Top 5 Games for Team-Building
There are few activities a company can engage in that are more important than team building. While each individual in a company is responsible for his or her own work and productivity at the end of the day, fostering a team-like atmosphere can make the working environment more pleasant and more engaging, and thereby more productive. In our look at ‘How to Increase Employee Engagement’ we wrote specifically about the idea of getting to know employees. And this is an idea that can be broadened to apply to relationships between employees as well. Essentially, if people get to know one another they’ll often be happier at work, and do a better job as a result!
With that in mind, we wanted to look at a few team-building methods — and specifically games — that can help in the development of friendlier, more communal workplace culture (and which in some cases can even teach relevant skills in the process!).
1. “Game Of Possibilities”
The “Game Of Possibilities” is one that comes up fairly frequently in discussions about great team-building games. MyStory’s list of some of these games explained the rules fairly concisely: an object is given to one member of a group, and other members of the group take turns demonstrating (without speaking) a potential use for the object. Others are left to guess what the demonstration is meant to show. It’s almost like a form of the popular game charades that revolves specifically around random objects.
Relate it to Work: To relate this game to work, keep the items relevant to whatever the company does. This doesn’t necessarily teach relevant skills, but it does keep a workplace theme at hand. In the meantime, the game itself is helpful in getting team members used to communicating with each other and thinking creatively.
2. “This Is Better Than That"
Not entirely unlike the Game Of Possibilities, “This Is Better Than That” is another game in which team members need to get creative about how to use random objects. In this case though, there are specific prompts. Each team is given four objects and a scenario is presented, such as “how to survive in the desert,” or perhaps “escaping from prison.” The teams then have pre-determined amounts of time in which to rank the objects from most to least useful and provide justifications. There’s not really a competitive aspect to the game, unless a third team or moderator is there to judge which team makes a better case.
Relate it to Work: Naturally, an office-related scenario can keep the game related to work. For instance, the challenge could be to rank objects’ value in turning away a zombie invasion in the office. Like the “Game Of Possibilities” though, this one is more about the team building itself than any side skills.
Scattergories is a fairly old card game, but a great one to play in a group, and one that inspires creative thinking. There are some specific ways to organise competition, but ultimately the game is about listing as many words as possible — all with the same first letter and relating to the same theme or category.
Relate it to Work: Try turning the game into a keyword training system. In today’s business world, the relevance of keywords in content plays a significant role in establishing a company’s search viability and digital marketing prowess. To that point, Ayima Kickstart includes keyword optimisation among the techniques that are most necessary for a startup looking to boost its digital marketing efforts. Now, a game like this can’t achieve full keyword optimisation by any means; that requires analysis of a company’s online content. However, by making Scattergories relevant to your business’s products or services, you can actually get teams to start thinking of relevant terms and important keywords in the process of playing this game.
4. Escape Room
Not much beats an escape room when it comes to inspiring employees to work together (and bond in the process). The downside is that this typically has to be done away from the office, and potentially during off hours. However, escape rooms are a lot of fun, and you may just find that they represent one of the quickest ways to get people to enjoy one another and become friends.
Relate it to Work: Like any good team-building activity, an escape room can benefit a work team by fostering a sense of cooperation. Most of the time, that will be the extent of it. However, there are some themed escape rooms emerging that are actually meant to teach relevant work skills. For example, StateScoop highlighted an escape room that is specifically designed to teach employees how to handle cybersecurity threats! This speaks to an increasingly relevant concern in modern business. We’ve reached a point at which each and every employee in a given office environment needs to be aware of basic cybersecurity risks and how to address them. Accordingly, an escape room like this — if you can find one — can actually be helpful in providing specific knowledge and building a team.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Like a good escape room, a scavenger hunt is just a wonderful way to get people to work together and build bonds in pursuit of a specific goal. Plus, most people have done a scavenger hunt of some sort at one time or another, which makes this a relatively easy activity to jump into, provided someone’s taken the time to organise the hunt itself.
Relate it to Work: The easiest way to relate a scavenger hunt to work is to do it in and around an office, and make the hints and the objects teams are searching for relevant to business. However, Goose Chase has a number of specific ideas for workplace scavenger hunts that can accomplish side goals. These might include highlighting employees’ talents, teaching just-for-fun side skills, or any number of other things. Not all of them teach work-related skills like handling cybersecurity or team management. But they can still elevate the scavenger hunt to be more relevant to the business at hand.
So there you have it! Hopefully some of these team-building games can help you and your team to develop a friendlier and more productive working environment together.
Written by Alisha Lance