Hiring good people to fill positions in your corporate team is the easy part. However, getting them to work together as a cohesive unit is the tricky part. How do you meld an outstanding group of individuals into a masterful team that gets the job done?
Would you rather talk around a conference table talking about how your team members can better work together, or jump into a live-action, engaging experience that gives employees the opportunity to truly rise to the challenge as a team? Which activity do you think will leave the greatest impression and have more impact?
Getting teams outside their comfort zones and challenging them to problem-solve as a unified group is the backbone of experiential education for corporate development. It is an immersive experience that focuses on team members connecting with each other to foster personal growth, team development and leadership skills. And it works.
You Want My Team to Do What?
Experiential education programs for corporate development can take many forms, such as ropes courses, wilderness expeditions, challenge courses and indoor activities. It’s common for most people to initially react to the idea with disbelief and a great deal of skepticism. Because of this, here are a few misconceptions about team-building activities and organizational development programs that need shattering:
- Boring! We’ve all been there: sitting around tables with some executive droning on and on while displaying charts, graphs and irrelevant pictures of his cat. Experiential activities such as ropes or challenge courses are fun and engaging. A properly planned and executed challenge event will put your team members in a position to showcase their individual skills while helping their peers. Your corporate team will come away with a sense of shared success, mutual respect and team camaraderie.
- Waste of time. A common thought: A one-day workshop won’t accomplish anything and is just a waste a time. We beg to differ. A properly planned and executed one-day workshop can improve employee engagement and interaction. Nothing bonds a group together better than sharing an exciting challenge that pushes them to be their best. A study by the Corporate Leadership Council found frequently challenged and highly engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs than those with low levels of engagement.
- Outcomes aren’t measurable. Another popular but incorrect idea about experiential education in a corporate setting is there’s no way to measure outcomes. Just because an activity isn’t centered around smartphones, mobile apps and computer screens does not mean it can’t be properly evaluated for success. Improvements in your team’s morale, cohesion and productivity are all measurable. Your corporate team’s success ultimately means success for your company as well.
Accomplishment is dependent upon planning. Just like your team needs an effective plan to successfully manage a project, so any experiential challenge for your team must be properly planned to gain the maximum positive results.
Cue the Challenge Course
One of the most successful and fun team-building experiential therapies is a challenge course, colloquially known as a ropes course. These can use high or low elements, or a combination of the two. They are generally designed in a way that forces team members to rely on each other to finish the challenge.
A challenge course can help your team members realize that they are all in it together and are only as strong as their weakest link. When team members come to this realization, it’s no longer about “me,” but about “us.” When your corporate team thinks of themselves as “us,” they can accomplish great things.
There’s more to it than just walking across a rope bridge or climbing over a rock wall. A properly planned challenge course will push each team member on an individual level through role playing, imagery technique and challenges to the group. Everyone on your team gets to participate, regardless of background or physical ability. Activities are inclusive and won’t inadvertently exclude anyone. The program challenges everyone to use their skills to support the group’s accomplishments.
Whether you’re looking to improve the organizational skills and development of your corporate team or strengthen their team cohesiveness, a challenge course can deliver the goods.
What Your Team Needs
You’ve assembled some of the best people available for your corporate team. Their qualifications are top notch but they just haven’t become the well-oiled machine you’d like to see. Although you may have done some in-service education and sent them off to expensive weekend workshops, they still haven’t quite “clicked” in the way you know they can.
It’s time to try something different. Give your team an opportunity to rise to your challenge through an experiential education program. Set them up for an unforgettable experience that will refocus their group dynamics.
You’ve got a good team, so let our programs help make them great. Visit our programs page to search through the many program types we offer.