Why Icebreakers Can Benefit Your Team
Icebreakers are a great way to engage team members and create a comfortable space for open communication and healthy debates. They can be a way to build connections among team members and bridge themes and topics during meetings. Participating in icebreakers is becoming a common theme of many meetings and learning sessions throughout the workplace.
Many management teams use icebreakers to help build and foster healthy relationships, especially in remote or hybrid teams. The purpose of icebreakers is to ensure team members can get to know each other and build a team culture. It can bring high levels of accountability, problem-solving, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships.
Many different kinds of icebreakers engage team members in a fun and unique way. What makes these short, simple, straightforward games important in today's workspace?
Benefits of Icebreakers for Team Meetings
Icebreakers can be a compelling way to help introduce new team members during the onboarding process or bridge the communication gaps between teams within an organization. When you understand how icebreakers can benefit your team, you'll better understand the importance of initiating them.
Eases Tension and Awkwardness
There's always an initial awkwardness for any new team members or when several teams come together to work on a project. Many team members may be on the quieter or shyer side, preventing them from feeling comfortable communicating with other team members. Icebreakers give them an easy way to communicate and break through the initial awkwardness of those first interactions.
Helps Perform Introductions
Often, meetings are held with multiple teams within an organization. When you first meet people, especially larger groups all at once, it's hard to remember the names and roles of every team member. Icebreakers are a great way to get to know members of other teams at a deeper level by learning their names, their roles, and often more details about who they are, depending on the icebreaker. The icebreaker can be a creative way to associate names with faces making it easier for everyone to remember everyone they may be working with.
Communicates Learning Goals
Icebreakers can be a great starting point to prepare team members for the meeting's goals. There are a lot of different icebreaker activities that can correlate with the lesson or objectives in a subtle yet fun way. It can be a way to make the meeting feel less like a working session or like a stale classroom environment. Strategizing your icebreakers can lead to open discussions about the theme that can make the meeting more productive.
Builds Stronger Relationships
For years, people on teams would go into the workplace, complete their jobs, and head back home, only to repeat it the next day without any meaningful interactions with those they worked with. Research has shown that when people build stronger relationships with their coworkers, they are more productive and overall happier employees. Icebreakers are a great way to create meaningful, fun conversations while building a sense of community and support. They help create connections that help them talk and learn how to work better together.
As employees establish stronger relationships through icebreakers, they also develop trust. People are more likely to cooperate with each other if there is a level of trust. The icebreakers create a foundation of trust to begin further conversations that may lead to even stronger working relationships that lead to smoother collaboration.
Learn About Hidden Skills
Icebreakers begin with introductions leading into a unique game or fun question that can reveal a lot about a person. The introductions tell everyone in the group their roles and responsibilities. They can help identify contacts for needs throughout the workplace. Understanding the skills and background of every team member can help better understand how they can help the group and contribute to a project or to the team's goals.
When a team feels more connected, they are more likely to increase their efforts in the workplace, and productivity is greatly increased. It also helps reduce stalls or duplicated work because the team feels more comfortable communicating. Communication creates a way for team members to touch on their progress on projects or shared goals, and team members better collaborate.
Sets a Positive Tone for Meetings and Projects
Many people can be nervous when working with new team members. The icebreaker game can help them begin to overcome their hesitations and nervousness as they are introduced in a fun, engaging way that reveals more about the people that work within the team. It boosts positive interactions within the teams, leading to a more harmonious working space.
Enhances Company Culture
Company culture is the values, attitudes, and standards that make up the work environment. It encompasses people's experience throughout the workplace and how it aligns with the brand and the core values of the company. When a company has a good culture, employees are happy, loyal, productive, and enjoy coming to work. Icebreakers can enhance company culture by creating a positive, fun environment that allows people to get to know each other.
Engagement is an essential part of working together as a team in order to establish a connection, communication, and trust. Icebreakers can be a great way to begin interactions with people who would never have interacted otherwise by inviting open dialogue and possibly evoking laughter. Allowing people to step out of their comfort zones, even in the few short minutes icebreakers take, can be a great way to create a better team.
Icebreakers give your team a chance to better get to know each other and allow better integration and cooperation with other teams throughout the organization. When team members feel more comfortable around each other, they will likely work better together to solve problems and create a better work environment. The next time you have a team meeting, start with an icebreaker to pave the way for a more functional and harmonious team.