10 Fun Games to Motivate Employees at A Startup (These Really Work)

August 2, 2018
Posted in Blog, Other
August 2, 2018 Madeleine

One of the difficulties that startup founders’ face is motivating their employees and keeping them focused. These difficulties are usually caused by the long hours and low pay often associated with startups.

The following 10 fun games will help motivate your employees. It will also help build stronger bonds between your team and create a greater sense of community in the workplace. All this will lead to more productivity, which increases the chances of your startup’s success.

Egg Drop

You might remember this game from your middle school science class. It still works well in a startup environment. The goal is for different teams to build a device to protect an egg from cracking when dropped from a certain height. You typically use household materials such as string, straw, and paper.

This game will help unite your employees by giving them the opportunity to work together and come up with fun solutions to the problem. This team building will then translate into closer bonds and more motivation while working on problems relating to the business.

4-Way Tug-of-War

This is a fun twist on a classic game. For this game, you tie a rope so that four teams can tug at once. This fun activity will help build teamwork among team members and offer a good break from a busy day at work.

Holiday Themed Competitions

Creating competitions around the holidays will help improve motivation and overall morale of your team as well. The best example of a competition is a costume contest. Have your employees dress up for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and any other holiday. The winner of the contest gets some sort of office award for their desk combined with a monetary award.

This improves motivation, but it also makes things more fun at the office.

Start a Company Raffle

Company raffles are another terrific way to encourage motivation. Reward raffle tickets to team members that perform well or continuously meet their tasks. The criteria really depend on the type of startup you are running. If you choose to do this activity, then make sure the raffle prize is a good prize to offer the employees a bit more incentive. Some examples of good prizes include cash and Amazon gift cards.

Role Exchange

This game involves switching the roles in your startup. This works especially well if you already have a few different teams working on different projects. Some examples involve putting the engineers on the customer service team and putting the customer service team on the operations team. This gives team members a unique look at the different problems that their co-workers face.

It also motivates them to work better as a team because they see the different problems that they all face. Further, your engineering team will get to see some of the problems that customers complain about, which gives them a unique insight into the software that they write.

Pat on the Back Game

This is a fairly simple game to play. You line up your team members and tell them to pat each other on the back and mention a positive reason why. This game will mentally reward your employees for completing their tasks.

You can even add a competitive edge to this game, and the employee that receives the most back pats will receive some sort of reward.

Have a “Decorate Your Area” Contest

A contest like this works well because people are naturally competitive and will strive to have the best possible area. However, it works for more than just that. An area that looks better will lead to more productivity from your team members while working on their tasks.

Circle of Questions

Circle of Questions

This game works well as your company grows. The basic instructions of this game are to instruct your employees to line themselves up into an inner circle and an outer circle. The employee on the inner circle will ask the employee on the outer circle a question chosen by the manager. After 15 seconds the team member that answered the question will then ask the question. Once both sides have answered the question, the circle will rotate counter-clockwise, and a new set of questions will begin.

This works well because it will bond your employees closer together, which is not common at a surprising number of companies. These closer bonds will further motivate the employees to work harder toward the company goals.

Some example questions include asking them about their future and their favorite part about working at a startup. Think of light and fun questions for the employees to ask each other. Obviously, avoid anything related to politics and religion or anything that may be deemed controversial.

Wheel-of-Fortune

This works in a similar style to the company raffle. However, instead of raffle tickets, each winner gets to spin a prize wheel. You can determine winners by setting up criteria such as meeting a deadline or finishing a particular project.

Rewards can be something simple such as items with your company or more practical like cash. Honestly, the reward does not matter nearly as much as the fact that you reward positive results with some sort of prize and chance drawing.

Jar Full of Dollars

Jar Full of Dollars

Jar Full of Dollars is a very simple game to set up as the name implies. You simply fill a jar full of dollar bills. When an employee, or team, meet a certain goal they get to draw a dollar from the jar. The employee that wins the most times during the day gets an additional prize.

This works great for motivation because it rewards good work for all employees. However, the top performer gets an even bigger bonus. This helps motivate everyone to try to become the top performer in the company.

Final Thoughts

The fun games mentioned above will all work well for motivating your employees. You might have noticed a pattern of rewarding positive results with some kind of prize or another incentive. This method works great for motivating employees as everyone loves receiving prizes. More importantly, people will channel their inner competitiveness to win a game.

The end result of these games will be a motivation boost to your team, which results in more productivity and better work for your team members. Try a game out at your startup and see how they work with your team.

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