Corporate Team Building Outdoor Activities & Events

When your employees are feeling cabin-feverish, cooped up with each other for so long that they no longer appreciate each other, it may be time to take them all outside for a breath of fresh air. However, as with any kind of team-building exercise (indoors or out), the success of the event will depend on how well you decide beforehand what objective you want to achieve. Here are three goals to consider:

Objective: Staff members need to work more creatively with each other.

At some point in their work lives, most people experience a form of "coworker burnout," when they no longer appreciate the (potentially) good ideas of the people around them.

A useful activity to promote the productive exchange of ideas is any variation of the old "scavenger hunt" game. Teams are given a task (such as finding hidden treasure), some tools (maybe a mysterious map), and a time limit to complete the activity. And then they're off: Racing through a nearby town, perhaps, or hiking through a nearby woods, using each member's unique thinking ability to complete the quest. (One corporate training company has even designed a team-building event based on "The DaVinci Code." See Resources.)

Search online for "corporate outdoor team building" and "problem solving" to find many more ideas and companies near you that offer such services.

Objective: Staff members need to rely on each other and take risks.

Employees who don't trust each other don't work well with each other. If you want your staff to rekindle their faith in their coworkers' motives and methods, then a "ropes" course may be just the activity they need. There are basically two kinds of "ropes" courses:

1. "High Ropes": Participants walk, climb, hang or drop from ropes strung 20 to 50 feet high in the trees. (They wear harnesses, so the danger of falling is very low, although no less scary.) They are also guided through activities where they must rely on each other to climb a wall, or belay the trees, or navigate across a chasm.

2. "Low Ropes": Participants have much the same experiences as with the "high ropes," but in this case they perform only a few inches off the ground. They walk tightropes and help each other maneuver through a giant "spider's web." Sometimes they will devise a way to get from one platform to another using just two boards.

Obviously, events such as these require trained facilitators and well-designed facilities. Search "ropes courses" to find qualified companies in your area that provide this type of training.

Objective: Staff members need to appreciate and support leadership roles.

In the workplace, there are often times when someone needs to step forward and assume a leadership role. Other workers need to support this leader and not undermine his efforts. "All for one and one for all" activities can help foster this sense of loyalty and support.

A good example is an exercise based on the old "soapbox derby" idea: Teams design and build a soapbox race car, but only one of them can be the actual driver. Nevertheless, when the driver wins the race, the whole team also wins. (It would also be useful to discuss why the team chose a certain person to be the driver. What specific qualities did this person have that the others lacked?)



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