Team building is an important tool that companies can harness to create a better work environment for their employees. Allowing coworkers time to develop trust and empathy for each other builds a work environment less prone to conflict and more productive overall.
In fact, a 2016 article in Forbes listed team building as the “most important investment you’ll make” as a business leader. But sometimes the phrase “team building” can elicit a collective groan from the people you depend on. They may have preconceived ideas about having to participate in trust falls or anxiety about sharing personal details about their private lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.
"Team building is the most important investment you’ll make as a business leader" -Forbes
Author Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO at O2E Brands, encouraged authentic, non-corporate activities as those making the most significant impact on employees’ overall sense of value and also championed investing in unique experiences. Bringing everyone in the office to events like a country music concert or taking a spin around a NASCAR track were mentioned by Scudamore as examples of his company thinking outside of the box to build team rapport.
Also, outdoor health activities are seeing an increase in popularity nationwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report last fall on open-air recreation trends that showed people are participating in more outdoor activities and devoting more time to them. The report – produced on data gathered from 1999 to 2009 – stated that participation in and days spent on 50 nature-based activities both increased by more than 7 percent during that time period.
The reasons for this are economic and health-related. Outdoor activities can be fairly inexpensive. Camping, biking, swimming and hiking are great family activities that don’t drain the bank account. Being outdoors also burns calories to help assist those who are fitness conscious. And for many people, having an opportunity to get out in nature provides a mental respite from the stressors of work and life in general.
So if team building is so important and people want to spend more time outdoors, why not combine the two? There are plenty of opportunities for businesses to create unique experiences for their employees that take advantage of the great outdoors. Think of the conversation at the water cooler after someone conquered his or her fear of heights flying down a zip line or after the team ganged up on the CEO in the paintball course.
Kayaking is making a surge as a great outdoor team building option. Elevator Alley Kayak provides guided tours through the historic Old First Ward where participants can enjoy a recreational adventure paddling along the Buffalo River, through the monstrous grain storage buildings that supported the Queen City’s surge at dawn of the 20th century. And you can create challenges for the team to accomplish goals together like obstacles or a timed course.
Think outside the box and get outdoors while you’re doing it. Your team will feel valued that you’re investing in an experience for them rather than a lecture or lame activity. And some of them will conquer fears and inhibitions along the way, making them stronger individuals that feel more empowered to help your company meet its goals. That’s a win-win.
For more information about team building kayak tours, fill out the form below and one of our tour experts will answer your questions or schedule your tour.