Onboarding by Solving a Murder Mystery

Published on 24 Jun 2021

Connecting New Talents through a Shared Mission

A global professional services company with 45,000 employees serving over 140 countries approached Team Building Asia to connect their new talents through a remote, virtual team building activity. The company wishes to stay anynomous.

Every year, the consultancy hires young talents, but this year it was particularly difficult to get them to meet each other and personally connect. They worked together with Team Building Asia to take their new hires on a mission in space. This way the teams got to know each other better through an exciting common goal and shared experience. The planned event was also a great opportunity to include onboarding elements.

icon objectives


  • Connect young talents for their annual Young Professionals Network event
  • Find a solution to constructively meet each other amid the pandemic
  • Drive the collaborative spirit in order to improve business results
  • Enhance negotiation and presentation skills

  • icon challenge


  • Punctuality. There were only 180 minutes for the full event.
  • Language barrier between participants from different countries.

  • icon solutions


  • Due to the restrictions, the choice was made to have a virtual program rather than an in-person event.
  • The mission of solving a murder up in space - CSI Space Odyssey was an exciting solution picked out for the client as the theme is unique, exciting and the game is designed towards strong communication and collaboration skills.
  • Sharing any preparation material (how to play guide and how it works guide) prior to the event so the briefing could be shortened.
  • The game interface is in English and a Chinese version was created for this event. Most participants could understand either of the languages.

  • icon results


  • A seamless online solution that drives excitement for the young audience
  • Stimulating communication and negotiation skills through the level-built, cryptic puzzle program
  • Action-oriented, fast decision-making and risk-taking is necessary to crack the codes and negotiate choices to solve the murder
  • Great teamwork and confidence boost in being able to achieve desired results


    “I’ve been with this consultancy for three years now and since I first arrived, one of the main things that we wanted to do is to build collaboration across the lines of business so I’m very grateful for the fact that this Young Professionals Network session was run actively and successfully. I recommend it to everyone who wants to improve their collaboration.”

    Managing Director Hong Kong and Macau

    Communication and trust – keys to success

    In each team, there is one captain and the rest are crew. The captain and each crew member all get different information for each challenge. The crew has access to separate pieces of information which they must all share to decipher the correct answers. The captain inputs the answers from the teams’ findings. So clear communication, active listening and teamwork are essential to complete the game. Each team member is needed in order to solve the murder. Shared observations helped the teams progress throughout the game.

    In the beginning, not everything was instantly easy to understand and it wasn’t easy to work together from a distance, connected through a screen. The teams quickly understood that they had to rely on trust and communication of each other in order to complete the mission successfully. Their energetic spirits kept them going and the safe space that they were in made them trust each other more easily.

    As the teams became more familiar with the gameplay and each other, they came up with creative ways to communicate and collaborate. At one of the levels, morse code is used as a cryptic code in order to unlock the door. To communicate quicker and more efficiently, one of the teams had the idea to make sounds in correlation to the morse code they were given. This way, the captain could make up the whole code way faster and unlocked the door in a jiffy.

    Justice is served

    The program is built in a way that the winning team is not necessarily the team that solves the murder the fastest, it’s the team with the most points that wins the game. Points can be collected by answering questions correctly, including questions regarding the murder itself, they are worth most points. Teams should therefore take the time to consider all the elements given and pay attention to detail before answering questions in order to answer them as accurately as possible.

    CSI space odyssey team building activity

    The teams were strong at connecting the dots and working together. They did a great job at speaking up and share the available information. Even if they got some answers wrong, they could still progress through all levels, work as a team and learn as they went through the experience. Not every team managed to solve the murder on time, but some of them did! The winning team was encouraged and cheered by the other teams as they proudly revealed who the murderer was – to the astonishment of some other teams! All teams had great fun throughout the experience and justice was served in the end.

    Event souvenir for a long-lasting ROI

    The Managing Director joined the event at the end to learn about the teams’ experience, ups and downs throughout the journey, and to share some thoughts. He thanked everyone for joining and actively participating in the session. He stressed that he’s been working on improving the all-round collaboration across all lines of business over the past three years and he found it terrific to see that the Young Professionals Network engaged in a team building session amidst the pandemic to improve their communication and collaboration skills.

    The client was excited to receive an event souvenir booklet with highlights, team photos and a group photo. This will contribute to the long-lasting ROI as it will help to remind everyone that communication and trust are key to solving problems and achieving success!

    More information about CSI Space Odyssey.

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