The World of Work Project

Energizers

Energizers are brief, stimulating activities designed to breath energy into individuals and help refresh their minds. They are particularly useful in longer meetings or conferences when people may likely to lose interest or focus.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Energizers

Energizers are any activity designed to bring energy and focus to a group of individuals. They’re often used over the course of longer days of activity to help ensure that participants stay focused and engaged with the content of the day.

When are they useful?

Energizers are useful whenever you need to re-engage a group of participants. They’re particularly useful when you’re running longer days or sessions, of at specific times of the day when people may lose focus (e.g. directly after lunch).

How do they work?

People zone out. Energizers bring them back!

Energizers generally work by engaging people in a new, energetic and focused activity. These activities are often not directly related to the overall purpose of the day. Activities are often physical, and nearly always engage everyone in the room. Energizers are designed to ensure that everyone in the room is participating in an activity for at least a little bit of time so they focus and increase their energy levels.

What groups do they work in?

Energizers can work in groups of all sizes, but the energizer chosen needs to be appropriate to the size of the group and the venue being used. Generally speaking they’re most useful for groups that will be spending a lot of time together (more than say 2 hours) as it’s normally over these longer periods of time that focus, attention and energy can start to fall away.

What types of activities do they include?

Energizers can take a huge range of forms but most often include: physical activity (helps get the heart rate going) and spoken interaction (e.g. shouting out responses, interacting with facilitator).

Even something simple like “Rock, Paper, Scissors” can be energizing.

The World of Work Project View

Energizing can be an important part of longer-form group activities. It normally doesn’t take long to bring some energy to a group, and it’s usually worth the time it takes. While many energizers get people physically energized, their real purposes are to help raise mental energy levels.

Though there are many different types of energizer, in our view it doesn’t really matter what you do to energize a group of people as long as you stimulate them. In some instances just doing something different for two minutes can be clear the mind and bring energy. These activities do not need to be overly complicated.

In our view, every team leader, manager or facilitator should know a few energizers and be ready to use them when required. Many of them don’t take any preparation or materials, so can be delivered without much notice or preparation.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post has been informed primarily by our experiences over our careers and does not reference any specific sources.

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