In a time when millions of people are leaving their jobs, it’s more important than ever that employers make an effort to engage employees. Prioritizing engagement in a workplace leads to a stronger company culture that will retain strong talent and attract new talent. Employees who feel bonded with their teams and have strong connections with their colleagues are more likely to feel committed to their workplaces. It takes planning and effort to create opportunities for continued engagement, but the return on investment is worth it when it leads to happier employees and a better workplace.
What is the best way to engage employees?
If you’re wondering, how can I make employee engagement fun, we encourage you to consider games. We like to say that a team that plays together stays together. And we don’t just say it, we believe it—because it’s true. Use the power of play to keep your team engaged. Play allows your team to learn about each other without the power dynamics that come along with normal workplace tasks. During a game, everyone lightens up, even if they’re very competitive, which allows people to relate in a new way. Switch from work mode to play mode and try a new way to engage employees.
What are some fun office games?
There are many games for employee engagement that you can plan yourself—or leave it to play professionals like Weve. Whatever you plan, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
- Keep all personality types in mind. Your team likely consists of a broad range of people. While Jennifer in sales might be outgoing and competitive, Jason, your marketing manager, might be more into trivia than a lip sync battle. Plan events for introverts and extroverts by choosing a diverse range of games so you can create an experience that everyone can enjoy.
- Make sure the timing works for everyone. Part of the challenge of dispersed teams is that colleagues can be scattered across time zones. Make sure to consider timing so no one has to rally to play in the middle of their night or before breakfast.
- Block off the time. There’s no bigger bummer than someone having to skip out on the fun to attend a much less fun meeting. Add your game time onto employee calendars so they know not to schedule anything else and as many people as possible can make it.
- Schedule regular events. While you’re blocking off time on employee calendars, remember to schedule recurring events. It’s important to remember that engagement must be consistent and ongoing to be most valuable. Try to plan a shorter fun, engaging activity at least once a month and full-day team building events quarterly.
How do you engage staff in games?
Start with these 25 fun games for employee engagement .
- Escape Room
Sure, in an escape room your team is forced to engage because they’re stuck in a room together. But the fun and engagement goes beyond that. Your team will work to solve puzzles and mental challenges to unlock the next steps. Everyone will be united against the clock to escape the room before time runs out. Still working remotely or on a dispersed team? Try a virtual escape room which engages teams and still exercises collaboration skills.
- Murder Mystery
All aboard! Your team will transform into detectives and they solve a murder mystery together on a train. Everyone will work together to figure out whodunnit as they engage with puzzles, riddles, and secret codes
- Outdoor Lawn Games
Face off in the ultimate Field Day. Get your team outside for a day of play. Go head to head in tug-of-war, relays, potato sack races, and other classic summer camp activities. Encourage team camaraderie by assigning teams in advance so teams can coordinate colors and outfits.
- Improv Games
There are few things more effective than improv games for employee engagement. Improv is a great way for teams to practice communication and listening skills. Good improv requires you to be fully engaged. Theaters around the country teach in-person and virtual workshops so your team can work on their “yes and” skills.
- Company Sports League
Recruit your team members for a new kind of team—a sports team. After-work leagues for sports are great ways to have recurring and engaging interactions with colleagues. Kickball, dodgeball, and softball are all fun games for employee engagement. Those not athletically inclined or interested can still support in the cheering (or jeering) section at games.
- Guess Who
The more your team knows about each other, the more engaged they will be. Use a classic fact match game so everyone can dig deeper into each other’s interest and personality. Give a prompt such as “What famous actor would you most like to pay you in the movie of your life?” Then have everyone answer and see if they can guess whose answer belongs to who. This is an easy and fast way to learn about each other one fun fact at a time.
- Lip Sync Battle
This low-stakes competition doesn’t require any musical talent; all you need is enthusiasm and a great air guitar solo on deck. Break your team into groups for a lip sync competition and give them a week to prepare. Every team can choose their own song, costumes, and microphones. Then everyone will meet for the big event. Hype it up with an engaging emcee and prizes.
- Virtual Game Show
Compete in different rounds of trivia, creative challenges, artistic challenges, and more as your team plays a virtual game show with online games for employee engagement. A hilarious and professional host will keep everyone engaged for 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
- Bike Build
Games for employee engagement can also do good. Play a game that gives back and shows your employees that you’re invested in the community. Gather your team for a bike build where you’ll complete challenges to gather bike parts and then build them together before donating them to a charity of your choice.
