Team Fun? Nah – No Thanks?
I recently got a call from a PA – she was worried that her manager was being single minded of his choice of team event.
She had just stepped out of a meeting with him when she was told what his plans were for his new team and their annual Team Fun day. Already there were underlining problems as he took over from a very popular manager that had been there for years – he had made changes and his style was very different.
The Team Fun Day – was, as he thought – his opportunity to spend some quality time with his new team– to build relationships and give the team a new lease of life.
As a bit of background – the team were a mixed bunch – office based mainly and of mixed fitness and ability. Some of them had walking difficulties and there was a heavily pregnant lady in the group. The manager was young – his hobbies were keeping fit and healthy and he was highly driven. Previous years the annual Team Fun day was Karting and a booze up. They like it, they didn’t want change.
What was his suggestion?
He wanted to take everyone orienteering with an overnight camping experience for three nights at the end of September in the woods.
No one wanted to come – people wanted to drop out and he couldn’t understand why. This was beginning to feel like a disciplinary and not a team bonding experience.
- The manager felt rejected by his staff.
- The staff felt the manager was arrogant and selfish as he was insistent that this would be great fun.
It was all going a little wrong.
The PA was at her wits’ end as she was very loyal to her new manager and called on my help to help solve the problem.
What did we do? We took elements of the manager’s wishes – by adding a fun on foot half day orienteering challenge – but swapped camping with a lovely historic period hotel nestled in the New Forest followed by great food and a glass (or two) of really good wine. Everyone was happy – he got elements of what he wanted – and they enjoyed the experience but no camping which they were appreciative of.
This story is so common. It can really divide a team and can develop into an apology rather than a great opportunity to get out the office and have a really great team event.
Below I have listed below my top tips:
- Don’t be too drastic – if they enjoyed a boozy event last year – don’t cancel it – just add elements before it for an hour or two such as a Pub Games Themed Event, or a Casino Event or Cocktail Shaking so that you can start to introduce a bit more content into your events than just a booze up. They will embrace it and the year after they will be more open to doing something a bit more hands on (than hands on pints).
- Think about comfort – not everyone wants to sleep in a tent, or hike up a hill. You may be fit – but the thought of it may terrify some – and worst –humiliate those who won’t be able to cope. You can still be creative however – there are so many options now such as Glamping in luxury Yurts or staying in wonderful treehouses that are fun – exciting – but are dry and warm!
- Keep it simple – don’t overload your itinerary. Time frames always slip – down to traffic, people talking too much – people enjoying themselves. Take suggestions – and half them!
- Don’t use this event as a way of forcing what you want onto your team – listen to their wishes – let them get involved and come to an agreeable middle ground – attendance will be much higher and they will feel truly appreciated.
As a business, Events Inc listen to our clients’ needs. We have many stories to tell and we get truly to the heart of an event. It unfolds – grows – develops and blossoms.
Should you have a similar story to tell or a challenge to solve then do get in touch. We’d love to help and create some great events for you and your team.
Sonia@eventsinc.co.uk. 01525 374572.