The Marshmallow Challenge: What do you do with dry spaghetti, one yard of tape, and a marshmallow? Well, you build the tallest tower you can. It’s not only a good team building exercise, it’s also illustrative for decision making processes.
Scavenger Hunt: Pit teams against each other for a scavenger hunt around your city. Sound complicated, huh? Well, Watson Adventures has done much of the hard work for you. Visit their site to find a number of themed, city-specific scavenger hunts.
Pub Crawl: Map out a route to three or four local pubs. Make sure you call ahead and reserve some space. It’s also nice to provide employees with drink tickets. You don’t have to beg for participation when free drinks are at stake!
Focus on a non-profit: Rallying your employees around a cause is incredibly powerful. It’s human nature to form tribes and migrate in groups. Give them an opportunity to come together over something good. Choose a local shelter and volunteer meal service every quarter. Collect box tops for education. Plan a coat drive in the fall. The opportunities for serving your community are endless.
Outside networking sessions: Here in Seattle the Washington Technology Industry Association puts on the Seattle Tech Crawl, a fun way to go out as a team and meet folks at other great local organizations. Get better acquainted with your team, your industry, and your city.
Cross-team lunches: Sponsor lunches so that a newbie can take a member of another team out to lunch to get to know them.
Monthly birthday celebration: During your monthly team meetings, celebrate birthdays. Get cake, cupcakes, or another sweet treat.
Monthly Potluck lunch: Schedule one day a month for people to bring in an item to share for lunch. It’ll be fun for them to see what others are bringing, and the potluck forces them to take a break from their desk and socialize.
Go to a minor league game: Sporting events are pricy, but go to a local farm team’s game and you’ll have a fun event that won’t break the bank.
Employee shadowing: Let your newbie shadow someone in another department. Nothing beats on-the-job training, and your more seasoned employees will always have wisdom to offer to your new hires.
Give one of these ideas a try with your newest recruits. It'll be fun for them, and fun for your existing employees that get to take part too.
What other great engagement ideas are you using in your workplace?