“You can do what I cannot do, I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do greater things.”
There is a treasure hidden behind this simple looking sentence uttered by none other than our Mother Teresa. When the shared efforts are contributed for a shared vision, the success is definitely not far off.
Be it arranging training sessions for new recruits or time to take key strategic decisions, corporate team offsite is used extensively by the companies. The team is formed, the venue is organised, agenda is set, nitty gritty is taken care of. The team go, attend the meetings and take down the minutes or attend the training and feel elated and return to work. Back to routine, entry, monotonous job, challenges, conflicts, go back home, sleep, wake up, back to routine…..the cycle goes on and on. Team offsite comes and go without creating any impact.
When the corporate offsite effectiveness is measured, the organizations realize that the minutes are saved but the hours are lost. True that the corporate team offsite meetings end up having less to no impact either on the teams or on the organizations as a whole. Beyond making agenda, it could be the team outing place chosen for offsite or the team building activities designed to address the goal the reason for such failures.
The HR team or the organization's committee could have gone with some adventure theme based activity when the team offsite is organized to make important key decisions. Even though the adventure based team outing sounds excited, it may not be the right choice if the meeting is scheduled to make strategic changes in the organizations. When the team is physically drained, it affects the thinking ability temporarily.
The sudden change in the physical activity like adventure sports can be compared to the mentality of workaholics. Such sudden drain in physical activity could trigger the energy levels differently. This change can be compared to the way the workaholics think and work. Their thinking pattern becomes very narrow and they often miss to think through different perspectives. It also becomes tough for them to understand and agree to other’s perspectives. Likewise, when the team who needs to use their thinking ability a lot, if they are put in an activity where they get drained physically, their decision-making ability can be seriously impacted.
It is highly important to choose the activity based on who is there on the team and what is the goal of the corporate offsite.
Check our ‘the Actuator game' which can help in building a path to share a vision, working in the collaborative mode, better planning of communication strategies and the impact of all these attributes in making the key decisions.
Trust walk is another activity we organised for a larger group where the leadership and Trust nurturing ability needed to be enhanced. To define through the words from Simon Sinek, the motivational speaker & a marketing consultant, “Team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.”
This simple looking activity is highly powerful, helps to build leadership skills, mentoring/guiding ability, improving trust factor among team members. The communication and collaborative skills needed to put in greater use to accomplish the assigned task here. Beyond that, the team takes in risk while participating in the activity which enhanced risk identifying and managing ability in the team members.
The team engagements games need to be chosen based on lot many factors. We discussed team engagement activities earlier. We need to be careful about the games we organise as well. It is important to understand the purpose behind the team game. Then, the number of participants, age groups, organizational level, etc., to be considered.
If the attendees are fresher trainees, lot games can be conducted where they are made to physically run, communicate and collaborate among themselves. Recently, we made a large group of participants playing water volleyball team game. The facilitator from Trebound grouped the participants into two teams. The fun part here is the teams are made to stand against each other on the same side of the net. The satin cloth was given to the teams which they need to use it as a goalpost. The opposite team throw volleyball, a balloon filled with water, towards the other team. Unless the defensive team catches the ball using the satin cloth as a goalpost, the water splashes on them. Laughter, fun, and adaptability lead to lot motivation and improved strategic thinking & collaborative skills.
When you are choosing the venue for training, it is important to consider various factors when you are doing it as team offsite. The training sessions might require internet access, facilities to use the properties, workstations, etc., If it is going to be only team engagement activities during the corporate offsite, we at Trebound suggest doing it in a resort type atmosphere. We have engagement with various resorts within the city limits. Even if it is going to be the combination of professional training and team building activities during corporate offsite, doing it in a resort within city limits where the internet access like technical support doesn't pose an issue. However, when the training involves utilizing various technology-specific activities where the venue was chosen cannot accomplish such requirements, the entire effort goes into waste.
Location: If the team is attending day session but for a week-long duration, the approach to the location needs to be considered. Wasting too much in commuting will cause additional human hours and impacting the outcome. Based on the team and duration, choosing the right location makes a greater impact in the corporate offsite outcome.
Event Model: The specific room where the main event will be occurring need to be carefully chosen based on a number of participants. Also, the mode of the session, like a classroom model, round table conference, stand up meetings, need to be considered before choosing the specific arena for conducting corporate offsite. One also needs to identify the needs whether to conduct the event in the outdoor or indoor.
For example, the Trust Walk activity we conducted to instill Trust factor among team members cannot be conducted in the indoor set-up. We cannot bring in the impact the activity needs to create in the mindset of the participants. Whereas ‘the Actuator' activity can be conducted either indoor or outdoor.
Ambiance: Peaceful ambiance with the perfect audio setting is extremely important while having team offsite sessions. If you are choosing an outdoor arena for conducting any team building activity, make sure that the acoustics are arranged well so that the speaker will be well audible so that the efforts are reaped well. The seasons are to be considered while looking for the right ambiance. If the corporate offsite requires certain activities to be conducted outdoor during monsoon, appropriate steps to be taken care of in case of rains.
More than the numbers, it is essential for the organiser to understand the type of people attending the offsite event. Experts suggest not to have a big group during offsite if it is going to be the strategic meeting of key organizational initiatives. This makes it important to choose the attendees carefully. The people who need to attend the event can be from different sectors of the organizations, cross-functional teams, having different tenure in the organization or from varied levels. This way, the topics can be discussed and heard from different perspectives.
The number of attendees varies based on event type. If the organization in hiring spree may want to conduct training sessions for larger groups. In such scenario, the venue, amenities, arrangements should be organized to accommodate various needs of the trainees.
Overall, fun filled team offsite will be successful if all the attributes discussed here are given utmost care and attention. Fun is important, no fun only work atmosphere will create the negative impact on the results. At the same, too much fun will kill the essence as well. The balancing act is highly important while organising the team offsite corporate events.