If you’re part of a corporate work environment, you’re familiar with the phrase “team building.” For some, this means ropes course high up in the trees or age-old communication exercises paired with trust falls. However, these aren’t the only ways to encourage a dynamic and successful team relationship. Trivia Nights are an excellent way to bring coworkers closer together to work on skills that translate into their work life, all while having fun.
Trivia Nights are great bonding exercises because they promote teamwork. Questions are often posed in such a way that a team can break down a question into multiple parts, identify the relevant hints, and come up with an answer together. For example, take the following question:
What fashion brand’s logo features two highland terriers holding up a shield bearing three hearts and “Love G&P”?
Answer: Juicy Couture
It’s great if you happen to know the answer right away, but that’s not often the case with a well-written Trivia question that is designed to make you think. Fortunately, if one person on your team has an extensive background in one particular topic while another team member has some basic knowledge about a different topic, the two can combine their knowledge to come up with the answer.
Typically, Trivia shows cover a variety of question categories. So in order for your team to do well, each team member will likely fall into their own topic of expertise, which frees up everyone else from having to become a virtuoso in that topic and face the pressure of categories they are unfamiliar with. The game is set up in such a way as to group people together who have a diverse range of knowledge and skills, just like in the operations of an effective business.
Problem Solving and Communication
If you weren’t aware, phones aren’t allowed during live Trivia because they could be used to cheat, however, this serves another purpose, too; It promotes team building by making your employees talk to each other to come up with answers. This means they’ll have to utilize their problem solving and teamwork skills to capitalize on their areas of expertise and have intelligent discussions surrounding the deduction process in finding the answer. Similar to how they need to coordinate with each other during their day jobs to solve business problems, they need to make use of the same communication skills to win at Trivia.
Trivia Night is also great for letting everyone see their coworkers’ thinking patterns and thought processes. Since a marketing department might have different thought processes than an IT department, it helps them understand each other and teaches them to successfully share ideas in such a way that all parties understand in order to reach conclusions. This is why it’s also a good idea to divvy up employees on Trivia teams with coworkers from outside departments.
Trivia also requires a level of trust. You trust your teammates to settle on an agreed-upon answer and you trust your team’s scribe to write the correct answer and deliver it to the host on time. You trust people to be dependable in terms of the categories they are experts at and you also trust someone to keep score and someone to identify the theme round. Let’s say someone gets up to go to the restroom or leaves to order drinks at the bar. This person trusts their team to uphold the standards of their little Trivia community during their absence. Through gamification, building trust and communication skills become fun and leave a lasting impact in the workplace.
Furthermore, Trivia is so fun that it doesn’t feel like team building. In other words, it won’t be in the forefront of your employees’ minds that this is an exercise. They’ll be so hyped about getting questions right and talking over answers, that it won’t feel like work at all. This means that your employees will feel like this exercise is a reward, which leads to positive reinforcement of the aspects this exercise is designed to teach and build upon.
It also means that they will get an opportunity to get to know their coworkers outside of work in a fun, laid back environment. Since over 51% of employees, these days report that they feel disconnected in the workplace, which affects their overall productivity, it’s important to establish a positive mindset around internal communications and relationships. Additionally, Trivia Night is proven to be great for stress relief, thanks to the laid back and social environment, as well as the dopamine rush associated with getting a question correct.
One last important factor of using Trivia Night as a team-building experience is that it improves memory function over time. Of course, the critical thinking skills involved are important for cognition, but memory just as much. It helps to engage the brain in a way that it doesn’t typically get exercise, in other words, Trivia Night engages the frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory processing. For business purposes, this means better brain function overall when your employees need to think critically and recall important and relevant information while under pressure to make key business decisions.
Team building doesn’t have to be limited to the same old exercises that everyone expects and associates with corporate bonding. It can be an experience that utilizes existing skills in an entirely new way. Your employees will have a lasting memory and bond that’ll keep them talking and reminiscing while maintaining the important interpersonal skills of team-building exercises. So, Trivia Night isn’t just all fun and games; it’s a great way to instill better trust and communication within your corporate environment.