As an HR professional, you know the ongoing complexity of fostering positivity and satisfaction of an entire workforce. Keeping employees motivated, connected, and happy is no simple task.
But it’s worth the effort — engaged workforces often outperform those that feel disconnected.
If you're looking to put some pep in your staff’s step, consider a scavenger hunt. Really! Play is for adults too, and scavenger hunts are a great way to build camaraderie, learn more about each other, and have fun at work.
From creative and challenging clues to hilarious team-building activities, scavenger hunts provide an opportunity to let loose and break down barriers that may hinder productivity. They involve communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, all of which are crucial traits that can be honed through play. Let the games begin!
- Office Scavenger Hunt
The office scavenger hunt is a classic game that gives employees a chance to engage and connect in person. Unlike other games or activities that can take place in-office, scavenger hunts encourage employees to explore the work environment itself. It can facilitate interactions with different areas, departments, and colleagues people don’t encounter during their daily work routine.
To start, divide employees into teams. Then create a list of clues or riddles that lead them to various places in and around the office, encouraging team members to work together to solve the puzzles. You can customize the clues to highlight different aspects of your company's culture, values, or history. Have folks collect items at each location and bring them back at the end of the game. The team who brings back all the items or brings back the most items within a certain time limit will win.
- Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
An outdoor scavenger hunt can be a great way to get everyone outside. This activity provides an opportunity for employees to connect in a relaxed environment, fostering open communication and collaboration. Not to mention, fresh air and spending time in nature can often reduce stress and improve wellbeing, allowing employees to relax and refresh.
Separate your employees into teams and give them a list of items or landmarks they need to find or capture in the neighborhood. You can even bring in local businesses or landmarks into the game, encouraging your employees to interact with them during the hunt. For example, one of your challenges might be to get a signature from an employee at a local shop!
Since employees are going off-campus, consider briefing them on safety precautions, rules, and guidelines. You can set a meeting point and time limit for completing the hunt to keep everyone organized, even when they’re apart.
- Virtual Scavenger Hunt
If your company embraces remote or hybrid work, a virtual scavenger hunt can be an excellent way to help everyone connect. In one Glassdoor survey, nearly half of all respondents reported feeling isolated from their coworkers while working remotely during the COVID pandemic. These hunts offer distributed teams a chance to interact on a more personal level and have some fun;
Use video conferencing platforms — like Zoom or Microsoft Teams — and collaborative tools to create an interactive and engaging experience. You can provide employees with a list of items they need to find or challenges they need to complete online. These could be tasks such as finding a specific webpage, solving online puzzles, or sharing a photo or video related to a particular theme. You could, for example, have them use social media to find a funny meme on Instagram or a video of a dog on TikTok.
To make the experience more collaborative, encourage members to share their progress and experiences in a dedicated chat or discussion board.
- Video and Photo Scavenger Hunt
Video and photo-based scavenger hunt games offer a versatile and engaging option for team-building activities. You can host this either in person or virtually, so it’s flexible for any type of team. You can use this scavenger hunt idea to spark creativity and allow employees to express themselves in a unique way.
Before you start, try to make sure all your employees have cell phones or cameras. If an employee doesn’t have one, consider providing one. Once everyone is equipped, compile a list of photo and video challenges for them to complete. For example, you can challenge teams to take group selfies to capture specific moments or objects.
Encourage creativity and collaboration as they work together to curate their collection of images or videos. You can even create a shared gallery or presentation to showcase everyone’s artistic abilities.
- Themed Scavenger Hunt
Make your scavenger hunt a more interactive and fun activity by incorporating a theme. Whether it's pirate treasure or a holiday hunt, themes add an extra layer of intrigue and engagement.
You can weave the theme into your clues and challenges. For example, if you’re hosting a Halloween scavenger hunt, encourage employees to dress up or bring props related to the holiday to enhance the immersive experience. You can incorporate elements specific to the theme, such as hidden treasures, iconic symbols, holiday decorations, or related trivia questions.
Try to make sure the difficulty level is appropriate for your team, allowing everyone to participate and enjoy the fun.
- Mystery Scavenger Hunt
If you want to add intrigue and suspense to your scavenger hunt, consider organizing a mystery scavenger hunt. This unique twist on the traditional scavenger hunt challenges participants to solve a fictional mystery while hunting for clues and completing tasks.
To set the stage, create a captivating backstory or scenario for the mystery. It could be a stolen artifact, a missing person, or a puzzle left behind by a mysterious figure. Divide your employees into teams and provide them with a series of clues, riddles, or puzzles that lead them closer to solving the mystery.
The scavenger hunt clues can be hidden throughout the office, neighborhood, or even within virtual platforms. At the end of the mystery scavenger hunt, gather all teams together to share their findings and unveil the solution to the mystery.
Keep Employees Engaged to Help Boost Retention
Scavenger hunts offer a wide range of benefits for your employees and company. They promote teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity while injecting fun and excitement into the workplace. But scavenger hunts aren’t the only way to keep employees engaged.
If you want to learn what a wellness program can do for your employees to keep them engaged,reach out to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today!
- American Heart Association. (n.d). Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety. American Heart Association. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/spend-time-in-nature-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety.
- Gallup. (n.d.). What Is Employee Engagement and How Do You Improve It? Gallup. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/285674/improve-employee-engagement-workplace.aspx.
- Glassdoor. (2021, September 13). Isolated Professionals Want More Community in the Workplace. Glassdoor. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/survey-says-professionals-want-workplace-community.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.