As warmer weather arrives, it will allow planners and managers to organize some activities to kickstart their team. Outdoor activities have seen a large uptick in planning by companies since 2020. As people have different comfort levels when it comes to socializing, most tend to feel safer and free to discard their masks and socialize with less risk of COVID transmission outdoors.
Let’s talk about outdoor spring-summer team-building programs. Corporate team building has many advantages and benefits:
- Increases collaboration and employee bonding.
- Promotes better problem-solving skills.
- Great for employee engagement.
- Engaged employees mean a boost in the bottom line.
Here are some ways to enjoy outdoor team-building programs.
When in the planning stages, think in terms of attraction. You want your staff to be enthused and excited about participating. Team building does not always have to be a learning experience. You can turn that old staid team-building program into something that has pizzazz and adventure. There’s always the tried-and-true Minute to Win It or the old-fashioned relay races to get the team spirit going, but I like to think outside the box when hosting outdoor team-building programs.
Thinking Outside the Box
Imagine the excitement when you transport your team to an exotic car dealership and you say, “choose your vehicle!” Whaattt? You’ve got to be kidding! Here is a lifetime opportunity (as well as an intstagramable opportunity) to drive an Aston Martin or a McLaren or a Maserati.
Staying with the vehicle theme there is the challenge of Go-Cart racing. Give your staff the thrilling experience of racing against their colleagues in a professional Go-Cart. (Not for the faint-hearted though! They go super-fast!)
Hide & Seek
Explore your city as you have never explored it before with a unique scavenger hunt. Your staff will be broken into teams, and they must come up with team names (points for the most unique name!) A host will guide teams via mobile. Navigate the hunt through obscure riddles, finding historical landmarks and solving challenges. This scavenger hunt is like non-other. Your staff will have a blast on this memorable outdoor event-building activity. Don’t forget to remind the teams to post their amazing day on social media.
Invite your staff to a ball game. But not just any ball game! Surprise your employees with a party bus that drops them off at the stadium. They think they will be watching a game. Guess again! They will be the players and the audience. Outfit your teams with logoed baseball jerseys and baseball hats. Non-participants will be cheering on their favourite team while chomping down on hotdogs and fries. Smile! You may be caught on the giant video board. Your staff will be talking about this team-building experience for months.
A Blast From the Past
We all have a bit of a ham in us. Did you do the air guitar thing when you were a kid or dance like Patrick Swaze and Jenifer Grey in Dirty Dancing when no one was looking? Here is your chance to give your employees their time in the spotlight. Your staff will break into singing groups and head down to the local outdoor theatre. They will be given an assignment of performing as a famous group from the past. For instance, they could be the Mamas and the Poppas or Sonny & Cher or the Beetles. Of course, costumes will be supplied and there will be time to rehearse. Their performances will be filmed and judged and “Grammys’ ‘ will be awarded at the end of the day. Talk about teamwork!
Going to the Extreme
If your staff are adventuresome sorts of peeps then they will go for the extreme team-building stuff. After some stressful and long days at the office, your employees need to chill, blow off some steam and let their hair down. Advise them that you are taking them somewhere unknown and that the proper attire should be worn. They will love ziplining and aerial trekking. Afterwards, they will enjoy a brief rest with refreshments then on to team-building activities geared toward surviving the wilderness. As night falls and the stars are in the sky an awesome BBQ will be enjoyed. But wait! They are not finished yet. The extreme team building would not be complete without a treetop trek with only headlamps and the stars to guide the way. This will be an experience not to be forgotten.
The waterfront offers some wonderful beach time activities that are perfect for outdoor team building. Transport your staff to the beach. They will be so excited to get out of the office and indulge in some summer fun. Start off by dividing everyone into teams. The first activity will be beach volleyball, then kayak racing culminating in a raucous tug of war. Winners will receive a gold, bronze or silver Olympic medal. The highlight of the day will be a beach BBQ complete with wine and cold beer. Ubers will be standing by to take everyone home safely.
White Water Rafting for the Courageous or Not!
Depending on the size of your group 8-10 people can fit comfortably in a raft or you can have a fleet of rafts floating towards the rapids. Teamwork helps paddling the rafts quickly through the water. Whoops! Someone went overboard. No worries. You have team work here pulling your colleague out before the rapids. This team building event will definitely get the heart pumping and the adrenaline going!
Warm weather activity makes everyone feel better, more alive, and more engaged. Team building can be a fun experience, but the important aspect is how it improves employee morale, reduces friction, encourages people to work together more effectively and helps make connections. It is a great way to show your staff that you appreciate all their hard work and their dedication.
Dawne Eisenberg is CEO and founder of Pop! Events Group, a leading event management, rentals, and services firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Pop! Events Group has executed thousands of successful live, hybrid ,and virtual events over 18 years in business.