10 ways to break the ice with your new hires

10 ways to break the ice with your new hires

Wednesday June 22, 2016,

5 min Read

A lot of managers and team leaders welcome new hires by simply pointing them towards their new work stations while they nonchalantly return to their own desks. This is bound to unsettle a new employee who obviously expected to start his/her first day on a really positive note. Each company should have an organised and clear on-boarding process to make the hires feel at home. But this is not always possible. However, even if there isn’t enough time for proper on-boarding, managers and team leaders can always organise some interesting ice-breaking activities.


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In order to make sure the best employees stay in your organisation for a good while, company growth and on-boarding should happen simultaneously. This ensures that employees actively participate and engage with their company right from day one. A unique and exciting culture sets a good foundation for the new hires to start their careers. Simple on-boarding processes can work wonders and bring out the best in them. Here are a few unique and fun activities that you could use to break the ice with your new hires:


This is a simple and fun contest that can help bring out your hires’ talent, wit and humour. Just pick a random photo and ask them to caption it, and whoever comes up with the best caption wins the game. A bit of humour and wit can help new employees blend in

Indoor Sports Tournaments

A good game of sports can work wonders in bringing people together. Ping Pong and darts are two popular activities in office spaces. If you have the funds, you can also invest in a Foosball table and a pool table or even an electronic gaming console like an Xbox or a Playstation.

Scavenger hunt

As clichéd as it may sound, a scavenger hunt is one of the finest ways to engage employees and help them come out of their shells. A simple in-house treasure hunt contest enables hires to work in teams. Hence, this exercise not only helps in team-building but also instils in them a sense of working for a common goal, something that can go a long way in building their productivity later on.

Rapid fire quiz

An on-spot rapid fire quiz is an excellent way to get to know the talents of the new hires. The theme could be anything from music and art to industry knowledge or even the office layout! Teams could be a mix of old employees and new ones, and this could even be the start of an in-house mentorship.

Soap box ice breaker

In this activity all the employees take turns to share things about themselves. It could be as personal as the best moments in their lives to the most random ones. When old and new employees speak about different things, they begin to find some common ground to work on to build their relationships.

Talent shows

Not only does a talent show help team members get to know each other, but it also allows them to share their talents with others, thereby keeping the entire environment inspired. It is also a great opportunity for everyone to keep practicing their hobby and showcase their talent to the rest of the company.

Two truths and a Lie

This is a very common game and needs no planning. Each employee has to share two truths and a lie with everyone without mentioning which is which. The rest need to call the lie among the three, the one who calls the most lies, wins. This is a good chance for the new employee to know much more about the people he/she is going to be working with.

Fill in the blanks

This is the go-to game for bringing some creativity to the table. As the name suggests, there are going to be empty spots in a sentence, and everyone needs to fill it up in the most creative manner possible. The one who gets the most votes at the end of the game wins.

Doodle the policy/process presentation

In this game/activity, the company policies and procedures are shared in a fun format. Right from the leave policies, to the confidentiality agreement and what it entails. While this is a good way to keep reminding the existing employees of all the rules and regulations that they need to be following, the new one find an easy method to learn it on the fly.

A company/team lunch

A new employee is simply uncomfortable on his/her first day. Team lunches are important as they help new employees loosen up and also making small talk becomes necessary. They get to know their co-workers better in the process.

These don’t take too much money or time and ensure that the new hire is comfortable and happy on the first day. This first day can make a world of a difference in how he/she works for months to come.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)