10 Non-cheesy Ice Breaker Games for Your Employees


Asking “How is everyone?” at the start of every meeting isn’t always the most effective way to foster team bonding. Having a fun ice breaker can sometimes help with that connection.

The best ice breakers have the ability to strengthen coworker bonds, stimulate better brainstorming sessions, and foster an inclusive environment. We’ve compiled a list of the best ice breaker games for the workplace to help you get the most out of your team bonding moments. Use one of these games instead of asking “How is everyone?” the next time you get together with your team, and you’re sure to get some better, more insightful responses than “I’m good.”

Meeting Introductory Activities

1. Game of One Word

The Single Word An ice breaker allows you to provide preliminary context for a meeting’s topic and get everyone in the right frame of mind for discussion.

To play, divide the meeting attendees into smaller groups. Then tell them to think for a minute or two, and then share one word that describes X with their group.

Assume you’re in charge of a culture-related meeting. Instruct the groups to describe work culture, or specifically your office culture, in one word. You can invite them to share their word with the entire room after they’ve shared with their groups.

This game encourages everyone to think about a specific topic ahead of time in smaller groups, which may increase participation during the meeting.

2. Fun Quiz

Consider posting a short Pop Quiz on the board to successfully loosen everyone up and get them in the right mindset for a meeting.

If your goal is simply to foster team bonding, your quiz can be more entertaining, such as “Match the lyrics with this 80’s song.” However, you could also use the Pop Quiz to introduce participants to the meeting’s theme.

For example, if you’re discussing company changes, you could start by quizzing team members on company history facts (e.g., “What year was this company founded?”).

3. Birth Chart

Before a large meeting, place a map and a set of pins in the center of the room. As people enter, ask them to put a pin in the ground where they were born or raised.

People will discover how diverse their teammates’ areas are as the map fills up with pins. Allow time at the end of the meeting for your colleagues to walk up and examine the map more closely.

four. film This icebreaker is as crazy as you make it, and is ideal for larger groups and movie buffs. Divide the players into quadrants and give them 10 minutes to plot the next award-winning film. You can constrain them by designating genres such as horror, action, comedy, thriller, and others.

If your organization is getting together to brainstorm ideas for specific projects, include the topic in their movie pitch prompts to get the creative juices flowing.

5. Would You Rather?

“Would You Rather,” a classic summer camp game, is an excellent, quick ice breaker for the workplace. Take turns going around the table and asking each person a “Would You Rather” question the next time you’re settling into a meeting or team bonding outing.

To get you started, here are a few “Would You Rather” questions:

  • Would you prefer to spend the rest of your life only in summer or winter?
  • Do you want to go on a hike or watch a movie?
  • Would you rather never use social media sites or apps again, or never watch another movie or television show?
  • Which would you prefer: a bad short-term memory or a bad long-term memory?

6. 18 & Under

18 & Under is an engaging and one-of-a-kind way to encourage team members to share amusing or intriguing stories with one another. Simply go around the room before a meeting and ask each person to share one accomplishment they had before the age of 18.

You’ll undoubtedly receive some of the less important responses, such as “I bought a skateboard,” but you never know what hidden talents you might discover in your coworkers.

7.  Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie, one of the more traditional ice breakers on the list, can be used anywhere from family gatherings to corporate events. To play, simply ask each person to come up with three “facts” about themselves, two of which will be true and one of which will be a lie.

For example, I could say, “I once tried out for the TV show Zoom. My brothers are three in number. I once ziplined in Switzerland.” Coworkers can take turns guessing which of two lies is true. (Just so you know, I have two brothers, not three, so that’s a lie.) I did, however, audition for Zoom.)

Two Truths and a Lie is a fun and engaging game that can help your team learn facts about one another and begin forming deeper bonds.

8. The Eighth Handshake

A handshake is one of the first ways you get to greet someone at work.

Individuals can relax and have a little fun with this ice breaker. It’s simple: divide the group into pairs of two and have them come up with the most creative handshake they can in a couple of minutes.

If you have more time, have the pairs split up after demonstrating their super cool shake and come up with even more creative ones with new partners. It’s difficult to play these games without laughing, which is something we could all use during the workday.

Small-Group Icebreaker Games

9. Intriguing Questions

Asking interesting questions is a simple and effective ice breaker game. To play, go around the room and have each person respond to a fun question. The questions are entirely up to you, but here are a few suggestions:

  • What three items would you bring if you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three?
  • What animal would you be if you could be any animal, and why?
  • What was your first concert experience?
  • Who would you invite over for dinner if you could invite any celebrity, and why?

These questions serve two purposes. First, they allow your coworkers to relax and be more creative. Second, they encourage conversation on topics normally reserved for outside the office, allowing members of your team to get to know one another on a more personal level.

According to Meg Prater, Sr. Marketing Manager of the HubSpot blog, “When I first began incorporating ice-breaker questions into our weekly team stand-up meetings, the results were… cringeworthy. It felt exactly like what it was: organized fun. But we persisted. I took feedback and tried to incorporate it into better icebreakers.”

She went on, “Some people on our team, for example, don’t watch a lot of television and felt a little left out when we’d get caught up in a rabbit hole of shows we were binge-watching. Maintaining inclusivity in the icebreakers keeps everyone engaged. Now, our ice-breakers can last up to 15 minutes and produce some of the week’s biggest laughs and revelations.”

10. Personality Test

This ice breaker can help to strengthen team bonds and is one of the simpler options on the list. Simply pull up a short personality quiz on your phone or computer (here’s a list if you get stuck) and project it or send the link to everyone.

After everyone has finished the personality test, have each colleague state one thing they agree or disagree with based on their results. This game gives your team members a new perspective on their coworkers, and it’s also a fun and easy way to start an interesting conversation.

Break the Ice and Get to Work

Icebreakers may appear to be cringeworthy, but they are a great way to build trust within your team. Even if you work remotely, team bonding is an essential component of running a productive, effective team.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Share this post with your friends