1. People & Relationships

Helping Employees Become Friends at Work

Activities to Help Coworkers Bond

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To help your employees become friends, you need to encourage them to get out of their normal routine at times and simply get to know each other on a more personal level. It's important to note that helping employees become friends with each other doesn't happen overnight, but rather through a series of motivations such as organizing work teams, holding company lunches, and engaging them in activities.

When the culture as a whole encourages personal interaction, friendships can develop. The following ideas will give you a boost in coming up with ways to engage employees through team building activities.

Share a Story Behind a Favorite Item
Have every person bring an item that is important to them, while their coworkers guess the reason why it has meaning. After everyone has had a chance to guess, the employee reveals why the items is special to them.

The object of this exercise is to get employees to share a personal item, without feeling judged or embarrassed. The employees can choose what they want to reveal to others, thereby opening themselves up and building trust with their coworkers.

Office Trivia
Have the most senior members of your office work with some of the younger members to create a list of trivia questions. Set up teams and challenge each other to see who knows more about the company. Include things like the date the company was started, how many customers it has, how many people have been there five years or more, the month that has the most employee birthdays, etc.

This exercise will help employees find out more about their organization and develop a sense of pride in the history of the company.

Favorite Movies
Have each coworker list clues about his or her favorite movie, starting with the more obscure and ending with the obvious. For example, if I were to try and have employees guess that my favorite movie was Wall Street, I could give clues like:

  • Charlie Sheen
  • Money
  • Stock Market
  • Michael Douglas
  • Oliver Stone
  • Greed

Have the person read the clues one by one, while the other coworkers guess the movie.

Complete the Phrase
For a large group of people who don’t know each other, choose a phrase made up of two lines, and print one on one name tag and then the other one on a different name tag. Have the employees wear the name tags, and as they mingle around the room, find the other half of their phrase.

This gets employees talking to everyone, and bonding (if only for a few moments) with the person who has the other half of their phrase.

Another option on this game is to put the name of a famous movie star or film on the name tag, and place it on the employee's back. The person then has to ask others about what is listed on their name tag. Employees are not allowed to come right out and tell each other what is listed on their backs, but they can ask questions and give clues.

Lego House
Have small groups of employees build a house using Legos. Give each group a certain amount of time, and see how creative people can become. When time is up, have the employees vote on who they think created the best looking house.

This exercise can be done with small groups or individually. It helps display a creative side to people, so it works especially well in offices where employees don't normally get to showcase this side.

Fun Facts
Have each employee list ten "fun facts," about themselves on a sheet of paper. Then, type up the responses and print them off for each employee. Have them gather together and try to guess the person by the clues given. Clues could be anything from favorite books to most exotic vacation. Ask employees to get creative and even participate in guessing when their clues are up to throw off the rest of the staff.

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