September 13, 2016
A successful organisation isn’t just comprised of a host of talented individuals – it’s also one in which those individuals can collaborate effectively. But collaboration doesn’t always come naturally – it’s a skill that must be practiced if it’s to be improved.
Unfortunately, the workplace doesn’t always offer the opportunity for such collaboration – so when a challenge rolls around that requires it, your workforce might be ill-prepared to meet it. Just as a star tennis player doesn’t improve by playing match after match, but by identifying tiny weaknesses in their game and addressing them, so too must your workforce.
That’s where corporate team building comes into play. By allowing your workforce to collaborate on activities outside of work, you’ll give them the opportunity to build those vital team skills while enjoying themselves. It’s a holiday – but it’s one which can yield substantial returns. Some challenges will require little preparation, while others will demand extensive training – the latter rewarding the effort with considerable health benefits for your staff, as well as social and professional ones.
Let’s look at some of the activities your workforce might participate in – building their teamwork skills and raising money for a worthy cause at the same time.
Marathon bike ride
If you’re looking for a fitness challenge that’ll tax everyone who participates without crippling them, then a long-distance bike ride might be just the thing. It’s sufficiently challenging that you’ll need to work to cross the finish line, and yet it’s something that everyone can learn to do.
By riding in a convoy, riders will be able to minimise wind resistance, and by encouraging one another to push that little bit hard they’ll be able to spur themselves toward the finishing line. A long-distance bike ride will also provide plenty of opportunity for sightseeing – you’ll be able to take in the sights and smells of rural England and France as you cycle London to Paris, or through Asia, Africa and America as you traverse some of the more far-flung routes.
If your workforce lacks the resources or inclination to invest in bikes and cycling gear, then a great alternative is a long hike through a distant wilderness. Hiking offers many of the same challenges that cycling does – but it’s something that your staff will be naturally equipped for. They therefore won’t require as much training, nor expenditure in expensive equipment (though a pair of decent walking boots is essential). Some of the longer hikes, however, will certainly test their fitness!
A trip from to the summit of Kilimanjaro, or across the Sahara desert, will tax those legs – but reputable companies will provide expert guides who will ensure you’re able to challenge yourself without endangering your health.
If you’d like to enjoy an activity that’s a little more unusual, then why not consider a white-water rafting excursion? Such a trip will give you the opportunity to see some far-flung and exotic rivers – and crucially, you’ll need to work closely with the rest of your team if you’re to navigate the rapids without upending your boat.
As with the other expeditions we’ve mentioned, you’ll need to go with a reputable company, who’ll provide an experienced guide. But this is all the more so in the case of white-water rafting, where the price of failure can be catastrophic!
While collaborating with one another might be a great way to build a team, you might get even better results by pitting sections of your workforce against one another in a military simulation – even if it’s not a particularly realistic one. Great fun can be had by shooting one another with small pellets of paint – you’ll be able to settle old workplace scores in a friendly atmosphere, and you’ll need those all-important collaboration skills in order to emerge victorious.
If your workforce isn’t up to a gruelling physical challenge, then why not tax them in other ways? While bridge-building exercises might be something of a team-building cliché, there’s a reason that they’re so ubiquitous – they tax precisely the areas of the brain that we’ve looking to develop. More advanced building activities might see groups of people building small sections of a much larger bridge – so that they’ll be under added pressure to get it right, so as not to let the entire side down in front of everyone.
Other activities might see participants build more exotic devices, like trebuchets – which will be pitted against one another to see who’s built the more destructive siege engine.