Backhoe driving? Filling wagons with toys for kids? Welcome to the new breed of team builders.
If your team-building experiences have left you feeling flat, then check out the new corporate training trends. Sadly, you’re not alone if you’ve had a bad experience with team-building activities in the past. A 2012 survey by Wakefield Research revealed that almost a third of office workers who had been through some sort of team-building event gave negative reviews.
The problem? According to the 1,000 + workers surveyed, the team building events they’d experienced were either way out of line with what their company was all about, or they simply felt ridiculous performing the activities.
Nobody wants to play boring games.
Forward-thinking team builders have forgone the old silly meaningless games of yesteryear for a new style of team building event. New strategies avoid boring games that have little to do with company culture, team goals, or individual achievement.
What does beach volleyball have to do with workplace skills anyway?
Now, the new thinking goes, team building events should engage the whole group in a meaningful way. In other words, make the events truly fun and challenging in ways that bolster up teamwork.
Meaningful challenges and new experiences mean everyone gets involved.
If playing truth-or-dare with your cubicle mates doesn’t sound appealing, nobody blames you. What the old style of team builders didn’t get was that not all participants in these events are alike. Motivation is a key factor in how well a team builder pans out, and let’s face it: not everybody is motivated by playing meaningless games with co-workers!
That’s exactly how the new style of team builders is different: the events are engaging and they have meaning. They offer something to the participants other than a chance to break up the routine and get away from the office for a day. It’s a new direction for corporate training trends, one that’s being welcomed with open arms by groups who’ve tried these new events.
The chance to drive some heavy construction equipment…priceless.
One company in California opted for something completely new in team building for a group of senior executives. They hired a firm out of Las Vegas called “Dig This”. Co-workers get to help each other drive heavy construction equipment to accomplish set goals.
Who wouldn’t love a chance to drive an excavator? With help from colleagues, who guide you through moves designed to enable you to actually drive and perform tasks with the equipment, you get to experience something completely new and exciting.
It certainly answers the oft-asked question which arises around traditional team-building events: “what’s in it for me?”
One executive who drove the behemoth vehicle said if it weren’t for her colleagues speaking into her headset while she drove, she would have been lost.
It’s a fresh perspective on your co-workers, to say the least. Even people you work with every day can surprise you when you’re both placed into new situations.
Corporate training trends are leaning towards charity work…here’s where little red wagons come in!
Doing something totally new and exciting (and worthy of your bucket list!) is one way to engage people in team building. Another way is to bring them together to benefit a charity or nonprofit.
It’s a big trend right now, and it mirrors what’s happening in pop culture everywhere: giving back. The Wall Street Journal cited a group in Oregon who chose a Little Red Wagon team building event and loved it.
That group was 70 employees from Jibe. The were split into teams, each of which assembled and decorated a little red wagon. Then they competed to fill the wagons with toys. The teams with the best-decorated wagons and the most toys won little prizes.
Participants loved seeing one another’s different personal sides, as they competed in fun events to win toys for the wagons.
But the whole point was to donate the wagons to charity. They went to the local Ronald McDonald House, which sent a rep to the event to collect the wagons. Everyone agreed that was the best part: making a difference.
These are definitely some of the more positive corporate training trends we’ve seen in a long time. Ask anyone who’s tried them, and they’d be the first to agree!