In the office, no man is an island. Team-building activities aimed at boosting communication and collaboration have been shown to improve morale as well as creativity and productivity. Plus, if you choose the right games, it can show managers the strengths and weaknesses of their workforce and illuminate skill sets from employees they may not have seen in the day-to-day office life.
Team-building activities don’t have to cost anything or take up too much time, but the benefits are incredibly valuable. The next time you have a Friday afternoon meeting, try incorporating one of these three of the best team-building games.
The Sinking Ship
All you need to play The Sinking Ship is a rope or some tape to mark off a space on the floor. Cordon off a space on the ground — a square, a circle, or any imaginative shape you can think up. That space is your ship, and everyone has to fit in it. Unfortunately, the ship is sinking, so every round after the team has successfully squeezed into the first “ship,” a new, smaller space is created inside the existing one. Employees have to work together to find innovative ways to get their whole team aboard the “ship” as it gets smaller and smaller.
This team-building game helps build communication among your employees. Use regular office equipment — chairs, desks, laptop bags, water bottles — to set up a “minefield” of obstacles down a hallway. Using a blindfold (any team member’s tie will work), the whole team has to guide the blindfolded employee through the obstacles to the end of the hallway successfully.
Also known as “Mafia,” the popular party game Werewolf can easily be modified to work in your office. It’s a collaborative team-building game that can make a little fun in the workplace on a quiet afternoon. On scraps of paper, write one that says “Seer,” two that say “Werewolf,” and the rest — as many of your team that remains — should say “Villager.” In a blind draw, everyone on the team pulls the role they will play in the game. A manager will work as the moderator.
The goal is for the Villagers to catch the werewolves before the werewolves attack them. The game is divided into two sections: Night and Day. During Night, everyone closes their eyes and claps or otherwise makes noise. When asked to by the Moderator, the two Werewolves open their eyes and silently acknowledge each other. Together, silently, they decide to “kill” one of the Villagers. Then they close their eyes, and the Moderator tells the Doctor to open theirs.
The Doctor then silently chooses a Villager to “save” and re-closes their eyes. Finally, the Seer opens their eyes and points to a player. The moderator will give a thumbs up if the Seer chose a Werewolf and a thumbs down if they chose a Villager. The Seer then closes their eyes.
Now it’s Day. The Moderator lets the Werewolves’ victim know, and that person is out of the game if the Doctor didn’t save them. All of the Villagers then introduce themselves and collaboratively decide which player they believe is a Werewolf and kill that player. Everyone playing can try to save themselves with truth or lies, convincing the other players whom to kill aside from them.
Keep this cycle going until someone wins. The Werewolves have to kill all but two players to win; the Villagers have to kill both Werewolves to win.
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Team-building games can enhance collaboration and morale in your organizational culture, and there’s no reason not to have a little fun in the office from time to time.
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