Finding team-building activities that will unite your baby boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials into one effective team without a lot of cynicism and half-hearted participation is no easy task.
But with the help of some great team-building apps, the challenge diminishes into a series of fun exercises that workers of all ages enjoy.
Remember that regardless of what app you use to enhance the team-building exercise, you should always have a goal. It should be specific, because if your focus is too broad, it will be difficult to achieve it.
For example, it is better to set a goal of “increase communication between members of Project A team of seven members,” than to pull 50 employees into a game and have a goal of “improve general employee engagement.”
Better yet, if you have set up a way to collect some feedback and data from the exercise, use it.
You want your game to be challenging, but not too challenging, fun but not too mindless, and engaging for a variety of different age and activity levels.
The great thing about using apps in your team-building exercises is that they bridge the gap between the physical world and the digital space we are increasingly using to fill our days. Apps can also track results for you without pens, papers and calculators.
Here are 4 fun apps to consider for your next team-building exercise:
1.Goosechase is promoted as the scavenger hunt for the masses.
If your goal is encouraging competitiveness among team members and determining who is most apt to find creative solutions to get ahead, this is a great choice.
Scavenger hunts are popular with all of us from the time we set out to find our first Easter eggs to summer camps in our teens. But now you can trot out this old favorite with a modern touch.
There is a lot of laughter associated with this app, and nothing builds teams like the ability to genuinely enjoy hilarity together.
Goosechase is actually just a kind of camera specifically designed for social sharing. It doesn’t get into geo-locations or even leaderboards or player interaction.
Rather, it sends participants out to take pictures of a variety of objects in a town. The pictures must then be uploaded into a database for viewing and judging by another employee. The ultimate end game is for the team to upload a designated number of photos of specific objects to the sharing site.
For a low cost, low key game, it can yield some high-impact results.
2. MapDash has a great fun factor and can be adapted to just about any situation. For example, it works if you want to ensure that new employees become familiar with all aspects of your physical building space. Or it also works if you want to get your employees outdoors and into a new mindset.
All you have to do after you determine the location is to create some challenges, leave challenging clues or hints, and get into full play mode.
MapDash works for both iPhone and Android phones. It is easily tailored to corporate cultures and needs and offers valuable real-time monitoring and report generation.
3. GoGame gives you the option to select from a variety of great exercises and games offered to build better teams.
It works by encouraging the employees to use their smartphones to do everything from take pictures to upload information. It falls into the scavenger hunt territory too, but includes a lot of social sharing at the end of the day.
The downside of GoGame compared to other team-building game apps is that you pretty much have a producer to take your own time to set everything up, and you may even need a game administrator. That adds a level of complication many human resources departments find discouraging.
The bottom line is that it works great for large organizations, but if you are in a situation where you have to do everything yourself, you may not be as intrigued by it.
4. iMeet doesn’t sound like a fun team-building game app at first glance, but it can actually be used that way.
Most people know iMeet as the app that allows them to stage video conferences and bring their employees all together for work projects. It is especially helpful for those organizations blending in-house with remote location workers.
But it’s also a way to break up routines and add a little fun and team-building to the exercise. For example, you can encourage remote workers to go into their favorite outdoor Wifi free location and hold a meeting that starts with each participant showing the others where they are and why this spot is important in their life.
It humanizes workers who find themselves working on teams but who have never met each other or even traveled to each other’s countries.
Overall, as these 4 apps indicate, building teams using apps is just one component of the creative exercise of bringing people together and helping them work respectfully and effectively.