By Roy Charette
Teambuilding Past …
For many decades, teambuilding events have played an important role in developing and enhancing cohesive and functional groups within profit and nonprofit organizations. From high ropes courses in rural and wooded areas, to city scavenger hunts in the largest metros around the globe, to ballrooms and meeting spaces in any hotel or conference center with an applicable space, team-building programs have established their place in the corporate world and beyond.
Historically, the success of great team building programs lie in the remarkable ability to address many outcomes for the participants such as having fun and getting to know each other better, intense competition, communication and leadership skills training, and many others.
Teambuilding Present …
Perhaps the most popular team building options that are trending currently are CSR events. Driven by a wonderful directive to help those in need, various “building” options such as bike, wheelchair, children’s wagons, and the mini-golf with groceries programs are in demand, and versions of these programs are popular worldwide.
To respond to the needs represented through community awareness, other new and exciting programs have recently been created such as the Alzheimer’s program which provides iPods® with music from the generation of the recipient, and the guitar build program for schools in low-income communities to add the instruments to their respective music departments.
In addition, iPad® technology is available to enhance these programs in the form of pictures and videos for capturing the excitement of the event for later viewing, and to enhance fun competition with real-time scoring.
Other advanced variations of technology enhancements are trending as well, and have added tremendously to today’s successful team building events. For example, in a SmartHunts® program, each team has an iPad with the SmartHunts app which guides them to complete fun and team-oriented challenges as they explore a pre-selected geographical area, hotel or conference center. The high-quality pictures and videos taken with the iPad throughout the event will earn points for the groups’ competition. Photos and videos captured create an exciting slideshow live for the event wrap-up and debrief.
The SmartHunts app also allows for customization with client specific content including video, photo missions, and corporate trivia, as well as follow-up testing and polling based on program sessions from other parts of a larger meeting. This combination of interactive fun, positive employee interaction, and workshop-level learning is a powerful selling point and added value for the client.
Also trending are various combination programs, where a teambuilding program is paired with a charity theme in a single event. In a popular two-pronged example, a 3-hour workshop can move groups through fast-paced activities designed for a manager’s leadership skills training, utilize the iPad app to determine the retention of information in real-time, and end with a bike build for charity!
With time-management always an issue in today’s fast-paced environment, the consensus is that these combination experiences, ending with a contribution to the local community, hits on several cornerstone elements for today’s successful organizations while proving to be a valuable use of time.
Although technology will certainly play an important role in team building events of the future, the power of groups coming together for old-fashioned face-to-face fun and meaningful workshop interaction, will always be valuable to the success of any company or organization. By paying careful attention to the trends and themes of our ever-changing world and combining them with thoughtful use of technology, new ways to enhance the overall experience for participants will continue to evolve.
Roy Charette is America’s preeminent expert in Corporate Team Building and Professional Development Training and is a managing partner and Director of Training at Best Corporate Events (www.BestCorporateEvents.com).