Most corporate team building activities don’t work. Most activities are actually team dividing in nature. I’ll walk you through some of the top ones and why they are a waste of time and money.
Competition Based Activities (like go-carts, paintball, escape rooms, or anything involving competition) –
These events can be fun for some, but for others, it is a nightmare. You might have a super competitive employee that wants to show off their skills and be the best. And they treat others badly to get there. They now have enemies at work, not teammates. Others don’t like competition so they hideout. And now they are the outcast in the office. You now have divided your team. These corporate team building activities are divisive.
Drinking and Food Activities (like bars and giant arcades) –
These events, again, can be fun. But when you have one employee who drinks too much and another that doesn’t drink, stories are made up and people put their teammates in boxes at work. A non-drinker doesn’t want to spend time with someone who over drinks. And someone who loves to drink doesn’t want to spend time with someone who doesn’t.
When it comes to a giant arcade with lots of games, people get their cards, eat their food, and then venture off on their own. Maybe with a buddy, but not together as a team.
Challenge Course (think ropes courses, ziplines, etc…)
Corporate team building activities involving challenge courses are great for personal growth. People overcoming their fear is awesome and I highly encourage it. It isn’t team building. Someone may have done these things or they hang off of a cliff every weekend. For them, this isn’t a challenge and instead, they want to show off at how not afraid they are. Meanwhile, someone who is terrified of the course isn’t thinking about their team, they are in an internal struggle of their own. Again, this is great for their personal growth, but it isn’t good for the team. The disparity between the challenged and not challenged creates friction and resentment (unfortunately).
Our corporate team building activities are taught in a way that everyone is on the same page and has the same set of tools and techniques to use on an ongoing basis. They each grow individually, but they also learn of a way to work together that is more fun, more productive, fosters confidence, and everyone feels that they matter. When a group can come together under a common set of ideals, that is where the magic happens. That is where the ROI is found. That is where training budgets aren’t wasted.