Icebreakers are a great way to foster connections with large groups in the workplace. Whether you are putting new hires through their first week of orientation or looking to connect virtual employees with their colleagues, icebreakers can alleviate any awkward tension and help the group get to know each other quicker.
Let’s take a look at what an icebreaker is, how you can use them in the workplace, and a few of our all-time favorite icebreakers you can use for your next work event or team-building exercise.
What are icebreakers?
Simply put, icebreakers are mini-games that are used to build a connection between colleagues and get everyone acquainted with each other. They are a great way to lighten the mood, help people feel more comfortable, and hopefully even generate a few laughs. Icebreakers can range from simple, easy games to more interactive ones. This depends on your overall goal and if they are virtual or in person. Overall, they are a great tool that can be used in the workplace before team-building exercises or employee events to get people in a light, happy mood and ready to communicate with each other.
How can they assist you in the workplace?
It’s no secret that you want your employees to get along and trust each other while working on projects or brainstorming campaigns. Icebreakers can help facilitate bonding between employees and create connections between different departments. When choosing an icebreaker, you will want to consider the age demographic of your group, the reason you are using icebreakers, and how you can use them as a building block for meaningful relationships in the workplace.
For example, let's say you are looking for the marketing department and merchandising department to build a stronger connection so they can be on the same page on upcoming projects. With work-from-home life, it can be hard to get to know everyone in each department. Icebreakers can help diffuse any tension between the two departments and encourage communication in large group settings to drive the connection you are looking for.
Let’s look at a few of our favorite icebreakers and how you can use virtual events to encourage team building.
Two Truths and a Lie
For this icebreaker, you will ask everyone in the group to think of two truths and a lie they can share with everyone. As you go around the room (or the Zoom!), each person will share their two truths and a lie, and the rest of the group will try to guess which one is the lie. We love this icebreaker because it is full of surprises and sure to make everyone laugh. It’s also a great activity you can have employees participate in before hosting a company-sponsored virtual Paint Party!
Scavenger hunts are a great icebreaker because they can help your team members work together as a team, think collaboratively, and get everyone in a good mood to have a good time! The best part is a scavenger hunt can be in-person or virtual, making it easier than ever to provide a meaningful icebreaker that your employees will enjoy. Our Virtual Scavenger Hunt Game Show is an exciting way to get everyone in the competitive spirit, socialize, and have fun.
A trivia game is a great icebreaker that puts your team members’ knowledge to the test and may even generate a few laughs! You have a few options for building a trivia game that works for your team; you can decide to ask questions about your company, employees, or fun facts! Regardless of what you decide to do, a trivia game icebreaker will help break everyone out of their shell and create bonds in large groups. If you are looking for a general virtual trivia game, consider scheduling our virtual Basic Trivia for your next team-building exercise.
Would You Rather
To play Would You Rather with a large group, all you need to do is ask your team members to come up with a few questions they can ask everyone. As you go around the room and have everyone share, everyone can choose what they’d pick by raising their hand on Zoom or moving to a different side of the room if you are choosing to do it in person.
This is just like speed dating but for your employees! All you need to do for this icebreaker is set a timer, pair everyone up, and have people switch from person to person. This is a great icebreaker for larger groups because it helps build meaningful relationships with the individual rather than the group as a whole. Plus, you know what pairs well with a speed meeting icebreaker? A virtual happy hour! Our Sips & Cheers with Margarita Trios would complement this event perfectly.
Human Bingo will have everyone mingling and learning all about each other! All you need to do is print out some bingo sheets and fill out the squares with different random facts. Everyone will go around the room trying to find someone that fits each square until all the squares are full. This is an interactive icebreaker that was designed for larger groups to have fun and build relationships.
Find 10 Things in Common
For this icebreaker, everyone is asked to find something in common with another team member until they can find 10 things in common with 10 different people. You’ll want to remind everyone that these things in common need to be a little more unique than “we both have legs” or “we both are women.” You can even encourage creativity by rewarding the two with the most unique thing in common. This icebreaker can complement just about any virtual event and help everyone get to know each other on a more personal level. Consider following this icebreaker with a Tea & Chocolate Tasting experience before starting the workday.
Sometimes, the best way to get to know people is just by asking questions! You can ask your team members to ask questions that are designed to get to know their teammates and guide them toward a better understanding of the people they work with. For 20 Questions, you can either create a list of questions you’ll ask everyone in the room to answer or you can pair individuals up and have them connect one on one — the choice is yours!
A fun icebreaker for larger groups that's similar to the classic telephone game we all know and love, the Name Game gets more challenging with more people involved, and that’s the fun part! The first person in the group will say their name and one thing about them, then the next person will do the same thing but also repeat what the person before them said. This will continue until someone messes up or asks for help from their team members.
Stand Up If…
For this icebreaker, create a list of questions and ideas you can ask the group. As you go through the questions, your team members will stand up if it applies to them or keep sitting if it doesn’t. What’s great about this game is that it’s virtual-friendly! Everyone can raise their hand instead of standing when a question applies to them. After everyone is filled with laughs and having a good time, you can surprise the team with a Live Action Escape Game! What better way to show your team members you value company culture and good times?
Icebreakers for large groups allow your company to ease the first-day jitters or unite other departments. When choosing the best icebreaker, you’ll want to consider your team’s interests and the overall goal of the team meeting. As you start to plan your company meeting or team-building exercises, consider complementing your icebreakers with a virtual event experience. Our experiences can help foster connections, increase company morale, and be a small token of appreciation for your team’s hard work.
Consider searching through our full list of virtual games and experiences to find one that fits well for your team! We help make it easy for you by allowing you to filter by event duration, group size, and budget.
We hope this list of icebreaker ideas for a large group can inspire you to plan the perfect team-building exercise for your next work event.