Recently we had a new employee start at Corporate Challenge Events and while I was going through the usual induction process explaining our various programs and what we offer he stopped me and said, “These all sound great, but how are they different from doing an escape room with my mates on the weekend?” And I realised that he might not be the only one asking this question.
Team building has come a long way in the last 25 years. When we started Corporate Challenge Events, the industry was very much in its infancy and most team building took the form of a short conference break, usually only 60 – 90 minutes and involved some form of mini Olympic style activities or racing golf buggies around exploring the conference resort.
As time passed team building programs began to take on their own identity and evolved into full blown standalone events that lasted 2-4 hours. Whether your were building and racing rafts down at the local beach, putting your best detective skills forward to solve the fictional crime syndicate or identifying the location of a mystery photo piece by piece, it is fair to say your companies team building day was filled with fun, laughter and plenty of memories to last a lifetime.
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We then hit the era of reality tv and saw a surge in team building programs providing your team the opportunity to live out their television dreams and participate in their own “amazing race” or see who will be your companies “sole survivor”. As team building events became more and more elaborate so to did the expenses involved and some programs became quite expensive.
When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, it brought a swift end to the elaborate spending and saw shareholders and business owner’s scrutiny on spend increase. Because of this we saw a significant shift in focus for team building programs to that with a socially responsible outcome. Whether that was a monetary donation, or the gifting of items to those less fortunate within the local community it became crucial for companies to show employees there was a community outcome from the event.
Throughout this journey many recreational pursuits such as 10-pin bowling, go karting, mini golf, escape rooms, etc. have come on board promoting themselves as a team building solution. Which brings us back to that initial question, why are our team building programs different to these activities that you can do on a weekend with your family or friends?
Although the industry has evolved so much over the last 25 years, I believe there are 3 fundamental factors that make an activity a TRUE team building program.
FUNDAMENTAL #1 OUTCOMES
Although many team building programs present ideas and scenarios vastly different from our everyday lives a TRUE team building program will address or highlight specific outcomes around team performance, connection to company values, conference themes and or connect the behaviours or experiences to that of the everyday workplace.
FUNDAMENTAL #2 FACILITATED DISCUSSION
This can take on many different levels and is very much dependent on the depth of discussion you would like your facilitator to go into with your team. No matter what depth of discussion you desire a TRUE team building program will touch on and draw parallels to the workplace to ensure your team walk away with not only a positive fun experience but also some level of understanding on how it will benefit them and their team.
FUNDAMENTAL #3 FUN
We spend one third of our adult life in the workforce, so we definitely should be having fun whilst doing it! When we are happy, our bodies release endorphins. These chemicals make us more alert and put us in a better frame of mind to learn and absorb information. All TRUE team building programs put you in the best mindset to learn and create an environment of fun and laughter, that your team will remember for years to come.
As I see it the industry can be defined as having two types of events; team building programs and corporate entertainment. As long as you are clear with what you want to achieve from the event and apply the above concepts you will be in a better place to choose a program that will meet the expectations of you and your team. Still not sure which activity is right for you? Why not take our quick and easy quiz to find out and put you on the right path to creating the perfect program for your team.
Remember, a TRUE team building event is so much more than something you do on the weekend with friends and family it is about achieving outcomes through a series of team challenges and facilitated discussions all with an element of fun of course!
let us make it easier for you
We have so many different types of team programs available it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Get in contact with us to find out how we can build a positive team culture for you.