Top GMs from across Hilton discuss how they use recognition to motivate their team, improve performance, and address business objectives. Watch video.

20 Skill-Building Contests for Your Hotel.

Team Members learn when they have fun. Below are 20 of our favorite skill building contests to help foster teamwork, cross-training, creativity, and friendly competition in your hotel.

1. Go outside. Load up five beverage trays with a bottle of ketchup, a bowl of water, salt and pepper shakers, and an egg each—plus whatever else you can think of! Have Team Members navigate an obstacle course while balancing the tray with one hand. The best time with the most items left on the tray wins! Variation: Now, do it blindfolded!

2. Test your F&B’s memory with this fun game. Have them stand in a line. For round 1, tell them the first part of your order (“I’d like some orange juice.”) Have the first person repeat it back to you. Next, add on a second item (“I’d like some orange juice and rye toast”). Have the second person repeat it back to you. Round 3, add on another (“I’d like some orange juice, rye toast, and a steak cooked medium.”) and have the third in line repeat it. Keep going down the line, adding on items to your order. See who can remember it through all the rounds!

3. Help your team improve their Helpfulness with a Guest Request & Hotel Scavenger Hunt. Include clues such as, “If a guests requests more bath towels, I find them here” or “If a guest needs an eye glasses screwdriver, here’s where I can find one!” Get creative and tailor to your hotel. Have each clue either lead to a treat or another clue.

4. Ask your Human Resources team to close their eyes and think of their best moment at work. Go around the room and share. Then, ask Team Members what moment at work they wish they could re-do, or what event they learned the most from. Share these moments, too. The first question celebrates success, while the second question reflects on how your team could improve.

5. Every week, select one ambassador from each department to spend the day in a different department. So each week, someone different from Housekeeping will get to spend a day at the Front Desk, while someone from Sales helps out in Maintenance.

6. Play this game with each department. Change 5-7 things about their area and take a picture. For example, for Front Desk, remove the phone or flip business cards upside down. For Maintenance, remove the work orders and rearrange the tools. Give a copy of the picture to each person in the department. See who can find the most differences in the shortest amount of time.

7. Increase inter-department communication. Plan a team party, but only give tidbits of information to each department. For example, tell Front Desk that the party starts at 2 P.M.. Tell Engineering that the party will be on Saturday. Tell Sales that it will involve ice cream. Tell Human Resources that it will be in the ballroom. Departments have to communicate and work together to gather all the information about the party.

8. How balanced is your F&B team? Go outside. Divide Team Members into groups of three or four, and give each a large bucket filled to the brim with water. Set a finish line. Carrying the bucket with bungee cords, see which team can work together to cross the finish line an spill the least amount of water.

9. Get a big jar of coins. See who on your Back Office / Finance and Revenue Management teams can build the tallest coin structure.

10. Divide Laundry – Linen into pairs. Have them hold a towel between the two of them, and fill the towel with ping pong balls. Have them “pop” the towel up and work together to catch all of the balls.

11. Divide your Safety & Security team into pairs. Give each team three or four combination locks. See which team can get all locks unlocked first. Too easy? Blindfold one teammate. The blindfolded teammate spins the dial, while the other coaches and tells them how to turn it.

12. How good is your HR team’s communication? Separate them into pairs. Go outside, where various objects are scattered about, such as balls, handkerchiefs, hula hoops, and other small obstacles. Blind fold one person on each team. The other person verbally guides their teammate through the “obstacle course.” Best time wins!

13. Break your Sales team into small groups. Have each group design a 60-second sales pitch about one item from the Lost & Found. Have management or other departments evaluate each pitch’s success. For even more fun, have Sales compete against the Front Desk.

14. Do your Van Drivers know their way around the hotel? Challenge each Van Driver to “pick up” one Team Member from each department and deliver them somewhere else. For example, one Van Driver “picks up” a Housekeeper from the team area. That Housekeeper follows the Van Driver to Sales, where they are “dropped off.” A Sales Team Member is “picked up” and follows the Van Driver to the Front Desk. Repeat until all departments have had one Team Member “picked up.” Designate a different order of departments for each Van Driver. Best time wins!

15. Are your Managers & Supervisors clear when giving directions? Play a hotel-wide game of Simon Says to find out. Here’s the twist: Don’t let Supervisors or department heads work with their own teams!

16. If your Housekeeping team can spare them for an hour, take your hotel’s vacuums apart. Challenge your Maintenance team to see who can put a vacuum back together the fastest.

17. Pick a popular route in your area, such as the route to the airport. Take snapshots of buildings and other minor landmarks along the way. See who on your Van Drivers team can put the photos in order (from the hotel to the destination) and re-construct the route the fastest.

18. Play What Would You Do? with your team. Create crazy scenarios and see how your team would handle them. For example, you might ask your Front Desk what they would do if a guest came in wearing a tutu soaked in pudding, holding an astronaut’s helmet and distraught about their missing puppy. Or ask Housekeeping how they would handle walking into a room to find 27 racehorses wearing jingle bells. You can even try swapping scenarios to see how Housekeeping would handle the Front Desk’s situation.

19. Play this duct tape game with your Maintenance, Engineering, and Housemen teams. Create a giant loop out of duct tape. Have all Team Members stand and a circle and hold hands. The loop of tape is over someone’s arm. Without letting go of their hands, have each Team Member step into the duct tape loop and pass it to the next person. Watch a tutorial here.

20. Get the whole hotel involved in a Night and Day scavenger hunt. The day team leave a scavenger hunt list for the night team (Example: “Find something blue” or “Locate a guest whose name starts with G.”) Each time the night team crosses an item off their hunt, they add something for the day team to find. See how long you can keep this up!

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

Topic(s): Recent Recognition Ideas, Team Building Contests

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