Finding ways to get your team to work together can be difficult, especially if you have recently had a shake-up like new people coming in or long-time team members rotating out. It also takes constant reinforcement to keep a close-knit team working together. Activities like escape rooms give you a low-pressure opportunity to reinforce team unity.
What Are Escape Rooms?
Escape rooms have a simple premise, but they lend themselves to some very complex scenarios that require a variety of skill sets and areas of knowledge to navigate. You go into a room, the door locks, and your team has to use the tools and clues inside to figure out how to get an exit open.
Whether that is finding a key, figuring out a password, or some other puzzle varies with the story, and popular escape room locations often rotate their puzzles to keep things fresh for regular players.
How Do They Help With Team Cohesion?
The key to using this effectively for a team activity is to find a puzzle that can make use of your team’s skill set. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there, from creepy Halloween horror rooms to heist roleplays and thrillers.
You can even find farcical options designed to bring out laughter with puzzles that are a little silly. That takes the stakes down and lets you focus on getting your people to pull together toward the goal, without the stress that comes with regular work projects.
By cooperating on these puzzles, team members learn to identify when colleagues might have a point of view or skill set that helps with problem-solving in other contexts, too. By getting to know one another better, they also have the chance to get more comfortable asking for help, which can seem socially risky in some competitive work environments.
To overcome that impression, you need to move people into a new context where the pressures that leave them feeling that way get moved to the side.
How Can You Use Escape Rooms for Cross-Training?
Savvy managers will recognize that any group problem-solving situation also presents an opportunity for cross-training. If team members are learning to recognize one another’s skills, they are also in an environment where they can learn from them.
In many cases, the escape room will not have a direct bearing on the subject of your team’s regular duties, but it’s still a chance for people to learn how to teach one another and to practice delegating and taking delegated tasks.
If you have a group of people who are promising managers in the making, searching for escape rooms near me might be the best way to encourage the core skills they need to make great leaders.
When Should You Plan Escape Room Outings?
If you have regular in-service training or corporate retreat days scheduled, an escape room trip is a great way to spend that time building productive skills without feeling like you’re in a training meeting. That also allows you to get the benefits this activity brings without counting on volunteer attendance after work or cutting into project time.