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Zoom Icebreakers for New Hires

Getting to know remote new hires

by Nikhil Bendre - October 22, 2021

As the year goes on, we are gradually getting closer to that sense of pre-pandemic normalcy that we have so desperately missed. COVID numbers are on the decline, so in-person work is slowly becoming the norm again. However, many organizations are still online, have decided to implement a hybrid mode of work, or have realized that work objectives can be met remotely. Odds are that these companies acquire new hires virtually and need to address the struggle of integrating these employees into their organizations while remaining online. If that sounds like your team, let’s take a look at some fun icebreaker activities you can try for your new virtual hires!

Zoom Icebreaker Ideas for Remote New Hires

  • Would You Rather

You can learn a lot about someone based on their choices when faced with two scenarios. This game is a great way to have your new hires understand the perspectives of their new team members and even find commonalities in their choices, leading to strong workplace connections!

  • Two Truths and a Lie

This is one we love to do here at GoCo! At our Friday meetings, called “Whatcha Got,” new hires give us Two Truths and a Lie and we all vote in a poll for what we think the lie is! Our track record is pretty strong with this game, we’ve got some great investigative minds on our team! 

  • Virtual Cooking Class

This is an idea we’ve mentioned before on our website in our post about 11 Virtual Company Happy Hour Ideas, but it’s a great one for new hires as well! Cooking is an activity that allows all kinds of people to put down their barriers as they focus on one common goal – successfully executing the recipe! If it goes well, that’s great! If it doesn’t, it’s still a funny story and a great time! After the cooking is done, your team can sit down and enjoy the product of their labors together for their first team meal. Take a look at Cozymeal and the fabulous cooking experiences that they offer! 

Price: $19-$49 per person, depending on the selected class!

  • Musical Guess-Who

This game tells you about your new team members’ music tastes! Everyone submits a song and then those songs get played in a random order. As each song is played, everyone has to guess who submitted the song! This is a fun one because we don’t realize just how much our personalities leak into our musical preferences. Musical Guess-Who is an opportunity to break the ice on a more artistic level! 

  • Virtual Escape Room

Like the cooking class, here’s another idea that transitions seamlessly from Happy Hour to New Hire Orientation! A virtual escape room is a fun and interactive way to connect with new teammates while letting the newbies fall into their groove of collaboration as they strategize a way to escape the room! Check out Virtual Escape Global and their games that are specifically designed for team building!

Price: Submit your organization’s details to get a quote!

  • Work-From-Home Fail Stories

This past year and a half or so of remote work has been interesting, to say the least. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the virtual workforce has experienced failures, slip-ups, and/or mishaps of some degree due to working from home. Sharing some of those stories allows your new hires to have a good laugh and exhibit some vulnerability with their new team!

  • Yes, And…

Being a former theatre kid, I had to throw in this classic improv game. Assign your cast, set the topic of the scene, and have your new hires put on their best Oscar-worthy performance! There’s a rule in improv that you are never supposed to say no, as that gives your acting partners a difficult time to keep the scene going. Instead, you are supposed to say “yes, and…,” hence the name of this game!

  •  Costume Party

The concept of “professionalism” has a stiff and rigid atmosphere around it. You can bypass that frigidity by opting for a Costume Party icebreaker! Obviously, keep it appropriate, but let your new hires get creative with this! It’s nearly impossible for the Zoom call to be awkward when every new hire looks just as ridiculous as the next!

  • Flashback

For this icebreaker, have your new hires prepare beforehand by finding a childhood photo that they would like to share! Each person can screen share the photo and explain the backstory. Doing this exercise gives the team insights on where their new coworkers came from and how they grew up! When we meet people as adults, we rarely talk about our formative experiences as children. Letting your teams’ inner children out is a fantastic way to get the bonding underway. 

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Expanding your team across wide distances doesn’t have to mean a lack of connections and camaraderie. There are plenty of ways to make your new hires feel comfortable, even from their own screens. Try these games at your next New Hire Orientation and watch your new additions kickstart their bonds with each other, as well as the rest of the organization!

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