- Scavenger Hunt
Get out and run around town together. Scavenger hunts can be played in any city or town, or if you really want, in your office building. (But we think fun games for employee engagement are more fun and engaging outside of the office.) Solve location-based clues to continue on the path to the end destination and the path to victory.
- Cooking Competition
Host a reality-show style cooking competition. (Hopefully it ends in more of a Top Chef victory than a Nailed It disaster.) Confident cooks can compete as individuals or pair up in groups with kitchen novices. Make sure all chefs cook enough so everyone can be a taste tester.
- Cocktail Competition
Use the same format as a cooking competition and let everyone show off their best bartending skills.
Provide spirits, mixers, and accoutrements along with shakers and glasses so your team can have a very happy hour.
- Movie Game
Lights. Camera. Action! Unless your team already works in the film industry, a movie game will be a total departure from your usual day at the office. Your team will split up into groups and each record a scene of a movie in a different genre complete with costumes and props. After editing, screen your movies and hand out awards for best actor, most dramatic dialogue, and more.
- Name that Tune
The rules are easy. Someone plays a song and the first person to correctly name the tune wins. Make it more challenging by having to finish the lyrics. Make sure to include different genres and decades to make the game inclusive.
- Two Truths and a Lie
Find out how well you know your co-workers in this classic game of deception. One person at a time shares two truths and a lie about themselves without revealing which is which. Then everyone else tries to guess which of the three is the lie. Everyone will learn at least two new true things about each person. Two truths and a lie can be played in person or as virtual games for employee engagement.
- In-Person or Virtual Gift Exchange
Office Secret Santas are fun ways to celebrate the holidays, but did you know that you can turn gift exchanges into games? A White Elephant or Yankee Swap can be done in person or as a virtual game for employee engagement. Present swapping and stealing is a fun way to kick off a holiday party.
- Show and Tell
Upgrade show and tell from the elementary school version and let everyone share something important or that they are passionate about. You can keep this simple in the traditional show and tell style with tangible objects. Or, you can make it more in depth with presentations about passions, a la Ted Talks. Either way, everyone will become engaged when someone takes the stage to talk about something personal.
- Capture the Flag
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t played capture the flag since highschool. Well it’s time to brush up on your skills and play. A silly game with low stakes like Capture the Flag is a fun game that gets a lot of people playing together at once. Yes, it requires some physical prowess, but those more skilled in strategy will get to participate in helping formulate a plan, too.
- Shark Tank
Based on the television show, this game requires teams to come up with a pitch and present it to “investors” at your company. Of course, to keep it fun, in your situation these investors can be anyone from office managers to interns who may give out small prizes instead of million dollar checks. (Though if you want to give that out, I don’t think any participant will stop you.)
- Create Art Together
You don’t have to commit to painting a mural on the office wall….though that would be awesome. Let your creativity flow and create painting, pottery, and more as a team.
You know how the classic game works. One team draws, the other teams guess. Though bad art doesn’t necessarily earn points, it does earn big laughs—which is just as important. Pictionary is a great game for employee engagement activity.
- Secret Agent Game
Put on your best disguise; you’re going undercover in this game. A Secret Agent game is a live puzzle game that will have you pulling out your invisible ink, dusting for prints, and working together to become code-breaking masterminds.
- Themed Game Nights
Spice things up by choosing themes for game nights. Dress in your best for casino night complete with poker and black jack. Put on a Hawaiian shirt for limbo. Don your best brimmed hat for a western game night. Pick an engaging theme so it’s easy for people to get excited and dress accordingly.
- Board Game Night
Even if your team is not together in person, many traditional tabletop games now have virtual versions. Plan a classic game night with favorites like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, and more.
- Trivia Night
Let trivia buffs show off their stuff at team trivia night. Pub trivia is a great fun game for employee engagement because everyone can share their own niche expertise. You’ll find out how much Lori in accounting knows about football and may be surprised to learn that Kurt in HR can name every state capital.
Weve has hundreds of fun games for employee engagement including game shows, escape rooms, and murder mystery experiences.