Learn three ways to promote team building in your call center. This chapter excerpt includes three team building games managers can use to encourage team building in call centers and motivate call center staff. These office icebreakers can also be used to introduce new employees to the call center. Also included are variations of the activities specifically designed for virtual call center agents.
More Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers
Chapter 3, Welcoming: Introductions and Icebreakers
Activities for team building in the call center
Table of contents:
Team building games for call center employees
Cell phone activities for call center teams
Office poker games to break the ice in the call center
Team building games for call center employees
Bet you didn't know this
An icebreaker activity in which participants share little-known facts about themselves.
The purpose is...
For participants to learn something interesting about each other. This information may prompt some small talk later.
Use this when...
Individuals already know each other at least a little bit.
A new team is forming, especially with participants who already know each other.
People seem bored with each other and need a boost of energy.
Materials you'll need...
One index card for each participant.
A straight pin (or tape) for each participant.
A pen or pencil for each participant.
1. Divide the group into two teams.
2. Give everyone an index card.
3. Have all participants write one little-known fact about themselves on their card.
4. Collect all the cards from Team 1 and Team 2. Place the stack of Team 2's cards aside for now.
5. Randomly distribute Team 1's cards to Team 2, keeping them face down (so participants can't read them).
6. Have the Team 2 participants pin the card they have on their back, written side showing (so that everyone can read the card except the one wearing it).
7. All the participants mingle. Each Team 1 member finds his or her card on the back of a Team 2 member and pairs up with that person.
8. When paired up, the Team 2 member asks the Team 1 member yes/no questions to determine (guess) what is written on the card.
9. Repeat the process for Team 2's cards.
Ask these questions...
How much did you learn about each other? (I had no idea that she . . . ; I don't want to mess with this guy; Looks are deceiving!)
How difficult (or easy) was it to guess what was on your card? (Harder than I thought, because I kept wanting to ask more open questions; Easy once I figured out it was a sport she liked.)
What questions helped you the most? (Questions that were broader; Questions that didn't assume too much to begin with; Just asking lots of questions fast.)
Why do you think it's important to get to know each other here at work beyond just knowing the tasks that each other performs? (Because we work with the whole person, not just a part of that person; So we can enjoy our time together more; It allows us to appreciate each other better.)
How can we get to know each other back on the job?
Tips for success...
After each round, give the group a little time for discussion. Many people will have read the cards that others wrote and be curious who wrote this one or that one. Undoubtedly, there will be a few stories that simply must be told!
Make sure no one looks at or reads the card that goes on his or her back.
Try these variations...
Have participants write two statements on their card, one true and one false. Follow the same procedure, but, after the wearer has guessed both statements, he or she then must guess which one is true and which one is not.
At Step 2, rather than a little-known fact, have participants write a provocative question. At Step 7, Team 1 participants do not pair up with whoever is wearing their card. Instead, everyone mingles freely. As participants read the questions on others' backs, they merely respond to the question (without telling what the question was). Team 2 participants are challenged with guessing what the question on their back is.
At Step 2, have the participants write a fact that is well known about themselves. At Step 7, Team 2 participants mingle with Team 1 participants and ask them yes/no questions about the fact on their back. The challenge is to guess what is written and who wrote it.
For virtual teams...
This activity works well for groups that are able to communicate with each other via instant messaging, e-mail, or telephone.
1. Pair everyone up.
2. Person A keeps his or her information secret while Person B asks the yes/no questions.
3. Each of the variations listed can work for a virtual team.
Continue to the next section: Cell phone activities for call center teams
Download Chapter 3, Welcoming: Introductions and Icebreakers
Read other excerpts and download more sample chapters from our CRM and call center bookshelf
This was first published in June 2008