Joining a new professional environment can be extremely nerve-wracking. New employees may be so focused on making goodfirst impressions, that it can hinder them from actually doing so. This is one of the many reasons why team building is so important. A fun and productive way to team-build while facilitating onboarding is to have your new team play icebreaker games. I know, I know; “cheesy” and “cliché” are two words thought, if not verbally associated, with the idea of icebreakers. Truth is, icebreakers are a little cheesy and they are widely used… because they work! Icebreakers allow the newbies to let down their guards and share a little bit about themselves with their teammates.
Here are five icebreaker ideas that will help you transition in your office new-comers:
- Name Toss
This game is an icebreaking essential. New employees are often too embarrassed to admit they have forgotten a coworker’s name, and in this game they cannot fake it. Name Toss is simple. Have the employees sit in a circle and call out a coworker’s name before throwing a small ball or beanbag to them. The participants cannot call out the same name twice, so that they will have the opportunity to learn new names.
- Two Truths and a Lie
This game will help your employees get better acquainted through learning unique and interesting facts about one another. The new employees will each share three statements about themselves, one being a lie. The listening parties will have to guess which statement is false.
The Salesman icebreaker distinguishes the flamboyant from the shy, and the creative from the dry. Each participating employee will be instructed to select a random item they may have on their person and stand up and try to sell it to their coworkers. They will have to really get into the character of a salesperson and explain the item’s utility. This game obviously works great for new sales and marketing employees, otherwise it is just fun to watch coworkers improvise a witty (or not so witty) sales pitch.
During these quirky games you not only want to learn the new employees’ interests, but also their personality types. You’ll want to discover their areas of strengths and weaknesses, as knowledge of this will come in handy for effective collaboration. Remember no one personality type is better than another. According to Forbes Magazine, workplace diversity breeds innovation and growth. The Champions game promotes the discovery of individual strengths within the office. To play, have your employees pair up and then take turns telling the other a little bit about themselves, designating five minutes for each turn. At the end of the allotted time, each person in the room will stand up and tell one strength he or she gathered about the other person.
This is a game that tests self-control (or displays a lack thereof). Employees will pair up, sitting back-to-back. On the count of three, each teammate will face the other and try not to laugh or smile. This may seem easy at first, but just wait until the awkwardness of staring at each other in silence mounts. This game is a simple way to make your new employee crack a smile, while breaking the ice. There are workplace benefits to smiling often.
Once everyone embraces the blatant banality of icebreakers, they can be really fun, and most importantly, effective. Implement one or all of the above game ideas into your next onboarding session and watch your team grow closer and more confident.