Most employees tend to cringe at the mention of team building activities, as most of what people have in mind involve things like trust falls, and other forms of forced interactions that can actually be hurtful for the team’s well-being.
In order to get rid of the stigma connected to team building activities, many businesses are opting for more modern takes on the corporate agenda, resulting in the rise of gamification, escape rooms, and other less traditional methods.
Podium, the award-winning Utah cloud company, has opted for a more popular activity for their team building needs; Fortnite.
Podium CEO and Co-Founder Eric Rea says that he believes that games have been a key part of human history, and Fornite is no exception. This, he says, is particularly notable for Podium, thanks to the fact that the company is comprised primarily of millennials, with 89% of the workforce hailing from that generation.
Fornite is extremely popular, with colleges offering Fortnite scholarships and the game generating more than $200 million monthly in 2018, which explains why Podium would take such an interest in it. A free-to-play battle royale game, where 100 players and teams are dropped onto a play area and forced to find their own supplies and weaponry then survive against other players or teams, Fortnite was exceptionally popular, to the point that celebrities ended up playing it, with Drake even writing a song about it.
Rea says that one of the people on the executive team told them about it, which they all tried out, and immediately got hooked on. The team downloaded it on their Android and iOS devices, and playing together whenever they could.
Thanks to the average length of a game clocking in at about 20 minutes, the people at the company were able to fit it in their breaks, turning the game into a reward they could all enjoy, regardless of differences, personal, corporate, or otherwise.
Since then, Rea reports that they’ve seen an improvement in their workforce, with greater cohesion between employees, and helped a few of the other employees break out of their shell and communicate with the others, even their higher ups.
Rea says that they don’t play Fortnite as part of an actual team building agenda, but the fact that the nature of the game, which demands good communication, and the willingness to share provisions and even give up resources for the squad, meant that they’ve had employees seeing each other as equals and communicating more openly with each other.