How to inspire your team with away days
The term ‘team building’ doesn’t exactly inspire much excitement but there’s a lot to be said for boosting morale with a day away from the humdrum of the office. Away days have come in for some stick from those who write them off as little more than a chance to skive at the company’s expense but when done properly, a successful away day can be worth its weight in gold in terms of increased productivity. What’s more, everybody loves a boss who lets them dip out of the daily grind and let loose every once in a while. Here’s how to get your team going with an away day to remember.
GO BEYOND THEIR COMFORT ZONE
The purpose of an away day is to get your team working together and nothing does this quite so well as pushing them way beyond their comfort zone and into the unknown. Sure, you’ll always have that one guy who spends every weekend channelling Tarzan in the treetops or brushing up on his bushcraft skills in the local woods, but for the most part outdoor activities like zip lining, off-roading, rope courses and bushcraft aren’t something most of us have done more than a couple of times, if at all. Nothing challenges a team and boosts morale quite like that intoxicating combination of terror and excitement all at once.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
We all love a good night out, especially at somebody else’s expense, but away days are about more than just getting the beers in and busting out your dad moves on the dancefloor. Think outside the box if you’re planning an evening event and incorporate activities that will take things beyond your usual team night out. Think cocktail classes, cook offs and karaoke. Another away day idea from across the pond is the mystery dinner, something that works especially well if you have a large team spread over various departments. Split your team into smaller groups and give each participant a date and time, nothing more, nothing less. On the day of the mystery dinner, let them know where they’re going and who with. It’s all in the excitement of not knowing, you see.
DO YOUR BIT FOR CHARITY
Mundane Monday to Fridays leave little time for any of us to volunteer our services for the greater good. Why not get the team together for an away day that is as good for the soul as it is for morale? Getting down and dirty at Tough Mudder or even a local 5k charity run won’t just be a day out for the event itself but also a chance to bond as team as you train in the run up (run up, get it?). Alternatively, make like Alan Sugar and arrange a ‘Store Wars’ team building day with Barnados, with two groups battling it out to raise the most money using wit, wisdom and a little clever creativity on the marketing and promotions front. There are tons of charitable team building ideas out there, all of which will leave you with the warm and fuzzy feeling that only comes from doing your bit.