Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ~Andrew Carnegie
I’m a huge fan of team building activities, you know for business functions or company outings. They offer great benefits such as building moral, setting the cultural dynamic of a business or an organization, and allowing your team to think differently especially with problem solving and creative ideas, while working together. Team building!
These seemingly simple ideas are endless, yet should not be taken lightly for it really is important. Administrating and participating in team building activities and company outings are imperative today, with the new generation taking over the workforce and those that are soon to be joining. These young professionals interact differently, think differently and have a different concept of what an employer should offer and what they expect from his/her job. Not to mention the work dynamic is drastically changing and in order to have a solid skilled work force, companies need to adjust culturally.
Ideas like what? There are so many activities that can be taken advantage of that can be as elaborate or simple as desired. Ideas such as team races, paint ball or a computer or board game.
One concept a close friend told me about, which seemed very fun and rewarding at the same time, involved bicycles. The participants had to separate into small groups and build a bicycle. Yes! An actual bike, with two wheels and brakes and all the fixings. After it was inspected for accuracy, one of the participants had to ride their newly constructed means of transportation to the finish line, where a group of underprivileged kids were waiting to receive a brand new bike, unbeknownst to the participants before they started the journey. Talk about a win win!
Another team building concept I heard about involved the sense of smell. The participants had to create a perfume scent for themselves. Then, they were blind folded and had to walk around finding the scents to match their co-workers. I may have butchered that one a bit, but the basic concept is there.
Regardless, team building activities should be fun and interactive. Also, no one says you can’t focus on the company mission statement, history and/or values and not have it fun. Sure you can! And guess what? If it’s interactive and challenging, a simple walk across the street can be an adventure! Team building exercises don’t have to be just about each individual, personally. Sure, it will obviously include their personalities, or in some cases a lack there of, and their strengths and weaknesses. But it can also involve how they work within the company and their roll they play, in addition to how they work with co-workers. There are many layers and different dynamics to team building. They should be explored and these activities implemented at least once a year, or with the completion of a goal.
Why am I talking about this? I’ve had an influx of people requesting team building events or was inquiring about doing something different for a team builder exercise. You came to the right place!
As I’ve mentioned before, Thrill of the Hunt is my company. (Add Thrill of the Hunt to the Latrobe List, Scavenger Hunts – It’s the Thrill of the Hunt!, Scavenger Hunts – Getting Our Start At Seton Hill University & Continuing …, Doggie in Disguise Scavenger Hunt) (Select the category Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts for a complete list of blog entries written on my company).
Thrill of the Hunt builds scavenger hunts for company outings, team building activities, trade shows, fundraisers, birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and family reunions, to name a few. Thrill of the Hunt also self hosts several scavenger hunts throughout the year, in various locations.
Scavenger hunts are a unique way to engage all sorts of people, in any environment, for any level of participant. Scavenger hunts can include all sorts of information or can be simply fun and trivial.
My suggestion for companies is to incorporate some company value or history. It’s a fun way to keep the participant’s connected to the company and reinforcing the culture. Forcing employees out of their comfort zone, either with the location of the scavenger hunt or with the challenges is the best way to make an impact. Even though Thrill of the Hunt can build a scavenger hunt on site indoors or out, but my preference is outside at a separate location. This allows everyone to get their head out of the office zone and clear their minds with fresh air. My more successful company scavenger hunts forced the participants to really move through cities and towns, outside even in the cooler weather and even rain.
Team building doesn’t just stop at companies and large corporations. No! Personally, I think team building can be used as a way to become familiar with everyone on the team or organization. Example, about a year ago Kyle’s youth group participated in the Ropes Course in Ligonier, Pa. You can read about the entire event at What’s Gonna Work? Teamwork!
To summarize, Kyle’s youth group participated in a very unique type of team building experience. The Ropes Course! This activity is perfect for smaller groups.
Before taking the plunge onto the obstacle, we played several team building and energetic games. Yes, we actually got to run around and act silly, while building trust among each other in the group. Then, after our instructors felt we were ready, we tackled the Ropes Course!
It was a serious of suspended cables, an unsteady bridge, shaky boards and a not-so-stable log walkway, all hanging about six inches off the ground. Our mission was to figure out how to get everyone through the course without stepping on the ground and working together as a team, using everyone’s strengths and understanding everyone’s weaknesses. Every time someone touched the ground, the entire group had to reset and start all over again, each time learning from the previous toward reaching our goal.
It took some time but we did figure it out. Granted, we ran out of time before executing our final plan of attack, but it was a great experience regardless. To this day it left such an impact on me, I incorporate some of the values and techniques into my scavenger hunts.
There are all sorts of team building activities that can be done, with any group of any size at any location, just pick one and try it. It is totally worth it for the company or organization and everyone involved. Email me for some ideas! Heather@PiperCorporation.com.
Below are a couple of videos from the Ropes Course in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. This was just part of the course, showing how we had to figure out to help each other to get through it, leaning on everyone’s strengths. Poor Kyle, he was working so hard to make sure he didn’t touch the ground and yet got across the log. Good job buddy!