22 Work Christmas Party Games that Foster Team Cohesion

Does your workplace seem more like a collection of strangers passing each other in the corridors rather than a cohesive, collaborative team? Are you struggling to find the missing ingredient that will transform your group of individuals into a unified workforce? And most importantly, does it have you worried about the success of your upcoming office holiday party?

You might be surprised to learn that the answer could lie in the festive celebrations of the Christmas season.

Team cohesion is the cornerstone of any successful team. It’s the binding force that connects diverse individuals, turning them into a powerful unit that thrives on mutual respect, understanding, and shared objectives. But fostering this sense of cohesion can be challenging, especially in today’s fast-paced business environment.

That’s where the joyous spirit of Christmas comes in! The holiday season, with its emphasis on unity, goodwill, and celebration, provides the perfect backdrop for building stronger teams. And a fantastic way to do this is through games at your work Christmas party.

We’ll explore how you can leverage the fun and festivity of office Christmas party games to enhance team cohesion in your workplace. Whether you’re planning a grand office party or a small gathering, these fun office holiday games are designed to boost collaboration, communication, and camaraderie among your team members, all while ringing in the yuletide cheer.

Team Cohesion: What it is and how it’ll Make Your Teams Stronger and Communicate Better

Team cohesion, within the context of a workplace setting, is essentially the glue that bonds employees together, facilitating a unified pursuit of shared goals and targets.

Consider a beautifully decorated Christmas tree:

It’s not just a tree, lights, ornaments, or tinsel that make it beautiful, but rather how all these elements come together. Each ornament has its own unique shape, color, and size. Individually, they are just ornaments. But when carefully arranged on the tree, they work together to create a festive display that delights and warms the heart. The tree itself provides the foundation and structure, the lights add a magical glow, and the tinsel brings a sparkle. Each element plays a critical role in creating the overall festive atmosphere.

In a similar way, a team is like a Christmas tree. Each team member is a unique ornament with their own skills, talents, and experiences. Alone, they are individuals, but when brought together with effective communication, mutual respect, and shared goals, they form a cohesive team—a beautiful display of collaboration and synergy. Each member, like an ornament, contributes to the whole, and the team’s success relies on how well these different ‘ornaments’ work together.

Just like a well-decorated Christmas tree is more than just the sum of its parts, a cohesive team is more than just its individual members. It’s about how these members interact, collaborate, and work towards shared goals, creating a unity that drives team success. And that’s the magic of team cohesion.

How will work Christmas party games help foster team cohesion?

Truthfully, any fun game played with your team can help foster team cohesion. As long as the teams are working together toward a common goal, communicating, and sharing a positive experience, it can help toward growing team cohesion.

That’s what’s so great about tying these games into the holiday season. Instead of a run of the mill Christmas party, you can incorporate games that get your employees excited to be at work.

Let’s look specifically at the types of cohesion that these games can help develop:

Task Cohesion

Christmas games require employees to work together, learn from each other, and collaboratively strategize to win. This aligns perfectly with task cohesion, where the collective commitment to achieving a common goal is heightened. Through these games, employees can better understand their individual roles within the team and how their contributions lead to overall success.

Social Cohesion

The joyous and relaxed atmosphere of work Christmas party games provides an ideal setting for employees to strengthen their interpersonal bonds. This encourages social cohesion, wherein team members develop genuine friendships, respect, and support for each other, all of which translate into a positive work environment. Plus, it beats a mediocre party any day of the year, not just on Christmas!

Group Pride

Engaging in festive games can foster a sense of group pride as teams compete and collaborate. This sense of collective identity and pride can not only enhance motivation and commitment but also make the workplace a more enjoyable place.

22 Work Christmas Party Games that Even the Grinch Would Love

Without further ado, here are the best Christmas party games to boost holiday spirit. These are suited for both small groups and the entire team. They’ve also been selected to accommodate players of all physical capabilities so that every staff member can have a good time.

1. Holiday Trivia Questions

Divide your team into smaller groups and host a festive trivia game with questions about Christmas traditions, movies, songs, and more. This game encourages teamwork and communication as group members need to collectively recall and discuss answers.

2. Ornament Making Contest

Provide materials and let your teams compete in creating the best Christmas ornament. This game enhances creativity, teamwork, and can be a source of pride when the ornaments are displayed in the office.

3. Build-A-Bike®

Build bicycles and donate the completed bikes to a local charity. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to give an amazing gift to children in need? We invented this game and know how to do it best, so get in touch with one of our experts if you need help.

4. Christmas Charades or Pictionary

These classic games with a holiday twist are great for promoting communication and collaboration within the team, as they must work together to guess the correct answers.

5. Gift Wrapping Challenge

In this game, teams compete against each other to wrap a series of odd-shaped items as neatly as possible within a set timeframe. This encourages problem-solving and coordination within teams.

6. Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt throughout the office with festive items. Teams will need to work together, strategize and communicate effectively to find all the items within the time limit. This is also a great game to take outdoors if the weather is right.

7. Holiday Recipe Exchange

Although not a game, a holiday recipe exchange can bring employees together. Each team member can bring a dish made from a recipe that they love, along with printed copies of the recipe. This can foster a sense of unity and shared culture within the team.

8. Secret Santa with a Twist

The classic secret Santa game can foster unity, but consider adding a twist like a funny theme or a DIY-gift rule to promote creativity and make the game more interesting and engaging.

9. Holiday Storytelling

Have one team start a holiday-themed story, then each subsequent team adds on to it. This encourages creativity, listening skills, and can result in a hilarious collective narrative. A good idea could be to use this game as an icebreaker before moving onto more involved games.

