We think of games as mostly play, but play has always been a learning tool. When girls “play house” or boys play “cops and robbers” they are developing awareness skills that help form adult identities and roles. “Play” can be also used in the workplace to forge motivation and teamwork skills, friendly competition, to reward good results, and give positive feedback, and to liven up seminars, workshops, etc.
Many businesses incorporate motivational games and as part of employee training, teaching teamwork, cooperation and “people skills”. Motivational games are a way to make employees goal and team oriented; going beyond the traditional Company Soft Ball Game by adding some novelty to company outings and meetings. Here are some suggestions:
The Talent Show. A talent show is perfect for the Company Christmas Party or Annual Picnic. It can be competitive, with judges and prizes for the winners or just an “open mike” opportunity for anyone who wishes to perform.
Land Mines. This is an effective “team building” game to develop communication skills and trust. Place objects representing “land mines” randomly on the floor of a large area. Divide the participants into pairs. One is blindfolded, and the other person must verbally guide the blindfolded partner through the minefield. The blindfolded person cannot speak. Set a time limit to make it more intense. The first pair to make it through safely wins. Swap partners for the next try. Pair supervisors and their subordinates to build confidence, communication and team work.
Team building games are even more effective when they occur unexpectedly – out of the “daily routine”. Instead of a typical meeting with the supervisor lecturing; try a team building exercise/game as part of the meeting. Such activities are great energizers and morale boosters that will strengthen morale and rejuvenate the team.