Teamwork is crucial in business and there are many unique ways to cultivate it. We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share their most creative ways to foster bonding and teamwork in the workplace.

Fun lunches

"Our potluck style luncheons are very popular. Once, participants had to draw colors from a hat and their dishes had to include those colors. It was a great bonding experience and today, people still talk about the White Lightning Noodle Salad vs. the Once in a Blueberry Moon Salad challenge."

Jim Weigl, EO Southeast Virginia
President, Virginia Toy and Novelty Company

Annual retreats

"Our team is spread globally, so annual retreats are essential to create cohesion, alignment with the company's culture and values, and to develop a common understanding of long and short term goals. We regularly do this from a distance-phone, email, or video conferences--but nothing compares to a handshake, and looking another person in the eye while sharing information about yourself."

David Hassell, EO At Large--US
Founder and CEO, 15Five

Recognize team successes

"We publicly celebrate our agents' successes. When an agent makes a great sale, has a personal best week in commissions, or any other kind of personal achievement, we announce it on email. Then the love-fest begins. People who have never personally met one another chime in and congratulate the person, wish them luck, or offer help if the person is facing a challenge. Our agents feel the hospitality and intimacy has helped our business."

Cheryl Biron, EO New Jersey
President and CEO, One Horn Transportation

Ask each other deep questions

"Our staff meetings include playing the 'Ungame' that invites everyone to spend time listening and learning about each other. The 'Ungame' is a set of questions with deep and personal questions such as 'Do you ever feel lonely?' They transcend everyday small talk; We not only know what others have gone through but more importantly, how they are feeling while going through their life experiences."

Elliott Holt, EO Nashville
CEO, Medi-Copy Services Inc.

Get everyone's input

"For our year-end sales meeting, I asked each person to stand up and say one thing they wish to change about the company. People initially felt shy but everyone soon got into the groove and it turned out to be a great bonding experience. It made the process of brainstorming unique and we used the ideas to begin mapping out our goals. Eventually, we put our ideas into a functional business plan. Everyone had input and helped create the final product!"

Susan Meitner, EO Philadelphia
CEO and President, Centennial Lending Group, LLC

Published on: Jul 10, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.