How Important are Corporate Events for Team Building?
The best businesses are the ones that run like well-oiled machines and the easiest way to accomplish that is to have employees who function as a team. Knowing that each department, section or individual is focused on the larger goal and is willing to lend a hand to their fellow co-workers is something that comes naturally for some work environments and not so much in others. Traditionally, many businesses both big and small have used corporate team building events and activities as their preferred method of creating a strong, employee-based foundation in the workplace.
There’s a difference between a company where everyone gets along and occasionally goes out for a drink together after work and one that uses group activities as a team creation tool. A casual, social gathering of co-workers at the movies or a bar can no doubt have a positive effect on mood and environment in a business, but it’s not necessarily building a stronger work bond between those employees. Many team-building events encourage co-workers to join together and rely on one another to complete a goal or a task, which strengthens both social and work bonds, rather than one or the other.
The effect this strengthening can have on the workplace cannot be understated, which is why many companies have entire sections of their HR departments dedicated to organizing and implementing team-building activities. They can range from extremely simple outings, such as bowling nights or miniature golf at local establishments to more elaborate events, like white-water rafting and outdoor navigational treks. The specific type of event a company chooses should be based on the demographics of its employees, including their median age and physical fitness capabilities. Taking a group of employees who are in their mid-twenties to try indoor rock climbing could be a great success, but it might not be as effective for a business whose average employee is aged over 50.
Luckily, there are many pre-designed and custom tailored team-building activities to choose from. Over the last twenty years paintballing has become one of the most sought-after activities. One paintball production company, Giant Sportz, hosts yearly events for major companies such as Blizzard Entertainment, FedEx and Coca Cola at their five facilities in Southern California. They offer a one-of-a-kind experience that merges action, decision making, teamwork and communications. Companies with lots of adrenaline junkies on their staff may also enjoy go-karting, skydiving, ATV rides and sessions at the firing range.
For slower-paced events, just about any type of activity can be turned into an effective team-building gathering. Professional sporting games, concerts, art classes and yoga all serve as effective bonding outlets. An hour or so spent surfing the Net using key terms, for example “Philadelphia Tickets”, is sure to bring up a whole list of options to choose from.
Additionally, many companies have found success by organizing volunteer and charity-based events for their employees to take part in, creating a unique opportunity for co-workers to participate together in an activity that benefits others. Employees could band together as part of a public-works project to help clean local parks, assist with a city-run charity event or participate in a food drive. It’s an out of the box way of thinking in terms of uniting co-workers for a common good, which is why it has such a high success rate for businesses that have used this method as an effective team building tool.
Regardless of the size of a company or what the typical employee turnover rate is, it is helpful to have a yearly plan of team building events. For companies that are hiring on a regular basis, having opportunities for them to see their co-workers in a social environment can help them feel a better sense of community. Likewise, for a business that rarely recruits new employees, group activities are extremely important for keeping long-term staff members happy and motivated.
There’s no rule that says a company has to spend vast amounts of money on a corporate retreat in order for it to be a success. Rather than select the most expensive option available, a better solution would be to go with an activity that is likely to catch the interest of the employees from an entertainment perspective and which encourages them to interact with one another. As long as the bonding process is successful, the gains in terms of increased productivity should easily outweigh the cost of the event.
Regardless of the ‘what or the when’, team building events have become an integral part of many companies success. Provide employees with the chance to grow, both in and outside of the workplace, and the results can be extraordinary.
Featured image credit: Team Building 3D Render/ShutterStock