We wanted to SeeWhy team building is one of the hottest tickets in town right now, so we asked two companies at the forefront of team building innovation in the UK to reveal the latest trends and developments in this exciting sector of the business events industry.
We spoke with two leading team building experience providers – Escape Hunt and iFLY. Our investigations discovered that the world of team building is rapidly adapting to reflect the higher expectations and innovative characteristics of Millennial and GenZ employees.
Richard Harpham, CEO of Escape Hunt, which is an experience-based, adrenalin pumping entertainment company, explained the changes they expect to see in the world of team building in the coming year, and Jonathan Sidgwick, National Account Manager of iFLY, which replicates the sensation of 120mph skydives for groups, outlines how to maximize team building success in 2019. Both company’s details and information can be found on www.chooseyourvenue.com.
Team building trends in 2019:
Knowing ‘the Self’ to craft a high performing team
“We are increasingly being asked for experiences that are tailored for individuals”, says Escape Hunt’s Richard Harpham. “There is a growing recognition that everyone is motivated and inspired in different ways. We create programmes that help individuals learn something new about themselves in a gamified learning experience and apply what they learn to both their working relationships and role within the team.”
Jonathan Sedgwick added, “Corporate team-building options are vast and varied, yet what’s becoming more popular (and definitely effective) is a shift from team building activity to team building experience.” He continued, “I’ve always found that truly successful team building is a product of experiences that stick in the memory and offer something different; once in a life-time opportunities you can share – journeys that your team take together.
“With iFLY, our team-building packages allow a group to experience the sensation of flight, replicating skydiving at 120mph. The unique and exhilarating nature of the activity, combined with the team briefing and suit up elements, sets indoor skydiving apart as the premium group bonding experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.”
Results driven training
Like all things in business, in the world of team building, clients are increasingly seeking to learn how effective their investment was. This is achieved by testing the team’s performance, behaviour and attitude. “Escape Hunt rooms are based around different problem-solving puzzles that showcase employees tackling different training fundamentals; from working under time pressure to collaboration, from lateral thinking to emotional intelligence. Our catalogue of rooms provides the opportunity to put into action and demonstrate what they’ve learnt. This is the key to a high performing team.” comments Richard Harpham.
Jonathan Sedgwick states that team building success is longer-lived when the day is immortalised in a photograph, “It’s a dumbfoundingly simple element to offer, but a good team-building package should always include a group photo.” He says, “Something you’ll often find is that a good team-building experience can be effectively summarised in a single photo – a snapshot memory you can keep as a background on your computer desktop or phone, or shared through social media. Often this can be pinned up in a staff room as a reminder of the effective team you are capable of working as.”
Inclusivity & diversity
Ensuring everyone in the team respects everyone else as an equal regardless of gender, lifestyle, race or ability differences is vital in the modern workplace and team building can help you achieve it. For example, Escape Hunt’s immersive, gamified solution – escape rooms – are a levelling method that bring out a participant’s natural state to reveal strengths, weaknesses, self and role within a team. The focus is on building inclusive, high performing teams that solve problems, communicate well, and use conﬂict constructively. Most importantly, everyone in the room is equal – hierarchy is completely removed.
Getting to know one another face to face is becoming increasingly rare in our world of freelance and remote workers. Team building is recognised by many as the best way to promote bonding and open communication across the entire workforce. Getting the group to achieve something physically together, that’s both challenging and memorable, is a great way to achieve lasting effects.
“Turning the concept on its head, we’re seeing a customer trend in cross purpose events; our party packages become much more appealing when our corporate customers realise they also serve as a team-building exercise.” Jonathan told us.
Top Tips: choosing your team building venue
– The team building environment should be a part of the experience: Find somewhere different from your usual working environment, as this can help to get creativity flowing. Richard Harpham of Escape Hunt says, “Our corporate meeting rooms are styled by our creative department. Whilst they provide all the equipment needed for an offsite or brainstorming session the design fosters creativity and invites collaboration.”
– Take employees to a place they will remember: If your team building day truly offers something different, it will be remembered, so choosing a venue and activity that’s unique will help them recall positive bonds, lessons and associations they formed during the experience.
– Dedicated venue teams save time and add value: Choose a venue that supports its facilities with a dedicated team who handle all things logistically. Richard Harpham of Escape Hunt says, “Get someone to do all the hard work for you with a dedicated team who can meet the needs of the brief and take the load off all of the logistics. We provide dedicated events managers, games masters and facilitators who all work seamlessly together – all companies need to do is turn up and engage.”
– Use an easy to reach location: Unless you want the journey to be part of the experience, getting to your team building event shouldn’t be an activity in itself. Go for locations that are well connected to road systems and local transport – the day should be spent team bonding, not travelling.