Games for New Hire Onboarding

5 minutes read

New hire onboarding scenario

It’s a Monday morning. The nerves are growing, caffeine is flowing and you have 20 new hires staring right at you. Welcoming new hires to your organization is a big responsibility. It’s a powerful first impression that solidifies career choices, so you need to make those first interactions count. Ultimately you want your new employees to walk away from the onboarding sessions thinking… “wow! I am so glad, I decided to come and work here”.

But, the challenging part about new hire onboarding is that new hires come in with nervousness, yet are eager to please. In such situation, it is important to ease their tension and introduce a fun work environment in which they can blend in easily.

Especially while onboarding millennial workforce, there are two things to consider: they have extremely high expectations and they are impatient. Although Millennials can easily adapt to changes and deal with pressure, they are very selective and aware of their options. Therefore, it is important to engage them, excite them and make them feel included in the workplace in order to retain them.

Adding games to your onboarding program is one of the best ways to do that. So, here are some interesting onboarding games for your new hires that will excite them to start their job:

1. One Word Game:

The one word ice breaker gives everyone an initial start to the onboarding program. This is where the new hires get the opportunity to present their initial view about the company.

This is how the game works: All the new joinees would have done some research about the company before joining and have an opinion/impression about it in their mind. Ask them to describe the company or company’s culture in one word.

This game works as a good ice breaker and helps you understand the new employee’s thoughts, interest levels, opinions and expectations about their new job.

2. Skill Set:

Everyone should be constantly trying to improve themselves, and that includes on the job as well. So, ask each person to mention two skills that they would like to improve. One would be a work-related skill. This helps you understand a person’s interests and where they need help. And, the other would be a casual skill like learning to play a keyboard. This lets you know the person more on a personal level. Keeping it open-ended would make it more fun.

3. Two truths and one lie:

This game is one of the classic ice breakers. To play this game, you simply ask each person to brainstorm three “facts” about themselves – two of the facts will be true, and one will be a lie.

For instance, I might say, “I once auditioned for the TV show Zoom. I have a twin sister. I ziplined in Switzerland once.” There are two true statements and one lie in this. Now, the coworkers have to take turns guessing which one is the lie.

Two Truths and a Lie is a fun and engaging game, and more importantly, it can help your team learn facts about one another, so they can begin forming deeper bonds.

4. Shining Work Moments:

This game enables participants to reflect on their years of work or education and pick some special moments to share with their small group of teammates. These are the shining moments that people remember when the stars and sun seemed to align and they produced their best work, their finest moments, and their career successes.

5. Marshmellow Challenge:

Tom Wujec, a business visualization expert, initially presented his Marshmallow Challenge at TED. To play this, you simply divide your team into groups of four and give each group 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and a marshmallow. Whichever team can build the tallest structure, wins – the trick is, the marshmallow must be on top.

There are a few reasons this game works as both a great ice breaker and a team-building exercise. First, the most successful teams are the groups of people who don’t spend time competing for power.

The game forces your colleagues to work collaboratively when brainstorming potential solutions. Second, the Marshmallow Challenge encourages people to think quickly and offer alternative solutions when their initial idea fails.

With the Marshmallow Challenge, you can strengthen your team’s brainstorming and problem-solving skills, and your team can also have some fun. A win, win.

6. No Smiling:

This game is simple and meant to energize your team. Get your team in a circle and ask one volunteer to sit or stand in the middle. Tell the volunteer that they can not laugh or smile, regardless of what happens. Then have each other team members take turns telling the volunteer a work-appropriate joke.

The goal of the volunteer is to hear a joke from every colleague around the circle, while the goal of the other team members is to make the volunteer laugh.

This icebreaker is very helpful in new-employee or management training to lighten the pressure of starting a new job. It is extremely helpful as a way of lightening the mood of customer facing teams that regularly deal with stressful projects or situations.

7. This is better than that:

Aside from being a fun team activity, this might be great energizer for sales employees or other customer facing teams that regularly pitch, market, and sell products.

Ask your team to find four to seven items around the office and bring them to one room. These items could be something they use daily, like a pen or a chair. However, you should encourage them to find items that are more odd or unique. This will make the game more challenging.

Line the items up and split the group into sub-teams. Task each team with picking an item they would use to survive if stranded on a dessert island.

Tell team members that they cannot pick more than one and must assume it is the only item they will have on that island. Allow the teams time to deliberate and then ask them to present the item they chose.

Published on Thu Jul 11 2019

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