It is getting to be that time of year when companies will conduct outdoor training exercises for management teams or just hold teambuilding exercises for groups of employees. Many of these have been outdoor adventure, rope exercises or orienteering. Those are getting to be old hat, perhaps it is time to try something new.
In my neighborhood work teams are clearing land and preparing construction sites for new homes. I, along with my neighbors, have gone out and watched them move dirt with track hoes, bulldozers, dump trucks and a variety of other equipment. Men, women and children have all found it fascinating to watch the drivers work their magic. While on vacation last week I read an article in Popular Science (link unavailable) called Get Ready to Rumble. It was about a growing marketplace of offering adults the opportunity to “play” with construction equipment. One of the first companies into the marketplace was a company called Extreme Sandbox. Founded in 2012 it received funding in 2015 from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary. They have two competitors in the U.S., a company called Dig This and a UK company called Diggerland.
Dig This is located in Las Vegas and attracts individuals, bachelor parties, and corporate events. The corporate events are usually team building events or competition. They have been surprised with how many women are attracted to the venue as well as the number of engineers. Extreme Sandbox, located in Texas and Minnesota, also has a similar clientele, with many repeat customers.
Calming the fears of HR
Randy Stenger, the founder of Extreme Sandbox, said that he had to calm the fears of HR people. Stenger said, according to Josh Dean, author of the article, “When we started, HR people go nervous. I told them this was safer than bowling. We use very large equipment on a very solid base. It is virtually impossible to flip one over. You couldn’t do it if you wanted to.” Indeed, a neighbor of mine who has driven some of this equipment said that the bulldozers can climb very steep hills with no danger at all.
Looking for something different
If you are looking or a teambuilding event that is different than the norm, that appeals to a wide variety of employees, think about playing with big equipment. The machines are easy to learn, much safer than what most people think, and are growing in a number of locations around the country. This just might be the corporate experience your employees will never forget. My wife, an IT geek is dying to try it, as am I.