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When people have a personal connection with their co-workers it reduces conflict, improves productivity and creates a more stable work space for everyone. While team-building activities can be helpful, larger adventures get co-workers out of the office and out of the mindset of work activities. Suddenly people form personal relationships and make memories. This is an integral part of a culture within a workplace that is desirable for new-hires, as well as those who are retained. Here are some tips for team building adventures.
The classic team-building event is a ropes course. Though some people are afraid of heights, ropes courses are safe and encourage problem solving, which, in workplace terms, increases productivity. To accomplish the challenges everyone must rely on each other in equal measure and while leaders will certainly emerge, if the group succeeds everyone will be needed.
This is based on the popular hobby of geocaching. While caches are usually found in urban areas, with a simple GPS device each team can separate and devise their own strategy on how to tackle each cache on the list you’ve provided. A GeoTrek activity can include short walks or long hikes into secluded areas. Some caches are located in public parks or difficult-to-access places. You can even turn a GeoTrek into a full backpack adventure if your group must find a cache in the mountains or wilderness.
Dancing requires both partners (or everyone involved for group dances) to work together and understand what their partner is doing. This is a great way for you to encourage your team to communicate non-verbally and react to what other team members are doing. Every year, Virgin America has mandatory training and team-building that includes salsa dancing.
A river rafting trip is equal parts scary and fun. The thrill of the rapids is enough to shock, but safe enough no one is likely to get hurt. Tailor your trip for the group. There are overnight, multi-day trips which add the extra camp obstacles, food preparation and accommodation issues. While many river rafting companies provide a facilitator for you, some allow you to select your own facilitator for this adventure.
Rock climbing is an extreme sport, but also a great activity for team collaboration. This activity is best for teams that are young and athletic. You can hire an expert for an outdoor excursion or rent time in a climbing gym. Since the expert is aware your group is there as a work team, he’ll focus the activity on cooperation and collaboration rather than exercise.
Take your entire company on a short cruise or boat trip to get away from the office and foster team building. Cruises are a great way to put on multiple activities that get your employees to work together. For example, Sunflower Graphics created an interactive game exclusively for Amway’s brand Nutrilite on its cruise with Many Colors. The game used virtual reality helmets and encouraged some friendly competition between employees.
Before you book the session, however, ask all team members whether they are comfortable with the activity. Encourage any members of your team who are nervous to speak with you or management. Before the activity takes place, make sure you cover the company of liabilities. Have all employees read and sign a waiver that states they are aware of the risks and don’t hold the company responsible for any injuries sustained during the activity. Though injuries are unlikely, make sure everyone who participates in the activity signs this waiver.