Team-building exercises are a great way to step away from the daily hustle at work, into a fun and engaging environment that tests decision-making skills, builds trust and utilises teamwork. This used to be done in the boardroom with a few ice-breakers and a presentation or at worst, left to conversations around the watercooler and free donuts in the break room. But times are changing and we’re thrilled to see more and more organisations putting on their creative hats to deliver a day that is impactful and lasting for their staff.
Here at Zen, we believe that a good team-building day acts a bit like a microcosm for the work environment. What we mean by a ‘microcosm’ in this context is an activity that serves a dual purpose, where your business ‘objectives’ meet your employees ‘reality’. So, let’s say you really want your sales team to work more collaboratively, clearly communicating strategy to one another and working to each other’s core strengths; an effective team building activity might be a Live Escape Game, where they have to identify clues and muddle through riddles. Or, as we mentioned in a previous blog, an afternoon at a TV Studio, where everyone has an integral role to play to ensure the show makes it to air on time. The skills employees can take home from an engaging, cohesive exercise like these can really have a lasting outcome in the office, increasing your sales numbers alongside their job satisfaction.
It can be quite hard during the planning process to find that link between what you’re trying to achieve, the perfect activity, and how it can translate into a positive effect back on the 9-5. Thankfully, we’ve done some of the hard work for you! We asked our Manager back at Zen HQ, Kirsty Tod, to tell us her top 4 team-building exercises that are not only a dream to organise, but tick all the boxes for having a meaningful impact for participants. Here’s what she said.
- The Pitch
This is an oldie-but-goodie in the industry and it’s a great way to get your employees really thinking about what makes their organisation’s offering so unique, whilst leveraging their understanding of your product and services in a teamwork setting. Essentially, your team becomes an advertising agency for the day, based in a fully kitted out studio equipped with audio-visual recording equipment, on-site catering and a director’s chair. Their task; to choose from either a radio jingle, a TV advertisement or magazine launch and, working together under a little pressure, create an entertaining and informative commercial campaign. We recommend going all in with this one, rounding off the day with a showreel and judging ceremony and a debrief over shared food and drinks, to really celebrate the day’s achievements.
2. High Rope Adventures
If one of your objectives is to encourage a culture of support and trust, then a high rope adventure activity is an ideal activity. This means heading to the outdoors where your team will receive specialist training in rock-climbing, abseiling and orienteering, creating a unique sense of achievement that is really quite difficult to replicate elsewhere. This can be tied nicely into a scavenger hunt or a ‘special ops’ themed day, where there’s only one way up or down to receive the clues and move toward the finish. It’s an engaging and memorable way to build your employees confidence in themselves and in one another.
3. The Apprentice
Who doesn’t secretly think they could do a better job on Alan Sugar’s BBC show, The Apprentice? This is a fantastic team-builder, particularly as most people are familiar with the show’s objective, that requires skills, ingenuity and creativity. Participants are asked to explore a new market segment and have to overcome multiple challenges using smart solutions, remaining customer-focused the entire time. The real question you’re asking them to think about is ‘what does it take to win a customer’s business?’, and we believe that’s a question that is relevant to just about every commercial organisation worldwide.
4. The Zoomazing Race
This one is ‘The Amazing Race’ with a difference. Your team split up into packs and go head to head in a competitive race to the finish. Working collaboratively to unlock clues, they’ll navigate their way around the Zoo, using strategic thinking, team-work and strong communication, to make it through checkpoints before anyone else. They can incur additional survival points that boost their chances by answering trivia questions about the animals they’ve encountered, completing puzzles or taking team selfies at specific landmarks. There’s nothing like a team snap with a grizzly bear in the background to leave with you with warm and fuzzy memories of a great day out.
This is just a few examples of team-building ideas with a difference, and we have plenty more where that came from. If you’re looking for support for your next team-building activity, then get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss your requirements and come up with some creative ideas that will work for you and your business objectives.