Yup, you read that right.
Corporate team building games are a blast. Playing them can bring your team closer together and help employees improve their ability to work as a team. However, searching for the right corporate team building game can be tricky. Today, instead of a swollen list packed with under-explained ideas, we’re going to talk about our favorite corporate team building game: Jenga.
Team building games are one of the most effective ways for your team to connect, build comfort working together, and get to know each other on a personal and professional level. Your goal should be to create an environment that is fun and inspires teamwork. Stay away from games that are too challenging or stressful. A great team building game will help your employees work better together and the skills they develop will remain long after the team building game is over.
Jenga hits all of these nails on the head.
What better way to break the ice than with tumbling blocks, right? It’s the perfect team building game for businesses and teams of all sizes. But if you’re not convinced (or don’t want to buy the game), we’ve also added a short list of alternatives at the end of the post. Ready? Let’s quickly run through the rules of Jenga and then discuss why it is the perfect team building game.
There are some awfully funny videos out there of unknowing kids pulling the wrong pieces and collapsing massive Jenga towers on themselves. Corporate Jenga is actually a lot like that. But in addition to the fun of not letting the tower fall over, each time a block is pulled, your employees are struck by funny, informative tidbits about their coworkers’ personalities.
The most popular version of corporate Jenga is “Dare Jenga.”
Each employee writes a challenge, or a “dare” on a Jenga block, the blocks are stacked, and each person that pulls a block is faced with a dare. These can range from physical challenges (i.e., “do 10 jumping jacks”), to mental challenges (i.e., “recite the alphabet backwards”), to personal questions (i.e., “describe your ideal vacation”: these function more like “truths” than dares).
There’s one caveat you should think about when considering playing a game of “Dare Jenga” with your team. The more “daring” your Jenga game becomes, the less “corporate” it becomes. It’s critical that you don’t put any of your employees in an uncomfortable position.
Make sure you stress before gameplay begins that no one is obligated to complete his or her dare. For the sake of employee accountability and the game’s effectiveness, each employee should try their best to complete his or her challenge. The more your employees challenge themselves to open up around one another, the more comfortable with one another they’ll ultimately become.
A lot of the responsibility here should be placed on the dare-givers. No dare should be too difficult or ridiculous and no question should be too personal. Make sure that, before they write down their questions and dares, you stress to your team that they shouldn’t ask anything of their fellow team members that they themselves wouldn’t be comfortable with.
Establishing mutually understood boundaries is an effective way to lay the foundation for a respectful working environment.
Rules and questions can be easily altered depending on the members of your team to promote the skills you’re trying to build.
A lifeguard, for example, might pull a block and receive the challenge, “act like a penguin for 10 seconds (with sounds!).” Make sure challenges are written on tape to ensure subsequent games can be customized to the team that’s playing.
Depending on the challenges written on Jenga block, your employees may be talking about the game for weeks to come. Remember: your goal is to create stronger bonds between your employees by creating a common experience they can look back on.
Yes, a game can be a blast and also conservative.
Because you, as manager, have control over the rules/tone of the game, you run less of a risk of having an HR-related issue take place. Your employees should feel comfortable pushing the envelope a bit knowing that they’re in a safe, carefully thought out space.
All things considered, you might decide that Jenga isn’t the right game for you. Here are a few more great corporate team building games to consider for your next team meeting.
Scavenger hunts are great because they encourage employees to interact with one another outside of the office. With a bit of creativity, you can find a way to implement some team-specific skill building into scavenger hunts. But primarily, they are used to generate team chemistry and excitement.
You might remember “What’s My Name?” from the tv show, The Office. Here’s how it works.
Names are placed blindly on employees’ backs. Employees mingle, ask questions to one another, and try to figure out which celebrity they are. Often, hilarity ensues. This game is a great ice-breaker.
Collect a bunch of pennies. Have each employee choose a penny that was minted during his or her lifetime. Then, go around in a circle and have each employee share something that happened to them during that year. There is nothing particularly exciting about this game (it’s no Jenga), but it’s a great way to get your employees to open up to one another and share a bit about themselves.
Finding the right corporate team building game can be difficult, but as long as your team has a bit of fun, and nobody gets embarrassed, the game will be a success. Your employees will be thankful for the experience and they’ll be more comfortable working together after the game’s conclusion.
What are you waiting for? Go and organize your team’s first game of Jenga today!