During your climb up the corporate ranks, you’ve probably experienced more than a few team-building games gone bad. From botched trust falls to agonizing rounds of Two Truths and a Lie, traditional workplace bonding activities tend to elicit more eye rolls than insights. So, as you begin integrating a new leader into your company’s C-suite, are games and activities even worth your time? Research and professional opinion still say yes.

According to Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, “There is no problem that doesn’t have some underlying need for more optimism, stamina, resilience, and collaboration. And games are, I believe, the best platform we have for providing that.” Optimism, stamina, resilience, and collaboration—that’s an impressive list. If fun and games allow your recent hire to demonstrate these qualities and draw them out of their team as well, the benefit is clear. But as you plan, remember that not all team-building ideas are created equal.

Here are a few enjoyable activities to consider:

Off-site Outings
Sometimes the best way to get your team thinking outside the proverbial box is to take them outside the literal office. Inside most traditional corporate settings, most people operate according to established roles and expected responses. By planning a team activity off-site, you can facilitate an environment that removes the silos of predetermined job descriptions. Whatever activity you choose, creative collaboration should be the goal.

  • Cooking classes offer a fantastic way to tap into your team’s collective creativity while letting individual personalities shine through. And who doesn’t love a lighthearted project that ends with a mouthwatering meal?
  • Escape rooms are a popular group activity, and with the opportunity to see your crew work together under a tight deadline to solve a challenging series of problems, the potential workplace parallels are easy to see.
  • In addition to an obvious focus on leadership and cooperation, volunteer projects provide the opportunity to remind your group that successful teams can make a positive impact on their community as well as their company’s bottom line.

On-site Book Club

As Harry Truman observed, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” If the president was right (and we’re pretty certain he was), allowing your new executive team member to organize and operate a team book club is an excellent way to let them display their leadership style while sharing valuable knowledge with their employees. Setting aside time to discuss important ideas displays your company’s commitment to personal and professional growth, and while the principles within the books hold value on their own, encouraging team members to share their insights is a powerful way to create a culture of open, honest communication.

Establishing a solid executive team is critical. Due to the importance of the C-suite integration process, it’s understandable that a considerable amount of time will be spent on corporate details and procedures. But as you attend to those essentials, it pays to remember what Glen Llopis shared with Forbes.com, “Employees are fed up with the office politics and corporate rat-race and are ready to start having fun again.” Don’t forget, your C-suite likes to have fun too.

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