Team Building exercises, away-days and events are an essential process for many companies to aid the bonding and effectiveness of its employees to make a workforce which acts more productively which in turn means a business with a loyal workforce that generates greater profit.
Employees work best when they work together. Sometimes, people in one department or sector of a company won’t see, interact or even know you from others in a different sector from them. This can cause friction and resentment which rusts rather than oils the wheels of a workplace.
An away day, in an informal setting, with some fun activities is an ideal way to get employees to know each other and break down barriers.
What to do?
How many would be doing this? Where to do it? What to do? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many event companies out there that will suggest or organise things for you. These “Event Management” companies will be able to suggest a magnitude of various activities.
Inside or Out?
This may be influenced by the time of year you are planning to have the event take place. Indoor events with fewer people can offer many more choices than an event that needs to accommodate large numbers.
For this Blog we’ll look at the larger numbers away day (say over 200 people). The BBC Apprentice TV show had this very subject as one of its tasks this year. As experienced organisers of Team Building Events and Away Days, we found some of their tactics amusing and quite worrying at the same time.
There are some things that definitely need to be sourced from the “experts” – experienced and seasoned suppliers of these days.
Organise it yourself or use an Agency?
How confident are you at setting up a team building day? Using an agency can take a lot of the stress and pressure off you but bear in mind it will cost more. Event Management companies will have a mark-up, and also may well be more partial to things they get a greater “mark up” on – in certain cases this mark-up can add thousands of pounds to the final bill.
Sourcing Ideas Yourself.
In our modern world today, the Internet is usually the starting point. If you have a few months and a bit of spare time and don’t mind some leg-work there are a few trade shows that may be worth attending.
The Showman’s Show in Newbury and The Event Production Show in London are just a couple of such examples. They tend to be held in places such as Earls Court or the NEC in Birmingham. Try a search and see. However don’t rely on these to be the answer to your sourcing needs. You could even ask people in your company for ideas. Have they done something like this before? What was the feedback?
Working with large groups
With large groups you need to make sure that your choices are complementary and suitable for most members of the group – activities that work for all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities, and varying levels of enthusiasm! A Zip-wire
day out for 300 is unlikely to appeal to the majority, not to mention that a zip-wire probably couldn’t cope with those volumes. Try to find activities that appeal to the majority of people’s abilities. Keep in mind that what you think is “great ” may be less appealing to others in the group. Always remember the target or reason for the day out. Bringing people together, interaction, fun, constructive and of value.
This may feel like an impossible scenario for some, especially if you have a big difference in types of colleagues around you. This is where maybe an event company will be of an advantage. However, don’t be afraid to phone a few suppliers up and ask their advice. Shortlist things, have a discussion meeting.
Paintballing is often suggested, but we’ve found that it can be too aggressive and competitive, with little team building. It maybe okay for small, male only groups, but not usually for mixed ability/age group. Treasure hunts are also often suggested but again, only really effective for small groups.
There are lots and lots and lots of choices out there. However, the vast amount of these are not adaptable, versatile and can cost with large numbers.
Archery, laser clay pigeon shooting, 4×4 driving, crystal maze or the like can only cope with small groups, so you end up with less of the “Welcome to the team day – everyone over here”, and more of the “Welcome to the team day, now we’re going to send you all off in different directions “.
Versatile, Adaptable, Fun team building.
We have over the years developed activities and games that are almost a “fits all” for away days. It forms many guises from Sports Day, to a Bouncy Olympics, to It’s A Knockout.
It copes with numbers as small as 20 to as large as 1,000. Indoors, outdoors, grass, hardstanding, Astroturf and more. Rain or shine. Old and young. Fit or unfit. It can be scaled up, or scaled down. Many games have multiple elements meaning that people can choose the part of the game to participate in that suits them the best.
More than just games.
Although the core of the day is games, it can be expanded to encompass more. A session of designing a Joker Card can be run for example (a sort of Art Attack meets Blue Peter creative time). Also the creation of Team names, slogans, chants etc means the teams have to communicate and interact with each other. Also, there are bound to be a few people unable to take part in the physical challenges due to ill-health or injury – they can be enrolled as “cheer leaders” for the teams or score for the games. Or even, give them digital cameras and make them the “paparazzi” for the day and they can take pictures.
From simple Sports Day games such as Egg & Spoon to ones that use large colourful inflatables the games will involve everyone in a fun, inclusive, bonding away day that will be a worthwhile experience.
The venue etc.
We have a very large number of venues throughout the UK that we have used before. From Read more