What are Collaboration Games?
Collaboration Games (= collaborative games) in the work context mean team games for adults, where the participants work with each other instead of against each other. Collaboration Games are part of teambuilding activities, because: By working towards a common goal through play, the group grows faster and stronger together.
Goals of Collaboration Games
Basically, Collaboration Games, like all team-building activities, are about,
- Strengthening the social relationships within a team and thus
- to improve the cooperation,
- learning with and from each other and thus
- improve the quality of the joint work and
- increase the productivity of the group.
And to do so in a fun way. The following sub-goals that are promoted by Collaborative Games in a group pay off on these five goals:
- Collaborative Learning: In working directly together and solving tasks and exercises together, each participant contributes knowledge and strategies. This increases the willingness to learn from each other and accelerates the learning process.
- Encourage teamwork: Collaborative work and play only works if everyone in the team really contributes something to the solution. Through the shared fun experienced in play, teamwork is directly linked to something positive.
- Strengthening bonds with each other and the company: Players get to know each other particularly well, so that any conflicts can be resolved and even friendships can develop. Friendly and trusting interaction among employees in turn promotes loyalty to the company.
- Communicate openly and clearly: Team games can only be won by those who are in constant communication with each other and share their ideas with the group - a point that is absolutely essential, for example, in collaborative adventures such as Live Escape Games.
- Increase performance: By working towards a common goal (winning the game), team members motivate each other so that ambition is aroused within the group ("We can do this better than the others!" or "We can do this faster!").
- Improve results or products qualitatively: Through open and direct communication in the game and the willingness to share knowledge, insights and approaches to solutions, the results automatically improve. And this is especially true in collaborative games where teams compete in multiple rounds on the same topic.
- Increase personal commitment: Thanks to group dynamics, motivation to work towards the team's goals grows ("Together for the team!" or "Together we can do it!").
- Discovering skills and finding roles: Since in a team game each member uses his or her personal skills and combines them with those of the others, understanding grows about who is best suited for which role. In this way, teammates naturally learn to take responsibility.
- Working together toward a vision: In team play, everyone shares the same goal and learns to remind each other of the why even when motivation drops.
- Developing understanding for each other: By learning each other's strengths and weaknesses in the game, players simultaneously increase their willingness to help each other as a team.
- Establish a healthy culture of error: While playing, participants are encouraged to express their own opinions, adopt new perspectives, come up with creative ideas and unusual approaches to solutions, and try them out in trial & error mode.
What's the point of collaborative games?
When choosing Collaborative Games for your team, consider the following questions. Is the game:
- collaborative - that is, do the members really work with each other (playing as a team against another team is allowed, of course)?
- creative - so solving / winning the game requires new ideas and strategies?
- challenging - so it is challenging enough to arouse the ambition of the teammates?
- focused on a clearly defined goal?
- designed in such a way that it is fun and offers a break from the daily work routine?
- communicative - that is, are participants encouraged to talk to each other and share knowledge, ideas, and strategies?
To reflect on the learnings from the game and integrate them into actual work where possible, a final short review may be worthwhile.
What collaborative team games are there?
Here are a few examples of team building exercises and games:
- Creative Games like the Spaghetti Tower: In this game, several teams (with at least two members) compete against each other. The goal: to build a tower as high as possible out of raw (i.e. uncooked) spaghetti noodles, which towers over the towers of the other teams at the end. The other players are given additional materials such as scissors, glue, scotch tape, etc., as well as, for example, 15 minutes of time.
- Cooperative adventures like breaking out of an Escape Room: Games like this are particularly valuable for team development, because it's important to work hand in hand and communicate clearly and quickly. After all, the goal is to work together to solve puzzles and find keys to escape from a room.
- Group dynamic games like Frostbite: In this game, players form teams of 4 to 5 members each and are faced with the following scenario: In a team of 4 to 5 members, they must use various utensils to build a tent that will protect them from frost. However, the person leading the team suffers from frostbite in his hands and accordingly cannot lend a hand, while the rest of the team is snow-blind and cannot see anything. The team that sets up its tent the fastest wins. Leadership, trust and cooperation can be trained particularly well in such games.
Do teambuilding games also work for remote teams?
Especially for teams that normally don't work together at the same location, on-site team building games are particularly valuable. Because it makes a difference, of course, whether you only ever communicate with each other via email, chat, web conference or phone, or see each other face-to-face every day, or even work together in the same room. So if you have the choice and the options allow, organize an on-site collaborative game meeting for your remote team.
If that's not possible, you can also turn to online versions of team building games, such as:
- virtual Escape Games that teammates can solve together online.
- digital city tour: Here, employees are asked to upload photos or a video of interesting places in their own city for the other team members and tell them something about them. In this way, participants get to know each other more personally and develop a picture of each other's background and culture.
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items for each teammate to gather in their office or company building. One of the items is to be found per round. Whoever makes it back to the webcam with the item first wins the round.
Benefits of collaborative games for your team
Teambuilding games with a collaborative character are worthwhile for any group that works together or should work together in the future, because:
- The team grows closer together as a result,
- finds creative solutions together,
- learns with and from each other
- strengthens trust within the group
- improves communication with each other
- and is more motivated to achieve better results and higher performance together as a team.