Based on these, even if table tennis is originally played by two people, with some variations you can engage even 6 or 8 people, as well! Table tennis is useful, if your co-workers have problems focusing on the work and sit too much in front of their desks all day. A short and absolutely not work-related activity is a miracle to ignite their creativity again. Using the recommended KPIs you can measure the success of your game.

 

Do you agree with the positive benefits of table tennis described here? What do you think about having one in your office? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

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