Forbes Middle East


Video Games: The Team Building Tool You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Michael Doer
Video Games: The Team Building Tool You Haven’t Thought Of YetImage by SFIO CRACHO via Shutterstock

Startups in the Middle East are more prolific than ever, but you have to consider a lot of things before jumping on the bandwagon and creating a startup. After all, only 80% of startups make it to the second year.

Apart from the lack of focus and understanding of your customers, there’s another reason that leads startups to fail—the team. If tensions grow and the team falls apart, your startup is at risk. While nothing can beat sharing a cup of hot coffee and talking to each other, you shouldn’t disregard the changes the digital age brings to the table.

To many business people who started working in the 80s or the 90s, the idea of using a video game for team building may seem absurd. But don’t be too quick to judge video games as a team building tool.

The truth is, picking a video game instead of your regular team-building exercises doesn’t change much. Take a moment to remember the most popular team-building exercises, and you’ll see at the heart of it all, they’re all games.

These are games you play in a group that train your team’s collaboration and problem-solving skills. The problem with the commonly-used exercises is that they are all make-believe, which doesn’t engage young employees. Ask them to solve a puzzle they like, and they’ll be more than excited.

Your team needs to be able to work towards a common goal in stressful situations. Unfortunately, the way you train for these situations is not stressful at all. This is why video games are a useful tool for teambuilding—there’s risk involved.

The tension is real when presenting your team with a virtual challenge. This tension will show you how your employees perform under stress and how fast your leaders can make decisions.

In addition to this, playing team video games also provides a feeling of accomplishment and comradery. This nurtures the idea that solving problems together amounts to a positive experience and lets your employees have a genuinely fun time together to bond.

Here are 3 key factors that will help make video games as a teambuilding tool successful:

Choose a team game

You’re not playing games together just to have fun. Your main goal is fostering collaborative problem-solving. This is why you shouldn’t choose a game where one player can change the outcome. You want a game that requires all team members to put in work to win.

Switch up the roles

There is no need to follow your company’s command structure during the team-building experience. It’s important to switch leadership roles once in a while. It will help the leaders get a perspective and help the employees build trust with their leaders. This is also where you will discover the natural leader in your team by observing whether someone naturally takes control during a stressful moment.

Consult with your team

The most important tip you can get is to talk to your team about this idea. Let them be part of the decision-making process, and they’ll treat team building as a fun time together, not something imposed on them.

Image by SFIO CRACHO via Shutterstock

Michael Doer is a freelance writer who covers digital marketing, career advice, and more. He loves to use his passion, video games and history to enhance his writing. Reach him on Twitter at @MichaelDoer to ask a question.

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