The staff that laughs together stays together. This comes especially handy for employee onboarding. It's never easy to start a new job because you're the new kid at the workplace. And socialization plays a huge role helping new hires acclimate to a new work environment. Which is why here at TINYpulse, we play plenty of work icebreaker games.
According to DailyInfographic:
Businesses staffed by “engaged employees” achieve twice the income as their competitors whose workers are less than thrilled to punch in every day.
Since that’s the case, all business owners who wish their companies to be successful should take steps to ensure their employees are happy and that they’re invested in the company.
That all starts with making sure that all members of your staff get to know each other. Of course, these games can sometimes be awkward. Here are six fun icebreakers for work that your staff — from managers to employees — will enjoy.
1. Two truths and one lie
A bunch of new hires starting today? If so, arrange a team lunch or take a break in the afternoon so that your existing staff can get to know the newbie. Here’s any easy way to do that: once gathered, have everyone come up with two things that are true about themselves and another thing that's false. Then each person presents what they came up with. Everyone tries to guess the right answer, which leads to stories about past life experiences and facilitates conversation.
2. Find 10 things in common
Let’s say you run a large company where departments rarely interact. To encourage employees to get to know one another better, host a company-wide lunch. After everyone eats, break them off into separate groups, making sure to include employees from all departments in each of them. Task the groups with finding 10 things that all of them share in common (besides the obvious, e.g., that they are human).
Split up your employees into groups (or pairs if you have a small company). Have each person write down something interesting they've done on a notecard (e.g. skydiving, have lived in ten different states, drank a gallon of milk in five minutes — the sillier the better). Put the notecards into a hat, give it a nice shake, and give each person a notecard to read aloud. The reader must then try to guess who done it and why they think that they did it.
4. Speed dating
Fair enough, the concept of “speed dating” might seem a little strange. But if you’re trying to get your employees to know one another a bit better, the concept can be a godsend. Write up a list of not-actually-speed-dating-related questions, give workers two minutes to chat in each session, and see what happens. Give them a beer if it's appropriate.
5. Human rock-paper-scissors
Even if you’re an artificially intelligent robot, you’ve probably played rock-paper-scissors at least once against a friend or foe. But you probably haven’t applied the game to a group setting. Here’s how it works: Break your staff up into however many teams. Let each come up with particular body signals for each move. Make sure everyone stretches beforehand, because things could get pretty intense. And beware: employees may suffer from exhaustion after laughing too hard, so you may want a medic on hand.
6. Eat poop, you cat
A TINYpulse favorite. Gather everyone in a circle and equip each person with a piece of paper and a pencil. Have each person write a phrase of their own choice at the top of the paper, then pass the paper to the left. Now each person must draw a picture of the phrase, then fold the top of the paper over so that the phrase is covered. Then pass it to the left, where the next person will write what they think the hidden phrase is, based off the picture. Basically, it's Telephone-Pictionary.
Remember, though some of your employees may be social butterflies, not all of them are. The easiest way to help your workers know each other better is to encourage interaction in a way most people are comfortable with. Because all participants are in it together, icebreakers are one of the quickest paths to a connected team.
Got more icebreaker game ideas?
There are a ton of icebreaker games out there that I'm sure I missed. If you have any other awesome ideas, please share them either in the comment section below or tweet at us @TINYpulse!
- 3 of the Best Team-Building Games to Play at Work
- 8 Clever Team-Building Activities That People Actually Love