Corporate team building means big business for tourism and hospitality – and even SMEs. In fact, a company away-day or team building event could be your most lucrative venture yet.
If you think corporate away-days and team building were a dated notion of the early noughties, think again. They’re back (in fact, they never really went away) – in a big way.
The market has never been so lucrative. Just ask Team Challenge Company, which has grown over the last few years to become one of the UK’s largest independent corporate team building providers.
The Scottish firm has seen a surge in bookings for 2015 and more than 55,000 attending one of its company events in the last 12 months.
But it’s not only the event organisers who are benefiting. By teaming up with Scottish hotels and venues, corporate team building specialists are using the away-day trend to boost local economies and, ultimately, Scotland’s tourism.
Team Challenge Company works with venues up and down the UK, for example, and has recently added MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa in The Trossachs to its books.
Dundas Castle is another Scottish hotel to recognise the benefits of hosting such events – so much so that the estate has launched a team building programme of its own.
“Dundas Castle creates great team building events because we are in the most accessible location and we have a large amount of space for big groups,” says operations manager Alyson Thompson.
“We also bring professionalism that gives organisers the comfort that things will go well. Otherwise, businesses can find organising team building events quite tough because of the logistics and planning required for a big group.”
The five-star exclusive use venue is just 20 minutes from Edinburgh Airport and, set on a 1,000-acre estate, has plenty to offer for corporate away-days and team building.
It has also recently launched its own Dundas Castle Explorer app – an interactive tablet challenge which sees delegates chasing around the estate solving challenges.
Some of its events even take place in the soon-to-be 600-year-old ‘Auld Keep’ – making it one of the oldest corporate venues there is.
“The great benefit to us is that just one booking can bring hundreds of people to see our gorgeous castle and grounds.”
But the rewards don’t end there. There are plenty to be had by employers too.
“Corporate team building can be a good way to hang on to your top performers,” – Kris Flannigan, Robert Half Scotland
So what’s in it for companies – and why should they splurge their hard-earned profits into a mud-fest or similar for their staff?
While the term ‘team building’ has been banded about as a buzzword, it’s not to be confused with ‘thought showers’, ‘blue sky thinking’, ‘low-hanging fruit’ and ‘calls to action’.
Why? Because the term sums up what it does perfectly and, what’s more, according to experts, it actually works.
The main goals of team building are traditionally to improve productivity and motivation. But there’s so much more to it than that – as Team Challenge Company will tell you.
Taking employees out of the office – and away from computer screens which can be fairly obstructive when it comes to workplace socialising – undoubtedly helps to break down barriers.
According to those in-the-know, it’s a great opportunity to see a different side of the people you work with and realise strengths and talents you never knew both you and they had.
In fact, adventure is one of the most important ingredients for a day out with colleagues, according to Go Ape, which says it gives workers the chance to let off steam with fellow “primates” in the great outdoors.
“Our Go Ape corporate team building events provide an action packed day of adventure and are a great way to challenge the team,” says Sam Hardy, events manager at Go Ape.
“There’s a chance for employees to build bonds, boost confidence and learn and improve skills such as communication and problem solving.”
Go Ape’s Tree Top Adventure offers the ultimate exhilarating experience of swinging through the tree-tops, flying down zip wires, leaping off Tarzan swings and navigating obstacles and rope crossings.
According to those that have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt, nothing can beat the feeling of elation which comes from monkeying around in the trees – and there’s said to be a great sense of support and camaraderie as colleagues support each other to overcome their fears.
“Our dedicated team will create a bespoke event to suit different needs and budgets, from organising the tree-top adventure and booking conference facilities to arranging transport and catering with our forest barbecues.”
A stint in the trees could be just the ticket to get you thinking differently. Who knows, you might even have fun.
Not only that, but you could improve all these things for your business in one fell swoop:
Morale and leadership skills
Processes and procedures