It’s easy for a bad team building experience to lead you to think that team building is a waste of time. When organising a team building event for your business, you want it to be results driven. Activities like breathing exercises and trust falls just aren’t going to cut it.
For us at New Forest Activities, team building activities are about improving working relationships, encouraging employee integration and most importantly creating shared experiences amongst teams. Experiences that can’t always be attained in an office environment.
You might think that many team building exercises are based around solving artificial problems as a group – things that aren’t likely to come up in your actual work. That’ s a fair point, but what’s important to understand is that the skills gained as part of team building activities are transferable. Communicating and looking out for each other whilst navigating a ropes course for example, can help a business owner to define who his or her leaders are. Or solving team tasks can give less confident employees the chance to step forward with their ideas – something perhaps, they might feel less confident doing in the workplace.
What’s important to understand is that the skills gained as part of team building activities are transferable.
A great example of these transferable skills comes from one of our recent team building clients, Mars Drinks. Tracey and her team explained that they “weren’t working very well as a team at all” so they decided to escape the office for the day and tackle these issues head on through a series of fun and involving activities with us, which included Bushcraft and High Ropes – both of which involve working together.
We caught up with Tracey a little while after her event and she told us “we’ve been much better after that week. If we’ve got a problem we’ll get up and talk about it and in our team meetings we’ve actually got a session where we can say, this is the situation, this is how we felt about it and this is the impact.”
The key component for Mars Drinks’ event was that they took part in a set of well designed activities that delivered the results they needed (without a trust fall in sight.) Teamwork was the objective and teamwork was the outcome. An outcome that by the sounds of it, is now firmly interwoven into the structure of Mars Drinks as a business. Now that’s not so terrible is it?
If you’re planning your own corporate event, it’s important to understand that team building has changed drastically, with businesses now looking to escape the conference room to do it. And with New Forest Activities’ vast portfolio of activities, which includes Canoeing, Kayaking, Raft Building, High/Low Ropes and Battlefield LIVE to name a few, there’s plenty to choose from if you’re looking to build a fun, memorable event. An event that’s certainly going to motivate, inspire and develop team relationships and dynamics.
So back to the question – can team building events really be terrible? The answer is yes they can. But if you go about planning an event with specific aims and objectives, that includes bespoke activities and that’s going to offer nothing but value to your employees, then it really shouldn’t be.