People Management

5 Team Activities to Better Welcome New Employees

By Michaël Thibault January 2 2019

People often talk of how important first impressions are, and a new employee’s first day is no exception: it’s your best chance to make a good impression.


A great first impression may well make the difference between a motivated employee… and one who mysteriously stops showing up after a few days.

But why should you organize onboarding activities? Because they give you the ideal fun medium to convey your business culture, quickly establish a connection and show that you care. Here are 5 simple welcome activity ideas to help you create the right climate from the get-go.

And if those aren’t enough, check out these 5 Team Activity Ideas to Have Fun at Work.

Young man thinking about three different stories for a game

Skeletons in the Closet

Sit in a circle with your team in a casual setting and ask a random participant to share three truths and a (relatively credible) lie about themselves. The others will then have to ask questions to try and figure out which of the statements is the lie.

Once the lie is revealed, it’s another person’s turn.

Objective

This activity is perfect for welcoming new employees, and encourages participants to open up about themselves while also learning more about others. Sharing a few personal factoids also lets people find common ground and overcome the prejudices they might have toward one another.

The creative fun of coming up with the lies is sure to create a silly, relaxed atmosphere. What’s more, this activity is quick and easy to set up on the fly.

Questions about the age and the birth year of someone

Workplace Trivia

List and then ask work-related questions (e.g., about the business, the team or the workplace). It’s pretty straightforward from here on: whoever gets the most right answers wins.

For example:

● How many employees are named X?

● What colour is the soap in the washrooms?

● In what year was the business founded?

● How many designers work in the graphic design department?

● What's the name of the painting on the kitchen wall?

Ask new employees questions that will require them to explore the environment and speak with other staff. If there are several newcomers, you can team them up to help break the ice.

If you’re hosting a team event, you can ask the questions out loud or on paper. If you deem it convenient, you can form teams and offer prizes (chocolate, free drinks and so on) to encourage participation. This game makes for great intermissions during dinners.

Objective

Trivia games are great for contextualizing workplace exploration or just changing things up from time to time. They require little preparation and are easy to play, no matter the number of participants.

As a manager, putting on this type of activity also gives you insight into what catches your staff’s attention, and can maybe even refine your talent integration process.

Two people writing on a piece of paper to find common interest

Common Ground

Have your team fill out a questionnaire on their tastes and interests (hobbies, favorite foods and sports, etc.). Go over their answers and group together the employees with common interests. Ask them to talk and find out what they have in common—be it one or many similarities.

Objective

The idea behind this simple activity is to encourage employees to focus on what they have in common. It also helps them realize that they share more in common with the people around them than they might think, sometimes in spite of appearances to the contrary.

Letter of a name representing an activity one's enjoy doing

Hi, my N. A. M. E. is…

Give participants a few minutes to come up with a fact about themselves for each letter of their first name. Then, have everyone share the results.

For example: “Hi, my name is Léa! 'L' stands for 'Learning new things,' as I'm a very curious person. 'E' stands for 'Engineering' because I’d like to study in that field, 'A' stands for Algeria, because my mother is from Québec and my father, from Algeria.”

Objective

This is a typical employee integration activity.

It helps you learn new employees’ names and some facts about them at the same time. In turn, this can help you strike up a conversation later on. Don’t hesitate to invite other employees to play in order to further facilitate integration.

Memory related to the year written on a coin

One Coin, One Fact

Collect a few recently minted coins. Have an employee pick one and share an experience they had in the year that coin was minted.

Objective

This simple activity encourages participants to talk about themselves while learning more about their colleagues. Sharing personal facts also lets them find common ground with others and overcome prejudices they might have toward them. The dimension of time also allows them to put their experience into perspective.

We hope these ideas will facilitate your employee integration!

Don’t hesitate to try out your own onboarding activity ideas and bring your hiring traditions up-to-date.


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