While traditional team-building activities can be fun, today’s workforce is looking for more than just a high-energy session at company events. As the world moves into a new decade, companies are finding themselves with employees who want more from corporate events. Millennials now make up the largest portion of the labor force, and their desire for engaging workplaces, professional development opportunities, and career growth is influencing how companies plan their events.
More than ever before, attendees want team-building activities that not only help them work better together, but also equip them with new skills and new ways to approach problems. They want to connect with their colleagues in ways that will make their jobs easier, improve the overall performance of their teams, and help them to advance their careers. Here are four reasons why experiential team-building activities will help you achieve all of these goals in 2020.
1. Experiential team-building activities are fun AND valuable
While people want to get value from every session at a corporate event, they don’t want to be bored doing it. In fact, research shows that fun and enjoyment improves both absorption and retention of learning for adults. Experiential team-building activities provide the best of both worlds. They they provide valuable skills and insight that are tied back to real-world challenges, but they do it by getting people out of their seats, solving problems, and competing with one another.
2. Their immersive nature has surprising benefits
What makes experiential team-building activities so valuable is that the parallels between the activity and life back at work are masked by an immersive, game-like experience. That means that attendees are not constrained by job titles or current team structures, making attendees able to try different approaches and propose new ideas in a risk-free environment. They can fully immerse themselves in the challenge that is presented, and approach it the way they would approach a real problem under pressure, but without real-world consequences.
After the challenge ends, a trained facilitator reflects back on the experience, effectively holding a mirror for attendees, helping them break down the actions and thought processes that led to the outcomes they achieved. This can be a transformative moment for individuals and teams when they see how those behaviors translate back to the workplace.
Traditional team-building activities may be fun, but after completing a ropes course or playing a game of laser tag, do attendees actually know one another any better than they did before? With experiential team-building activities, attendees interact in meaningful ways, seeing how their colleagues think and approach problems. People get a real opportunity to share their strengths and understand the strengths of others, and work together to solve the challenge. They get to experience how working in concert improves their overall performance while playing to the strengths of each person. This provides insights into how they can work together and rely on one another in tangible ways back at work. This works both within work teams to boost performance, and across teams to break down silos.
4. Experiential team-building activities work for any audience
Experiential team-building activities work for any audience. Unlike listening to presentations, reading reports, or looking at PowerPoint slides, experiential activities allow people to learn as they participate within the experience. This holds appeal for a wide range of attendees because it makes room for different learning styles, allowing each person to work on the challenge in the ways that are most effective for them. Appealing to different styles, personalities, and even ages and seniority levels, maximizes the value and learning outcomes for each person as well as for the group as a whole.
Organizations invest in team-building activities because when teams work together, there are increases to productivity and motivation, collaboration, and employee engagement. Companies that are serious about team building are putting that investment into experiential team-building activities because they are effective for any audience, they are fun and valuable, and they promote real connections between attendees. If you are ready to introduce something different at your company events in 2020, then it’s time to give experiential team-building activities a try.