team building

10 Amazing Team Building Games that Employees Will Actually Like

Amazing Team Building Games Your Employees Will Like

In today’s environment, teamwork and collaborative skills are highly sought after. But team play and collaboration don’t necessarily come naturally to employees from diverse backgrounds.

Those qualities must be nurtured.

One of the best ways to build employee teams is to introduce games. They break the ice and help employees get to know each other.

Not only that, games actually develop and build important team skills. Many require collaboration, communication and problem solving — the three most important skills in many company projects. They just develop those qualities in a fun and informal way.

Team building games are great for in-house employees, but they are also a great method for making remote employees feel like part of the team.

If your company has a lot of remote employees, they can be integrated with the physical in-house group or with each other through games. You can dedicate the first several minutes of meetings, for instance, to a quick team-building game.

Here are the 10 best games for employee team building, both in-house and remote.

In-House Employees

Ice Breaker

  • Participants  5-20 Participants
  • Game Length  5-20 Minutes

Ice Breaker Team Building Game

Ice Breaker is a quick introduction game. It works best if several employees have been brought in at once or if a team has been newly created. In Ice Breaker, employees respond to a specific prompt, such as “tell us your most significant life experience to date.” Go around a table and have every new employee respond.

Since responses are open-ended, both what they choose and the content tells you and senior employees a lot about the new person.

Photo Hunt

  • Participants  5-Many Participants
  • Game Length  Full Day

Photo Hunt Team Building Game

This is a form of the popular game, Assassin. The object is to take a picture of another person without them noticing. You will have to assign each person a target. Player 1 is assigned to get a photo of Player 2, Player 2 a photo of Player 3 and so on. Pictures must be taken from the front, not the back.

Once a picture is taken of a player, they are eliminated from the game. They give their target to the person who eliminated them. At the end, the person left standing, er, clicking, wins.

Binder Clip Tag

  • Participants  5-Many Participants
  • Game Length  Full Day

Binder Clip Team Building Game

In Binder Clip Tag, people need to put a binder clip on other people without them noticing. Once the person notices, he or she then has to put it on someone else. This is a chance for creatively placing binder clips on hair, backs of shirts and pockets. This can be an individual group game, or you can divide the group up into teams.

Be sure employees know the appropriate physical and psychological boundaries in any game of tag. It’s actually illegal for your job to be intimidating or offensive.

Outrageous Lie

  • Participants  5-20 Participants
  • Game Length  Full Day

Outrageous Lie Team Building Game

In Outrageous Lie, one person is assigned to tell five outrageous lies about themselves in one day. Examples: “Bruce Springsteen is my cousin” or “I was on the space station.” Everyone else on the team receives instruction that someone is going to tell five outrageous lies. They must name that person by the end of the day.

Scavenger Hunt

  • Participants  Any Size Team
  • Game Length  1+ Hours

Scavenger Hunt Team Building Game

This is an office version of the venerable and beloved game. One team must find a number of things in a specific period of time. Members of the team need to work together to find those things and figure out where they are. This works well if a team has to know where things are or know where to find things in a hurry as part of their jobs. You can make the list of things and hiding places yourself or make it part of yet another team-building exercise — the planning can be part of the game!

Remote Employees

Reply All

  • Participants  Any Size Team
  • Game Length  Full Day

Reply All Team Building Game

Reply All is a form of Ice Breaker but designed to include both physical and remote employees on an equal footing. It uses email, as the name implies. You ask a general question, to which all employees respond to everyone. It can be “If you could go to any vacation spot, where would it be?” or “what one song would you take to a desert island?”

It’s best to set a time limit, such as everyone must respond by the end of the day.

Word of the Day

    • Participants  5-20 Participants
    • Game Length  Meeting Duration

Word of The Day Team Building Game

Word of the Day is a meeting-based game. You assign a word of the day to a team. It’s an unusual word, such as “felicitous,” “Sasquatch” or “ubiquitous.” The word has to be used five times in a meeting by one team without anyone on the other team noticing. It can be used by all members of the team. The key thing is that the opposing team shouldn’t catch on. If they do, they’ve won.

Online Games

  • Participants  5-10 Participants
  • Game Length  15 Minutes

Online Games team Building Games

You can have physical and remote employees play online games together as ice-breakers. This works best as an introductory tactic for new employees. If all your team is in the same age group, for example, Trivial Pursuit on movies of their formative decades can be a great game. It’s a great way to find out how people think and what their memory and response times are. Set a limit of 15 minutes for online games.

Chit-Chat

  • Participants  5-10 Participants
  • Game Length  Meeting Duration

Chit Chat Team Building Games

Chit-Chat replicates the water cooler for employees who don’t have a water cooler. It is also meeting-based. Ask all employees to have recent pictures of themselves. Then, each spends one or two minutes chatting about what they were doing in the pictures or what they have done this week. This is a helpful game to do periodically, like once a month.

It reinforces that remote and on-site employees are part of the same group.

Silver Lining

  • Participants  Small Group
  • Game Length  5-10 Minutes

Silver Lining Team Building Games

In Silver Lining, teams are divided into two-person groups. Person 1 shares a negative incident that really happened in their life. It has to be true and can be from either life in general or work. Person 2 repeats the incident back. Then, Person 1 talks about the same incident again, this time pointing out the positive aspects of the same experience. Person 1 helps them explore potential positives. After that, the roles switch. This is especially useful for learning about how to reframe potential negative experiences.

Games are a great way to build camaraderie and collaborative problem-solving skills.

Try these ten to have a more unified, positive team.

Guest Post by Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about work productivity and camaraderie for TalentCulture, Inc.com, The Daily Muse and MakeUseOf. To read more posts by Kayla, check out her website, Productivity Theory.

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One Comment

  1. There are many avenues across outdoor and indoor format available these days, but usually companies largely in their growth rush simply ignore to take a day off once a month atleast to get their employees exposed to such team building activities. Wonder how & when this mindset will change?

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