As we move into bad weather – the rain is pretty bad again today – it makes me glad that most of our clients are utilising our extensive list of indoor teambuilding activities.
These activities have been designed to be both fun and insightful. Depending on each individual requirement, we can tailor your session to give you the best balance.
We feel that here in the UK, companies offer the best menu of activities in the world! Our unique blend of weather means that we have to offer activities for all seasons and every eventuality. As such, the diversity of activities is huge – from cooking events to team development workshops.
All this requires creativity and a will to offer clients something different. For those who have attended tembuilding sessions for a number of years, they will have seen a massive shift from ‘traditional teambuilding activities’, such as the trust fall (closing your eyes and falling into the arms of a colleague), to activities such as Calendar Creation and Animation activities where clients get to make their own Wallace and Gromit masterpiece! We are constantly told by participants on our sessions that they were greatly relieved by the activity they had as they were dreading the day after finding out that they would be ‘teambuilding’.
These perceptions have created barriers and ill-feeling towards teambuilding for a number of years. This has been added too from two sides – organisers picking activities completely unsuited to the participants and by teambuilding companies not understanding the dynamic of the group and just going for the easy sale.
The success of a session lies in understanding. Organisers need to look at the dynamics of their team and get a handle on what will work for them all – not just think about what they themselves might like. Secondly, if a company is asking for a type of event that will require people to operate well outside their comfort zones, the sales person should really ask the right questions about the possible expectations and limitations to the attendees.
As an example, a colleague once had to work on an event where the attendees were expected to camp and face boot camp type challenges. This is fine if the context works for the team and is appropriate. However, the previous year they had stayed in a 5 star hotel and done some great ‘experience’ activities. Added to this expectation, the participants were not told they would be camping until they got to their location! Cue lot’s of discomfort for participants and the team trying to motivate what was a very disgruntled group. The management wanted the team to know that because their results were not as good as the previous year, there would be repercussions in terms of what their off sites would look like. This would have been better discussed in the office, rather than in the middle of a field where a ‘punishment’ mentality was being created.
Clearly, this is an example where both parties would have been better working out in advance the best way to internally sell this event to reduce the negative impact! It’s also a great example of picking an activity for the wrong reason. The delegates from that session will now have a very negative view of a ‘teambuilding session’. There is a great statistic that tells us that if you have a positive experience, you will tell a couple of people, however, if you have a bad experience, you will tell a lot more! We know have a situation where lot’s of negative comments are associated with a ‘teambuilding’ day. We believe that this can and should have been avoided. That great word Communication should have been employed to a far greater extent.
Our hope is that we will do our best to not fall into that trap. We will do our best to get to the bottom of each and every enquiry to make sure we understand the reasons behind running the session and any pitfalls that we may see occurring. Right now, we suggest that the majority of events take place indoor. What I’d like to emphasise is that indoor doesn’t mean that the activities are not to the same standard as outdoor options. They all stand alone on their own merit as they have been designed with the environment at the forefront. As a great example, our Countdown activity has been specifically designed to provide a table of delegates an opportunity to attempt up to 101 challenges – the details of which are all contained within the box. The challenges are mixed so that there are ones that appeal to a wide rank of people – from individual puzzles to team activities
The message, therefore, is this – if you think great teambuilding can only happen outdoors, we ask you to think again. It’s never been easier to add some fresh ideas to your off-site meetings. In the UK, you are in a unique environment where our typically British weather has had the effect of promoting creativity. All you need to do is make the most of it!