10. Gingerbread House Building Contest

Provide teams with a gingerbread house kit and see who can construct and decorate the most impressive house. This requires cooperation, creativity, and strategic thinking.

11. Rescue Bear®

Here’s another great opportunity to give back to the community with one of our charity team building games. Teams of employees work to stuff teddy bears, which are later donated. When children are orphaned or unable to be with their parents during an emergency, these stuffed animals can help provide the emotional support they need.

12. Christmas Bingo

Create bingo cards with different Christmas-related items or themes. As you call out each item, teams mark off their cards. The first team to complete a line wins.

13. Holiday Themed Escape Room

You can set up an escape room in the office, but with a festive twist. Teams will have to work together, solve riddles, and complete tasks to “escape.” If most of your team is online, a bit of creativity can help you create virtual escape rooms.

14. Christmas Karaoke

Encourage your employees to sing Christmas carols together. It’s a fun way to boost morale and improve social bonds. Singing Christmas songs can be the perfect way to push party guests outside of their comfort zone.

15. Holiday Memory Game

Place Christmas items on a tray. Let teams look at it for a minute. Then hide the tray and have teams write down as many items as they remember. This game encourages communication and has teams working together to recall items.

16. Christmas Obstacle Course

A Christmas themed obstacle course can be a fun way to make a donation to the community. Work with one of our team building experts to organize an Amazing Builders event. Teams work to navigate a blindfolded team mate through an obstacle course to collect items for donation. Whoever collects the most wins!

17. Human Christmas Tree

Teams choose one person to be the ‘tree’ and others use decorations to adorn them. This can encourage creativity, communication, and collaboration.

18. Ugly Sweater Contest

Encourage employees to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater and hold a competition. This fun activity can create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere that helps employees bond.

19. Christmas Card Making Contest

Have teams create a Christmas card together. This can encourage creativity and teamwork, and the resulting cards can be displayed around the office.

20. Christmas-themed “Would You Rather”

Create a series of Christmas-themed “Would you rather” questions. This can provoke conversation and laughter, and help employees get to know each other better.

21. Guess the Christmas Smell

Have jars with different Christmas smells (cinnamon, pine, peppermint, etc.) and have teams guess what each smell is. This can be a fun sensory game that teams can work together on.

22. Christmas Themed “Two Truths and a Lie”

This game can help team members learn more about each other in a fun and festive way.

Wrapping Up the Party

After all the fun Christmas games are over, it’s time to wrap things up. This is your chance to reinforce all the lessons and learning experiences that contribute to team cohesion.

So whether your party was an elaborately planned festivity with Christmas dinner, or if it was simply a white elephant gift exchange with a few activities thrown in, don’t neglect to end things properly. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

Awards Ceremony

If your party included some competitive games, make sure to end the party with a playful awards ceremony. Don’t acknowledge just the game winners, but also efforts, creativity, and unique contributions. Categories could include “Best Team Spirit”, “Most Creative Solution”, “Best Game Strategist,” or “Most Festive.”

Team Reflection

Create a space for teams to reflect on their experiences during the games. They can share their favorite moments, what they learned about their teammates, or how they see their experiences translating to their daily work. It can also be used to highlight how these team-building activities help uncover new insights about the team’s dynamics, strengths, and areas for improvement.

Group Photo

Capture the moment with a group photo. It’s a great way to commemorate the event and serves as a reminder of the team’s shared experience.

Thank You Speech

A brief speech from a senior executive thanking everyone for their participation and their daily contributions to the team can wrap up the party on a positive note.

Acknowledging Efforts

Emphasize the importance of acknowledging and appreciating everyone’s effort, participation, and contribution to the team’s success. This can boost morale and reinforce a culture of recognition within the team.

Linking to Workplace

Illustrate how the dynamics from the games can translate into the workplace context. For instance, effective communication in a game can similarly lead to a smoother project execution at work. Discuss how maintaining the same level of enthusiasm, respect, and collaboration in the office can lead to higher team cohesion and productivity.

To really drive the point home, make sure that you link the games to the company’s core values. This will serve as tangible examples of how the team can live up to the expectations of the company. When you make the core values relevant, it reinforces the culture that they strive to create. Overtime, those efforts can help improve the culture for the better.

Unwrapping the Gift of Team Cohesion: A Christmas Party Wrap-Up

In the journey of transforming a group of individuals into a high-performing team, fostering team cohesion is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity. The heightened collaboration, mutual respect, and a shared sense of purpose that stems from team cohesion can elevate your team to new heights of productivity and success. And what better time to strengthen these bonds than during the festive cheer of the Christmas season?

Through the array of Christmas games we’ve explored, from thrilling trivia contests to creative ornament making competitions, we’ve seen the potential to nurture team cohesion in a way that’s both engaging and enjoyable. Each game presents a unique opportunity for team members to communicate, collaborate, and learn from each other, building stronger interpersonal connections in the process.

The success of these games and your Christmas event as a whole, however, lies in the details. Careful planning, clear communication, and a balance of competition and fun are the pillars that uphold a memorable Christmas event. And of course, a little festive spirit goes a long way!

As the party wraps up, taking the time to recognize the winners of the games and celebrating these victories together is crucial. But it’s equally important to reflect on the event as a whole, on the moments of laughter, the teamwork displayed, and the memories made. It’s these shared experiences that will linger long after the event, continually serving as the glue that holds your team together.

So as you gear up for your work Christmas party, remember: it’s not just about the games—it’s about creating an environment that fosters team cohesion, improves morale, and ultimately, contributes to the success of your team and your organization as a whole. Here’s to a merry, cohesive Christmas!”