Kev Woodward asked:
You look at your sales figures and they are OK, up a little but not as much as you expected. So what’s wrong? You think things over for a few days and take a look around. The people in the sales office just don’t seem to be buzzing. The atmosphere in accounts seems flat. Even the canteen seems to be subdued. So you need to figure out how to improve this, how can you motivate your staff and get an electric atmosphere in all departments? Easy, let’s do a team building day.
3 weeks later, the team building is done and the vibes are more negative! It seems that people did not really enjoy using canes, string and sticky tape and a newspaper to build an aircraft that would carry an egg 40 feet! They did not like the activity where they had to hold hands through their legs! Hardly surprising as that was team building from the Ark!
Times, people and attitudes change. These days, team building needs to be more subtle and sophisticated to be effective. It needs to be enjoyable and challenging but without excluding people. So instead of team building, organise a corporate entertainment event!
One of the best for teambuilding is a treasure hunt. But some are better than others. A good treasure hunt will need the winning team to have planned, communicated, organised itself internally and solved problems using creative thinking and allowed everyone to contribute in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. Skills that are essential to business teamwork. So let’s look at each in turn.
Planning – A good treasure hunt will have more clues than could possibly be answered in the time available. So the teams will need to plan their strategy for success.
Communication – Some of the clues will be cryptic and so the team will need to discuss what they think it means. Also, a good event will include a scavenger element and perhaps a quiz too. To succeed in the scavenger element, the team will need to negotiate with people they have never met before in order to achieve their goals. They will need to persuade complete strangers to do things that they may not ordinarily do.
Internal organisation – the best hunts will need team members to take responsibility for different parts of the hunt, for example, someone needs to take charge of the quiz, recording answers, acquiring the scavenger items …
Problem solving – many of the clues will require creative thinking to solve them whilst the biggest problem to solve will be how to obtain the scavenger items, legally!
Inclusive – A good treasure hunt will have cryptic and straightforward clues so that everyone, whatever their background, can contribute. It will also take into account any disabilities of the group.
The element of informal competition will be emphasized throughout, with a good hunt supplying some simple prizes at the end. Some treasure hunt organisers will take the answer sheets away and mark quietly, however the quality organisers will involve the teams in the marking, which encourages a lively debate!