Short Team Building for Tight Timeframes Part 2

BicyclesIt's a scenario that event planners find challenging. The agenda has exploded and there are only a few hours left on the agenda. Alternatively, the budget is so tight that the client can only carve out a half day for team building.

Before selecting a program, it is extremely important to build the key ingredients for effective team building into your design. Recreation for teams is important to have a healthy and vibrant corporate culture, but just participating in an activity does not make it team building. 

We shared some strategies for  designing Targeted Team Building for Tight Timeframes. After the context is set and clear links are drawn to business and teamworks, here 7 short activities that can fit comfortably into your schedule.

1. Bicycle Rally

Stations have a range of challenges including obstacle courses, figure 8s, cones, safety trivia, etc. There is no need to leave non-riders out. You can focus on coaching skills and leadership by dividing the non-riders among the teams, having a station at which couple of experienced riders on the team coach them to ride a bicycle. Focus the debriefing on peer mentoring and coaching.

Gymkhana Game2. Equestrian Challenges

Select a venue that has equestrian facilities on-site. Gymkhana games will comfortably fit into 2 hours and some can be designed for beginners to participate.

3. Factory Simulations

Just about any factory will work whether it is a candy factory, shoe factory that assembles slippers for donation to children's hospitals or shelters or a construction company manufacturing buildings with Lego.

4. Construction Challenges

5. Urban Safaris

Toronto Urban SafariTwo hours is tight but it can work for small to medium groups, if you have good public transportation or assign a designated driver for each team to ensure safety, each team can cover 2 areas. If you want the teams to cover 3 areas and have a more fulfilling experience, add 30 minutes to your agenda.

To amp up the business take-aways from an urban safari add a mystery shopping experience or pre-arranged face-to-face or luxury interview with representatives from a luxury brand.

Timing: Allow 15 minutes for each team to get to their first area, 30 minutes to explore each area, 15 minutes to transition between areas, and 15 minutes to get to the final check-point. Team leaders check-in while the team finishes the debriefing questions (which can be started in transit).

6. Talent Retention Tools

This suite of highly engaging and interactive tools includes a card deck, game board and inventories that provide a platform for exploring a variety of themes including career satisfaction, balance and values. No tool takes more than 10 - 15 minutes to complete.

7. Technology Assisted Simulations

  • Golf Simulators
    Golf SimulatorsYou never know what you'll discover in your own backyard, the other day when driving around close to my neighborhood, I stumbled across a venue with golf simulators.

    A short and high impact simulation can easily be created at venues with golf simulators.

    Debriefing can focus on teamwork and coaching skills if you put an experienced golfer on each team.

We have previously discussed the pitfalls of trying to squeeze team building or team events into an unrealistically short timeframe. Indications are that some companies are going to stick with the 1/2 day format for the foreseeable future. As event planners and team building facilitators, it is increasingly important to develop strategies for delivering targeted results in tighter timeframes.

Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International, Team Building

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