When you’re a leader in your place of business, developing your team is a big part of the job. Even if your day-to-day projects seem like they’re all about meeting your business goals, you’ll find it easier to perform well when your team works together seamlessly. One way to approach organizational development and team building is through experiential education.
Experiential education is an educational philosophy that encourages learners to be active participants in the professional development process. This means asking questions, making decisions and working together to solve problems in a dynamic environment. And it’s perfect for organizational development because you want your employees to do those very things together on the job.
What to Look for in a Corporate Team-Building Program
When it comes to providing the right professional development for your team, it’s important to consider more than just price, although that’s also something you’ll need to know to convince your supervisors that your team-building exercises are a worthwhile investment.
Here are your primary considerations when choosing an experiential learning program for your team.
LTE features corporate team-building programs across the country and around the world. Choose activities from California to North Carolina, or as far away as Germany, to find just the right experience for your staff. Most managers will want to choose a nearby location for convenience and to cut down on costs, but traveling with your team can also be a highly rewarding experience if your budget and schedule allow.
2. Facilitator Style
There is a wide range of teaching and facilitating styles to think about when researching a team-building experience for your group. Some programs focus on learning specific skills in a classroom setting before testing them out in a real-world setting, for example, a ropes course or rock-climbing location. Others are more scenario-based and expect your team to dive into the unknown. Consider what skills you want your team to develop, and ask facilitators how they support those skills with their teaching style to help you decide which program is right for your needs.
LTE programs also offer a wide range of activities to offer your team the most appropriate learning experience. Some popular choices include the following:
- Challenge Course: A challenge course is the ultimate in individual challenge and teamwork. In addition to individuals experiencing exciting challenges, your team will work together to complete a course that is both mentally and physically stimulating. Solve puzzles and work through physical challenges and obstacles to complete the work, all while getting to know each other’s strengths and weakness for future reference.
- Low Ropes Course: A low ropes involves initiatives that take excellent communication, teamwork and problem solving to complete. Some courses are filled with cables and ropes that participants must use to cross an expanse or work their way past obstacles. Though a low course is typically only 0-2 feet off of the ground, many of the activities require teamwork and some physical exertion — including balance and strength — to work through. Your team will also have to learn to trust each other as they make their way through the obstacles.
- Outdoor Adventure Education: Hiking, rock climbing and all sorts of other outdoor activities also make excellent team-building activities. Whether your team works together to complete a difficult mountain-hiking course or you just enjoy being in nature to get to know each other better, adding some fresh air and sunshine to get your team out of their element and focused on each other is highly valuable for out-of-the-box training.
When choosing an activity for your organization, be sure to consider everyone’s physical abilities, disabilities and health needs first. It’s one thing to challenge your team but quite another to inadvertently exclude someone who can’t access the activity. You may also consider surveying your employees to discover their interest in certain activities before choosing a program.
The cost of your program depends on many factors, including the number of participants, type of program and its duration. As you research your options, be sure to consider the cost of travel and meals if they are not included in the cost. Check for group discounts and discounts for multiple sessions. Your cost may go down if you book several days of training, but you’ll need to weigh this against any lost productivity while you’re on your team-building adventure. When you present the price to your supervisors for approval, try breaking down the total cost per person, and be sure to explain the benefits you expect to receive.
Many of the experiential learning courses featured on LTE take place in exquisite locations where you’ll enjoy the beauty of nature. You may head to the mountains, the seashore or an area with breathtaking views of fields and forests. Part of team building requires you to get your staff out of their everyday routine, so choose a setting that will provide a new outlook and offers all the amenities you need for your comfort. You’ll also want to double-check accessibility requirements so all of your employees can participate with ease.
There are many experiential-learning opportunities for you to discover. To streamline your research, visit LTE’s website to explore programs by type and location. You’ll find hundreds of programs around the world, and one is sure to help you meet your goals for your team. Learn more by visiting our programs page today.