By Dan Ketchum
Keeping employee morale high isn't just the right thing to do, it can help employees stay motivated, efficient and more productive in the workplace. Getting peak performance from your crew means you've sometimes got to nurture their sense of fun – even better if you do it with a sprinkle of friendly competition by hosting your own Office Championship Games.
No Office Championship Games is complete without great opening and closing ceremonies. During the opening ceremonies, split your office into teams of four to six people per team. Once teams are settled, pass out team t-shirts and gear like team color-coded stopwatches; then have the groups decide on team names and which members will compete in which competitions. Write all of this information on your whiteboard-turned-scoreboard and you are ready to let the games begin!
After all of the competitions are complete, end the festivities with a bang. Set up a podium or awards area where you can give each participant a certificate of participation, award the winners of each event and award the top team. Celebrate everyone’s achievements with an array of food and drinks. And remember, take pictures of all the action throughout the entirety of the games.
The Rules: Create an athletic course in an open space, peppered with safety cones and printer paper boxes. One teammate sits in a rolling swivel chair while another "drives" it through the course. At the end, they switch positions and dash back to the start.
The goal is to finish with the best time – add 5 seconds for each obstacle hit.
The Rules: This one's simple, but it never fails to bring people together. Each player stands behind a line about 12 feet from a recycle bin and gets as many shots of crumpled paper balls they can shoot over a one-minute period. Each shot in the recycle bin is one point – the best shooter claims victory.1
The Rules: A true classic. Gather round in your office's longest hallway and have each team of two stand closely side-by-side, with one person's left leg securely taped to the other person's right leg. It's a mad dash to the end of the hall to compete for the best time.
If you've got a nearby grassy space, take the opportunity for an open-air race – that way, teams can compete all at once.
The Rules: Start by setting up three throwing events: javelin throwing (using colorful paper airplanes), shot put (using crumpled paper balls) and discus (using paper plates or blank CDs). For each event, the competitor will throw as far as they can while standing behind a half circle marked off by colorful tape. If the competitor steps over the line, they are disqualified for that round. The winner of the event will have thrown the furthest across the total of the three events. 1
The Rules: Go with the classic six-cup stack. Each competitor starts with a stack of six plastic cups and must build a pyramid – three cups on bottom, two in the middle, one on top – then deconstruct the pyramid and end in a six-cup stack again. The quickest builder takes the prize.
Breakroom cup-stacking training sessions are definitely encouraged during the pre-season – it's a time-tested mix of speed, coordination and personal strategy.
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, the Houston Chronical, Motley Fool and more.