Icebreaker activities can often be uncomfortable, especially if people are already anxious about meeting a whole new group of people at once or worried about their first day with a new team or at a new job. It is important to have icebreakers that aren’t distracting or too nerve-wracking. For example, the popular ‘tell everyone an interesting fact about yourself’ can often result in someone stressing about what interesting and appropriate to share for the entire time instead of listening to anyone else’s contributions, and feeling self-conscious about their answer. Here are some alternative icebreakers that will help new teams really get to know each other and have a smoother transition into the job.
A quiz is a great way to ease the team into interacting with each other as it means that a single person doesn’t have all the attention on them at once, which can be stressful, and everyone can break into smaller groups that will make it easy for them to get to know a few people at the same time. This will also demonstrate people’s interests and can get the team bonding over similar hobbies.
This is another activity that will get people into smaller groups working together and can encourage teamwork and problem-solving, which will likely be skills that they’ll need to work together. Having a scavenger hunt in the workplace can also help new employees get to know their way around.
Speed networking is a great way for people to get to know each other one-on-one without the pressure of prolonging a conversation until it gets awkward. Have a different question for each round (e.g. what’s your favourite holiday destination? Do you have any pets? What do you like to do in your spare time?) and give everyone 30 seconds to both answer the question. This will allow people to interact with all team members individually.
It can be beneficial to get out of the office and do something fun. This lets the team relax and have fun and really get to know each other on a social level. Whether it’s having a beach day, going to the local pub, having a picnic, or getting brunch, getting the team to have fun without the pressures of the workplace can be a great way for them to bond with each other.