3 Icebreakers That Will Make Your New Hire Orientation Anything But Dull

September 29, 2015

Building a new hire experience that’s worth talking about is one of the most critical elements to onboarding. Sure your orientation might have a cool video about the company or maybe even a guest speaker – but a real experience is crafted by the people and conversations in the room (hint: that’s your new hires!).

The easiest way to empower your new hires help create that Day One experience is by initiating energizing activities that gets new hires instantly connected and involved.

Why icebreakers aren’t a waste of time (really)

Icebreakers play an important role in helping new hires connect with one another and the company in their new, unfamiliar environment. They give people the introduction and permission needed to engage and interact in a memorable, unnerving way.

Most facilitators dread conducting icebreakers because it feels canned, forced and unoriginal. But, when done right, icebreakers create lasting bonds, a sense of community, and series of inside jokes your new hires can hold on to and reference as they build their early relationships at a company of strangers.

As a facilitator, your goal is to have each new hire leave saying: "Wow, I feel so comfortable here." "Gosh, what an incredible group of people I'll be working with." "Well, I wasn't expecting orientation to be this fun! I can’t wait to come back tomorrow."

The easiest way to get there: Prepare a slate of icebreakers. We compiled our favorite well-planned, unique energizers that leave a lasting impression:

Social scavenger hunt: An energizer for entry-level hires

This activity gets everyone up and moving while learning about each other and the company. After all, no one wants to sit at a desk all day.

Fill in their blank: A senior-level conversation starter

Getting more experienced professionals to volunteer can sometimes be painful. This low-pressure activity gets everyone involved.

New hire's got talent: A fun activity for all levels

This is signature favorite here at LinkedIn. Our CEO Jeff Weiner even brings up new hires for this activity during every company all-hands meeting.

Go ahead - try using some of these icebreakers in your next orientation. These activities will give new hires a new set of connections, memories and stories about their first day. It's an easy way to promote collaboration and creativity in a way that sparks shared engagement and makes for a memorable experience.

If you want even more suggestions, check out this presentation:

*Image from Webdonuts

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