You Should Really "Play Games" with New Employees

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 17, 2004 | Go to article overview

You Should Really "Play Games" with New Employees


Byline: Joan Lloyd

Dear Joan: Do you have any suggestions on how to integrate new employees in an all-department setting?

Our company has all-staff meetings every other month, and we've hired four new staff members since our last meeting. As a group, we haven't really integrated the new employees and we would like to highlight their positions and integrate these new individuals at the next all-staff meeting in some fun, interactive way that wouldn't be threatening.

Answer:

What a great idea! As I was cooking up some ideas, I tried to think of things that not only wouldn't be threatening, but would encourage individuals to get to know these newcomers before the meeting. Here are a few ideas for you to build on:

Announce to the staff that a contest will be held at the next all-staff meeting. Don't reveal too much information, other than to say it has to do with the new employees hired since the last meeting.

Of course, you will want to clear this idea with the newcomers before pursuing it. Tell them the details of the contest but ask them to "play dumb" with the rest of the staff. The mystery will create a fun, little buzz of excitement and put the new employees on their co-workers' radar screen. It will be a compelling reason to strike up a conversation (of course they will all act like they don't know the details about the contest) and will pique everyone's curiosity about the new employees.

During the meeting, announce the rules of the contest: The team that can list the most accurate facts (work or personal life) about the new employees wins a prize (lunch at a local restaurant, perhaps). The only ground rule is that any sensitive, personal information is off limits. Quickly huddle everyone in groups of four and give them five minutes to list everything they have learned about the new employees. The people who have made an effort to get to know the new employees will have a distinct advantage.

Bring the new employees up to the front and let them be the judges. …

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