It’s the first day for your new hire. You’re thrilled to finally have someone to share the seemingly endless list of responsibilities around the office and bring new ideas to the table. But their first days are probably filled with nervous jitters, tons of handshakes and of course miles of somewhat forced smiles. No one likes being the new kid on the block. That’s why it’s important to put your newbies at ease with activities that allow them to learn more about and bond with your current lineup of team members!
When I started at Baudville three months ago (holy cow, time flies when you’re having fun!), my manager took me and the team out to lunch where I got to know everyone better in a fun and casual environment. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that food and laughter make your new hire jitters fly away. In addition to a fun-filled and delicious lunch, everyone came to the table (quite literally) with 3 quirky questions to ask. Since everyone had to go around and answer the questions, including their own, it helped me get to know everyone better plus everyone got to know a little bit more about me (the newbie)! Questions like “What’s your spirit animal?” and “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?” really got the party rockin!
Don’t have the budget to take the whole gang out to lunch for a round of fun questions? Try these quick and painless icebreaker activities…
Ask your whole team (including the new hires) to write a “fill in the blank” phrase on a sticky note. Things like “If my life had a theme song it would be….” or “The strangest food I ever ate was….” are just a few fun examples. Gather all of the phrases up and throw them into a bag or bowl and have everyone pull one out and fill in the blank! You’re bound to learn some interesting things about one another, plus you’ll probably share a few laughs along the way!
10 Things in Common
Create a small groups among your department of both experienced employees and your new hires. Set a timer for three minutes and challenge these teams to find at least 10 things they all have in common. When time is up, have each group share their most unique commonality!
Have each new hire tell three short stories about themselves with one of them being a fib. Have the rest of your team try to figure out which stories were true and which one was false!
Form a circle with your team and ask everyone to find a pair of shoes in the circle that are similar to theirs or a pair they’d like to own. Have them walk to the person wearing those shoes and learn more about their “Sole” Mate! Have them ask what their nicknames are, what their job title is, what job they had before, what they do in their spare time, etc.
How do you encourage team bonding when a new hire comes on board?