Diversity and inclusion training is an important facet of any modern company, but it doesn’t have to be all about straight-laced lectures and stern-faced guest speakers. Instead, you can introduce an element of fun to the educational process by incorporating diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams. There are lots of diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams free of cost, so don’t worry about blowing the budget!
In this post, we’ve put together some of our favourite diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams to help inspire your online staff-bonding sessions. These digital activities range from competitive tasks to conversation-based interactions.
For more exciting, immersive experiences, check out our articles on thrilling virtual murder mystery games, collaborative murder mystery team building games, escape room team building activities, virtual escape room, and free virtual escape room games that improve team communication and engagement while providing an entertaining escape from the daily work routine.
1. Why do Virtual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives Matter in Remote Work
Especially in companies that have flexible working arrangements, staff can easily feel disconnected from one another, since they don’t get the opportunity to socialize in the kind of offhand way that people do in the office, say, around a water cooler or over a brewing cup of tea. Fun diversity and inclusion activities are a way to remedy this problem, bringing your department closer together while making everyone on the team feel welcomed and respected.
2. 8 Best Diversity and Inclusion Games for Virtual Teams
2.1. Virtual Diversity Bingo
Virtual diversity bingo is an excellent game to kick off with because it’s simple to organize and the rules are easy to explain. Essentially, everyone is given a bingo card with a five-by-five grid of statements that align with DEI values. For example, these statements could be things like “Listened actively” or “Shared a cultural tradition.” The goal is for each person to complete the actions on their card so that they are able to cross off five squares in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row.
Virtual diversity bingo is useful as a method for getting employees to think more deeply about DEI, while simultaneously giving them a mechanism to incorporate some of the core tenets into their work life. Moreover, its versatility makes it suitable for inclusion activities during meetings or as part of a dedicated team-building session.
There are several websites that will help you build your own bingo card, which you can then send virtually to participants for them to print out at home or use digitally.
2.2. Inclusive Storytelling
Another of the simplest diversity team building activities is to organize an inclusive storytelling session. Ask each participant to relate a personal anecdote that reveals something about themselves. This anecdote can be to do with their background or an experience they’ve had in the workplace. Once everyone has shared their story, make sure to give the group some space to chat and explore ideas about what they’ve heard and how it connects (or maybe doesn’t connect) with their own experiences.
This kind of open, honest dialog is useful as a diversity and inclusion icebreaker activity because it helps team members relate to each other better in the workplace. When people get to share their stories, they feel like they’re really being listened to and supported, leading to a positive company atmosphere.
2.3. Virtual Escape Room
Online escape rooms are one of the most fun diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams. The basic premise is fairly straightforward: try to get out of a locked room (or some variation) using the problem-solving aptitude of your workmates. If you want to take it one level higher, you can ratchet up the gamification by timing how long it takes for people to solve the various puzzles and riddles.
An escape room is a more subtle way to approach the theme of DEI. It’s all about getting each person to put their best foot forward and showcase their unique skill set. To that end, you should try and keep the groups small, so that everyone has a chance to strut their stuff. If you want to incorporate diversity and inclusion more directly, you can approach a company (like Hooray Teams!) to help you put together something bespoke according to your unique requirements.
Escape rooms have proved time and again to be one of the most engaging team-building activities for businesses. They promote teamwork, communication, and problem solving – as well as an all-round good time!
2.4. Diversity and Inclusion Trivia
Who doesn’t love a quiz? If you’re looking for competitive diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams online, this is the option for you. Quizzes are a chance for individuals to show off their niche knowledge, while also promoting your diversity and inclusion company policies.
There are a couple of different ways you can approach the trivia contest. The first is to feature questions that test staff’s knowledge of diversity, inclusion, and equality principles and terminology, such as “What kind of ceiling do people normally refer to when referencing a social barrier that impedes career advancement?” or “If a multi-story office building did not have a working elevator, this would be an example of what kind of discrimination?”
The other method is to include questions that are related to different cultures, identities, and historical events, indirectly focusing attention on important figures and occurrences that relate to DEI. For example, “When was the first Paralympics held?” or “Who wrote the groundbreaking feminist work The Feminine Mystique?”
2.5. Inclusion Pictionary
Combining creative thinking, artistic skills, and DEI knowledge, inclusion Pictionary sees participants taking turns to try and draw a phrase connected to diversity and equality. Meanwhile, everyone else has a set amount of time (usually a minute, though it can be longer) to guess what the phrase is. For example, the phrase might be “Cultural appropriation,” “Unconscious bias,” or “Intersectionality.”
Okay, so those are some pretty tough examples, but the beauty of this game is you can make it as challenging or as easy as you like. A more straightforward option, for instance, might be “rainbow. If you want to add a competitive element to the proceedings, divide people into teams and have them pit their drawing skills against one another for glory – and potentially a prize, if you can stretch your budget that far.
Traditional Pictionary is played using a physical whiteboard, but remote teams can employ virtual ones instead. Some video communication platforms like Zoom even offer virtual whiteboards within their software, making it incredibly easy to combine group socializing and gameplay on one platform.
2.6. Inclusive Scavenger Hunt
A classic team-bonding activity, the scavenger hunt can be easily repurposed into one of the most entertaining diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams. Simply create a list of items or facts related to DEI, then have your team members try and find things that fit the prompts in their own homes. These prompts could include “Something rainbow colored,” “Object from another country,” or “Book about someone from a different background to yourself.”
Alternatively, your scavenger hunt could take remote staff on a virtual tour of the world, getting them to screenshot online images of locations based on clues like “Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.” or “First country to legalize same sex marriage.”
Inclusive scavenger hunts are a great activity for developing soft skills like creative thinking, problem solving, and communication, while at the same time raising awareness about diversity and equality. Encourage your team to go away to research and find out more about what they learned during the game after it has finished.
2.7. Identity Guess Who
This activity is a fantastic way for a team to get to know one another a bit more deeply. Each participant submits three obscure facts about themselves to the moderator beforehand. During a live virtual meeting, the moderator then reads out each set of three facts and asks the rest of the team to guess who they are about.
A key component of diversity, inclusion, and equality is understanding and accepting the differences between us and other people, and this game creates a safe space for your team to do just that. By comparing their diverse backgrounds, employees can gain a better understanding of their colleagues and foster stronger working relationships. This game also helps workgroups develop a deeper appreciation for individual differences.
2.8. Conduct Scenario Roleplays
This is one of the more prep-intensive diversity and inclusion games for the workplace, but it can provide more concrete insights into the business issues that can arise due to a lack of proper DEI training, as well as helping staff navigate the most appropriate way to interact with people with different backgrounds and lifestyles.
Before your virtual gathering, create a number of diversity and inclusion scenarios that could feasibly occur in a remote working environment or in a physical office. During the video conference, you should then ask members of your team to role play the situations to see how they pan out.
Getting people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes is a great way for teammates to develop empathy for one another, as well as teaching them how to improve their communication skills and preparing them for real-world encounters that may require thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
3.1. What are diversity and inclusion activities for teams?
Diversity and inclusion activities refer to any company initiatives that facilitate conversations and learnings associated with creating an equal, supportive environment for all staff, regardless of their gender, race, age, disability, or sexuality. These activities can take the form of workshops, games, seminars – anything that educates and promotes discussions about DEI.
3.2. How do you promote diversity and inclusion virtually?
There are a wide range of diversity and inclusion games for virtual teams that you can implement with your remote colleagues, from more competitive pursuits like Pictionary and trivia quizzes, to conversation-based activities like inclusive storytelling and scenario roleplays. It all depends on what you think will work best (and be most enjoyable) for your team.