Making Orientation Games FUNdamental for Hotel Associates

By Lizz Chambers Manager of Group Sales, Newport Hospitality Group | September 11, 2016

You show up at 8am for a training workshop, dreading it all week. Right as you are about to step inside, you stop and the question pops into your mind, "Why am I here? Will this be worth my ever-so-fleeting time? And if they make me play games, I think I may be forced to commit hara-kiri." Does this sound even remotely familiar?

Games do not have to be painful or embarrassing. Some games, such as bouncing a beach ball, everyone standing on a sheet and turning it over without anyone leaving the sheet, lining up according to shoe size and everything in between have their place. We've been through them all.

Now, please do not misinterpret my meaning. I am all about putting the fun back into training. However, we should not have to always reach to find the hidden meaning behind said fun. The majority of games played in a classroom setting should be games designed to engage attendees, improve performance or behavior on the job and increase retention of the material covered. In other words, design the fun to be directly applicable on the job.

During Newport Hospitality Group's annual general meetings, we always bring in an outside trainer. One year our presenter was game obsessed. While we are all a bit too familiar with the woes of 'Death by PowerPoint', we quickly realized during this conference that there can also be death by games.

In one particular game, all of our general managers were bouncing a beach ball. To all of you trainers out there who use this game, I am sure there is a legitimate point, but it's probably lost in all the mixed metaphors. After we bounced around the ball for a while, the game ended and the trainer conducted a debriefing.

To be perfectly honest, I don't remember the point. We were then asked the question, "What did you learn from this exercise?" To my amazement, this one beautiful, outspoken, and long-time GM responded (and I'm paraphrasing here for the sake of decorum, "Not a single blessed thing!"

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