There are many reasons to take the time to find the right facilitators for your next company event, regardless of whether it is your first or your tenth. You may be confused between the established and start-up companies that offer a meaningful and fun company outing. Here are some tips to help when you’re looking for a company.
1. Ask around.
Ask around. People love to tell stories about how they made friends with colleagues from other departments when they joined forces for a fun activity on a company outing. Some people will swear that they won’t be going back to any team-building action after losing a limb while rock climbing to “push the boundaries.” Many people may not recall how their last team-building went. This should be a big deal. They may have found it so dull that they didn’t sleep through the majority of it, or they may have felt so shameful that they want to forget about it. Firsthand information is the best way to find the right company for your team event.
2. Pay attention.
It is easy to tell whether a company is right for you from the first phone call or first meeting. If the person who receives your inquiry seems bored or uninterested, it is a warning sign. Because team building companies aim to change human behavior, they must be interested in your questions and respond to them.
3. It should be about YOU.
You have decided that your company needs a team-building event. This means that you have particular requirements. Don’t be surprised if a company offers a list of pre-packaged activities. Professional training companies will always first ask you about any concerns or goals you would like to address during the exercise. They should be able to create a program tailored to your company’s needs.
4. They need to know where they come from.
In team building, there are many clichés. Many companies use words such as “paradigm shift” or “core competency” to describe their team-building efforts. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the genuine deal and a group of cheerleaders trying to make quick bucks organizing games for desk-huggers. Listen longer and ask questions. Soon, the jargon will start to fade away, and you’ll be left with someone who is taking notes and asking questions. Professional team-building companies will conduct a needs assessment to determine the best program for your group.
5. Follow through and takeaways.
It is an investment in your company’s future and well-being. However, team building can only be considered an investment when the positive attitudes and learning you gain are applied to the real-world workplace environment. Reputable team building companies provide “takeaways” that offer insights and connections between the workshop environment and the workplace. A good facilitator will not rush to get you to the airport.
Once you’ve decided on the team building company to handle your next event, it’s essential to take control and not let the facilitators do all of the work. To ensure your group reaps the benefits of your investment, you should be involved in the planning and directing of the event.
Colette Johnston, a Corporate Specialist for Professional Development, focuses on soft skills that are related to effective leadership, presentation skill, and executive presence. Colette Johnston has been using experiential learning for over 15 years to assist F500 companies and their leaders in building communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills.
Colette consults with business leaders to find individualized solutions in today’s business environment. Colette’s years of experience and knowledge have been a benefit to many organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 50 corporations.