Corporate team building activities are a core facet of any organisation’s Learning and Development efforts. In an ever-changing and highly competitive environment, maintaining team productivity, morale, and motivation is essential for delivering year on year growth. The challenge, however, remains, how to keep every team building session fresh and engaging while ensuring your team games are laser-focused on elevating your team to a high performing status.
Enter The Escape Room Concept As A Corporate Team Building Activity
Escaping a room within a set time limit in the face being consumed by a hungry wraith, fiendish ghouls, or ravenous zombie hordes is enough to focus any team’s collective concentration. It’s 2018, so say goodbye to those awkward icebreaker exercises and worn-out trust falls. This is the year you get to reintroduce a dash of fun and engagement into corporate team building activities that are tailored to drive team-based learning outcomes that reflect your organisation’s needs. So, say hello to the Escape Room corporate team building activities.
Real World Challenges
While few team’s commercial fate faces the risk of being eaten in a zombie apocalypse, escape room team games can be tailored to reflect your organisation’s development needs. These themed immersive experiences can produce fabulous corporate team building activities. Simply tweak your script, make sure they are suitably difficult and challenging without being impossible to achieve, and you’re on your way!
When all members of a team work together effectively as a team, demonstrating cohesive teamwork, clear communication. and sound time management, everyone escapes alive! To find the key to any escape room, look to incorporate challenges that test a team’s core skill set.
No one escapes unless they effectively share information! That should be one of your escape room games design mantras. Break up your clues, distribute them in different shapes and forms around the room, set multiple layers within each puzzle and ensure a team has to communicate, sharing their thoughts and ideas to escape. Aim for a room design where there is so much going on in the room that participants have to work to ensure their idea is being heard and followed.
Set subtle traps or lures to draw out natural leadership behaviours in the group. Leadership is rarely about an individual’s position in the team hierarchy. Around 70 percent of teams struggle to escape due to lack of leadership. Your leadership test should span general knowledge, maths, information processing and iconography. Look for storylines that require multiple tasks needing to be completed simultaneously to check the depth of leadership in the team. Most effective escape room scenarios require more than one strong leader to collate the clues and formulate an escape plan.
Remember: Teams without leadership deserve to get eaten every time!
Conversely, too many leaders all pulling in different direction result in no decision being made or poor ones. Individualism is great but is a one-way ticket to the belly of a ghost in your escape room. Design clues that require multiple players to unravel or locate complementary clues in different sections of the room to challenge collaboration skills.
Remember: Teams that fail to collaborate effectively also deserve to get eaten!
Active listening is a key aspect of collaboration. Seed clues that spread the load across the group and include some tantalising clues that have to be read aloud to test the listening skills of the team.
Design Rewards For Lateral Thinkers
These are the people that help facilitate innovation to overcome new challenges in your most effective teams. Design clues, puzzles, and cyphers that need a dash of lateral thinking such as clever wordplay to solve. Test your group’s willingness to suggest absurd ideas such as escaping by sliding down a rainbow and will be rewarded.
Remember: Teams should either think outside the box or accept their fate – of being eaten.
Tips That Will Help Your Teams Escape
Here are some simple tips for designing your escape room game to be as immersive as possible while still encouraging your team members:
- Don’t Just Stand There! Ensure there are clues scattered throughout the room. Encourage participants to move around the room, touch, twist, pull, turn, shake, and open as many things as you can to find your concealed clues.
- Share Your Findings! This is a team-based activity so clear continuous communication is a key to escaping within the time limit. The only way to solve the escape room’s puzzles and cyphers is to put all of the clues together. Don’t feel obliged to make it easy, real life isn’t. A safe may take two or three clues to open. Encourage teams to gather their clues in one spot and work collaboratively as a unit to come up with solutions.
- Stay Away From The Ghost/Zombie. Ghosts and Zombies are always hungry and replicate real-world challenges and obstacles to success. Think about positioning your hazards. Chain your zombie to a wall, trap your ghost within a circle of salt. If the Ghost/Zombie touches a player, they have to sit it out. However don’t over penalize the team. Touched players may not be able to physically search for clues but they can participate in other ways such as time-keeping or participating verbally.
Include A Curtain Call Debrief
At the end of your escape room corporate team building session, have your team participate in a Curtain Call. Here the escape room coordinator should analyze each team’s moves, the team’s decisions, how well they communicated and what they could have done to have escaped if they failed, or identify the key reasons why they escaped so quickly.
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Corporate team building activities that integrate the escape room concept into team games is highly enjoyable. Executed correctly, expect to see laughter, fun, and an engaging experience that brings to life real-world obstacles in a fantasy setting. Your escape room experience will endure in participants’ memories while giving companies the opportunity to practice and analyze the team’s skills in communication, organization, critical thinking, logic and creativity in a high-pressure apocalyptic survival scenario ….just like real life in Dubai, right?