Team Building activities … what image does the concept evoke for you? Cringing employees with arms outstretched waiting to catch a colleague about to fall blindly backwards into their waiting arms? Company hot dog eating contests? Or maybe an image of Steve Carell in a sumo suit springs to mind?! But there is a better way and it can be fun, challenging and highly effective.
Performance indicators show that effective teams will almost always outperform people working individually, particularly in high-pressure situations or when multiple skillsets are needed, and team building is possibly the most important investment you’ll make in your business. Here’s why…
- Facilitates better communication – Activities that create discussion enable open communication among the team, which can improve office relationships and in turn, the quality of work done.
- Motivates employees – Team leadership and team building go hand in hand. The more comfortable your employees are to express their ideas and opinions, the more confident they will become, which will motivate them to take on new challenges.
- Promotes creativity – Taking a team outside of an office setting and exposing them to new experiences will force them to think outside of their normal routine. Working together with other team members can ignite creativity and fresh ideas, which are great qualities to bring back to the office.
- Develops problem-solving skills – In business, a crisis can happen at any time. Team building activities that require co-workers to work together to solve problems can improve the ability to think rationally and strategically should a real crisis occur.
- Breaks the barrier – Team building increases the trust factor with your employees, giving leadership the opportunity to be seen as colleagues rather than simply as management, which can do wonders for employee morale.
Noble Futures does the Crystal Maze!
Our Team recently had our half year performance review meeting and this year, although the fundamentals were the same, we added a little excitement to the day.
When it comes to recruitment, planning is the key to success and twice a year we get together to review the first half of the year and our personal and business performances. We discuss the plan for the second half of the year, whilst also planning to ensure that our team has everything required to achieve their goals and serve our clients and candidates to the highest level possible. It was pretty much your regular review and planning day. But we always try to bring things to a new level and this year our day of meetings was followed by a fun, frantic and fantastically challenging experience in The Crystal Maze! And it did turn out to be the brilliant excuse to ‘run around wildly, shout yourselves hoarse, solve all sorts of problems and challenges and, best of all, celebrate in some wacky satin bomber jackets’ that we were promised it would be!
Our MD Tony was our team leader and a champion of the physical activities. He was the only one of the team to win a crystal in every room he went in – 3 in total! Barbara (contract roles specialist) took on the role of the deputy team leader (in case Tony was to be locked in a room!) and was a complete star, managing to break a Manchester Crystal Maze time record in one of the skill based challenges, completing in around 30 seconds faster than it had ever been done before!
Kay (commercial roles specialist) was in it to win it in every room and even took matters into her own hands (quite literally in one task), throwing away the tools given and using her hands to get the puzzle answers even quicker. Karen (international roles specialist) was the most prepared by far. She arrived ready to run in her exercise gear, had everyone humming the theme tune days before we went and had keenly watched the show again in the run up to prepare for some of the tasks!
It was exhilarating to work together to complete such complicated tasks under quite serious time pressures and the whole team demonstrated serious competitive flair! Everyone won a crystal, with the team securing 9 in total, so 45 seconds in the dome and no one got locked in! Quite impressive we think 😊
Jack – our host for the event, Mumsy and all the team were fantastic throughout and give a full Crystal Maze experience, with plenty of running, laughing and even the odd scream! And we celebrated the day’s achievements with a wonderful group meal and some frozen cocktails.
It’s important to remember that team-building will fall flat if it’s a one-time activity – done and then forgotten. It’s key to find ways to keep the excitement going. The challenge is creating opportunities for people to connect and interact in meaningful ways, outside of regular meetings or presentations.
For us, The Crystal Maze was the perfect team building experience. We actually like to think that we don’t really need specific ‘team building activities’ as we’re a team that works hard, works together, communicates easily and always has our end goal in mind – customer satisfaction. So, this day was perfect for us, with the right blend of competitive achievement, group participation, team support and camaraderie and lots and lots of fun.