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What are Corporate Training Games?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Corporate training games, sometimes referred to as team-building exercises, are types of games used in business with the intent of promoting positive attitudes and teamwork among employees. These types of games can often include a number of different activities, all of which are usually aimed at getting people comfortable with each other and encouraging them to work together. Corporate training games can be: small and simple, intended for introducing people to each other; a bit more involved, for getting people to start working together; or much more elaborate games that can include non-office locations and activities that can be spread out over a few days.

In the latter half of the 20th century, there was an increased focus on how employee attitude and teamwork could positively affect productivity in the workplace. With the application of psychological concepts regarding personality types, learning attitudes, and general human behavior, activities such as corporate training games became more prevalent in offices and corporations. The intent of these types of games was to foster group-oriented attitudes and encourage cooperation among employees to accomplish common goals. This was in contrast to some previous attitudes that viewed competition and divisiveness as positive workplace attributes, since they encouraged individual performance and accomplishment.

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Corporate training games can range from very simple activities to much larger games and exercises that can be quite physical and potentially daunting. At their most basic level, these games can include something like passing a ball around a room as people answer questions or brainstorm ideas and other small activities to help people get to know each other. For example, to start off a meeting, a manager or team leader might begin by identifying an issue, such as customer service, and go around the room getting one or two examples of how each person in the room has dealt with or been affected by the issue in their private lives. This introduces people to each other, while also introducing the issue to be discussed and explored.

Other types of corporate training games can include elaborate activities such as breaking groups up into teams, usually representing different departments of an office or business. Each team is given a large sheet of paper and some colored pens or markers. The teams then come up with an animal that best represents that team or department and draws it on the paper. The teams then present and explain their symbolic animal to the rest of the group. This encourages group work from the entire team, as well as the establishment of a single team identity and symbol for future use.

There are also more elaborate or extensive corporate training games, such as weekend retreats at which employees work as teams to accomplish certain goals or objectives. This can include extreme sports like paintball or rock climbing, or even camping and hiking trips where groups are encouraged to work together to “survive in the wild.” These kinds of activities should always be safe, however, and proper safety equipment and other precautions should always be taken to encourage safe behavior.

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Rotergirl
Post 3

I think these programs have their uses, as long as it's clearly understood that it's for fun, not in deadly earnest. Some people are so competitive that they can't easily participate in a team exercise. Maybe doing so is good for them. But it should still be *fun.* When it stops being fun, the point of the exercise is gone.

Pippinwhite
Post 2

The very idea of corporate training games has always made me a little sick feeling. I go home to escape these people. I have no interest in seeing them outside work where they can horn into my personal life! I work well with others, and I don't need any silly corporate training games to teach me how.

I can see how some people who have no social skills, and need lessons in manners and etiquette might need this, but I really do pretty well without it. Jeez.

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