My client Aegg‘s sustained growth has resulted in recently setting up a second unit in the UK, almost 200 miles away from its head office. Some of the team hadn’t yet met in person, so my client and I decided to arrange a teambuilding event where everyone could get to know each other better. We chose Land & Wave, an experienced adventure company based in Dorset, to help us. When I heard that Land & Wave were recommending axe throwing, making fire and raft building for my client’s teambuilding day, my heart started to pound… It all sounded very ‘Bear Grylls’. Would everyone enjoy these activities? What if it rained all day? Would everyone work well as a team with all the different levels of staff involved?
These thoughts were soon put to the test…
Sunshine and fire
We all arrived in the sunshine at Land & Wave’s beautiful woodland area near Corfe Castle in Dorset. The instructors showed us how to light a fire several different ways. Then it was our turn. This task quickly determined who were the leaders, the implementers and the teamplayers within the group – not necessarily what we’d have thought before the day… Our efforts were rewarded with toasting marshmallows over the fire we had all created at the end of the task – very satisfying!
The gentle touch
Then came the axe throwing – this got quite competitive, although team spirit and group encouragement was very high during this activity. It was quite surprising how the gentlest of touches and skill in predicting the rotations of the axe created the best results – very different to my initial thoughts of throwing the axe as hard as possible to land in the wooden target!
After lunch, we arrived at Swanage Beach adorned in the latest wetsuits! We created a raft using the knots showed to us by the Land & Wave instructors that not only withstood 7 team members balancing on it, but also endured a race against the other team in the sea. It was great fun and took a lot of team effort to produce the right raft (our team won, by the way!). Team leadership, delegation, listening, creative and supportive skills all came into play here.
So, can being “Bear Grylls for the day” help business?
In a nutshell, yes! For my client’s business, everyone got to know each other better in a setting outside of the work environment. Communications have certainly been enhanced between everyone – they’re not just anonymous figures behind an email message or a phonecall any more – having met everyone in person, they are able to communicate that little bit better, playing to people’s strengths and recognising attributes that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have been identified as strongly before the teambuilding day. The day also highlighted qualities in some not necessarily showcased in the work environment previously – something really worthwhile when planning future projects within the business. On a personal note, I am still ‘buzzing’ from the day, which happened over two weeks ago – my motivation levels have been boosted and communication has certainly risen to a level only a teambuilding day could do!
Some top tips for your business teambuilding events:
To help you get the most out of your teambuilding events, here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- Before the event itself, work out what it is you want to achieve from it, who is likely to attend, then plan your activities around this. For example, organising a thrillseeking activity may be fun for some, but really terrifying for others!
- To create instant cohesion, give all team members a branded t-shirt to wear with their names printed on them.
- Think about providing each team member with a ‘goody bag’ at the end of the day, including branded goodies (such as a re-usable water container); water and snacks to replenish energy levels; and perhaps a ‘thank you’ message to all the team.
- Ensure you take lots of great photos/ videos throughout the day, which can be used in post-activity marketing.
- Before the event, work out which post-event marketing you can do to make the most out of the day and pre-plan for them. For example, ask a team member to write a blog and/or feature in a vlog; compile a newspiece for your website; write posts for social media (you could even create a new #hashtag for your day!); include details in a company newsletter; liaise with the teambuilding company for cross-promotion opportunities; include details within the careers section of your website to attract new staff to join a great team; write a press release and more…
- Keep it regular! If your day has been a success, diarise more events for the whole of the team to get involved with. If it hasn’t been a success, work out why and then look into tailoring a different teambuilding event that will achieve the results you are looking for.