5 totally FREE employee engagement events
Am I the only one who plays games with their family and then suddenly I stop for a retrospective second and think, “Wow, I actually like these people.”
Not a lot in life is free… but these employee engagement events are.
I like hosting office film festivals around the real ones. It really helps with participation! Cannes is in May, Sundance is in January, those are the biggest ones. You have no idea how much footage is hiding within your employee’s collections! You will learn so much about them through their art! Very cool, very indie!
supplies: an external monitor or tv, speakers
Ask your team to submit their ‘films’ by sending you the youtube link. During the happy hour, make sure your tech is working, then introduce your first filmmaker! Ask each presenter the same question like: what was your inspiration? Then play the film! Remember, this is anything your employees want to submit, so some films will be produced, some will be flat out embarrassing, and some will be a 15-second clip of their cat. Vote on a winner, or keep it light.
This one is super simple. I love seeing baby and toddler photos of my friends. So naturally, I came up with this gem. Ask for a youth photo from each employee. During HH while you’re schmoozing over beers, Guess Who!?
supplies: color printer, paper, tape, envelopes
Print out the photos and tape them to a wall, door, poster board… you get the picture. Tape an envelope labeled GUESSES under each one. Once everyone has submitted their guess, tally up and reveal Who is Who at the end! You could add some prizes, for example: if nobody guesses that a photo is yours, you win. Or, if you guess correctly, you win a prize.
Oh, or you could make a DIY Guess Who Board with current photos. YAAAS.
90’s Pop anyone? I got all of our summer interns together and volunTOLD them that they’d be participating in a Lip Sync Battle. It’s more fun that way. The people who volunteer are going to take this super seriously. Take it to a vote, let the people elect their LSBers. Or you can choose them! That’s the power we have. Power….. yeeeeessss.
supplies: external speakers
Advertise your event with amazing signage: ‘one night only, superstar PUNNY NAME performing live! Marketing your events is crucial to participation. You want to create a buzz, excitement.. days in advance. Amp people up in the group chat… didn’t Jeff tell you he has been practicing his routine for 3 days? It would be a shame if someone missed it…
You can use www.wincreator.com + a youtube link to download specific portions (like the chorus) of the songs you’re using. I like to keep it between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Sustaining embarrassment is never as entertaining, just awkward. Get people together to make some superfan signs! I ❤️ LEIGHTON. BERK 4 EVR! The more you get into it, the more they will, too.
Can’t imagine your team doing a lip sync battle? You have to influence it! Pull out all the stops: the guilt, the peer pressure… you know what I’m talking’ about! I once had an engineering intern do Bye Bye Bye with all of the music video dance moves. Somehow I convinced two to do a duet of A Whole New World. He was Jasmine. She was Aladdin. They wore plastic crowns and used a yoga mat as their magic carpet. It was … well, magic.
Check out my post on How to Host a Brand Trivia Night, or check out http://trivia.fyi for categorized questions and answers. Choose topics that relate to your employees! Offer the winning team something super weird like rights to a conference room for the whole day, or they get to pick the music for the rest of the night. It’s the little, quirky things that make the biggest impact. You could offer them one free coffee delivery from the kitchen, on you. They’d never use it. They wouldn’t dare…
supplies: paper, pens
Make sure you print the questions (without answers) and then a question and answer key in advance. Give the answer key to your elected score keeper, you don’t need it. Split the peeps into groups of 5ish, and hand out answer sheets as each round begins. After each round, announce what the current scores are, and the answers to the prior round. Watching everyone argue over details is so fun.
Seeing as you work at a start-up, you probably have a whiteboard wall. Am I right? All you need for Pictionary is a laptop and a whiteboard + marker. I don’t know how this game fell off the edge of the earth, but we can’t stop playing. Pictionary is a Thursday-at-4:30 staple! I promise you’ll play again and again. We don’t even end up keeping score. Use this word generator for words or phrases. I ❤️ the idiom category. You could also put company lingo or industry related words in a hat and draw from there.
Of course, these could all be taken to other levels with a budget. I’ll save that for another post.