Ropes courses, escape games, and cooking competitions sound like activities you might enjoy on vacation. According to Mark Zokle, these events are actually excellent corporate teambuilding exercises. In today’s informational Q&A session, Zokle shares his thoughts on how playtime can affect a company’s bottom line.
Q: What is teambuilding and how do group activities that do not directly relate to work play a part in a company’s success?
Mark Zokle: It has been said that a person reveals more about themselves in an hour of play than they do during a year’s worth of conversations. The idea behind teambuilding events is to let each member of a team, group, or organization get a better feel for how coworkers handle different situations. Essentially, it gives everyone the opportunity to let their “true colors” shine through.
Q: How can this information be used to improve work performance?
Mark Zokle: These exercises, if executed effectively, can reinforce a number of skills including cooperation, trust, and efficiency. When a group must work together to solve a common problem out of the office, they learn to work together better in the office.
Q: What are some good team building activities?
Mark Zokle: One of my favorites is hosting a “Top Chef” cooking competition where each group is given a small list of ingredients to work with. They must select one representative to collect known ingredients and make a judgement call on any additional items they find without the support of the team.
Q: How does this translate into a lesson about working together?
Mark Zokle: It is not uncommon for workplace projects to be initiated with limited information. In sales, you often have one person, the sales rep, that goes out and collects data, leaving others to put the pieces together and design a solution befitting the client’s needs.