TeamBuilding for Today
TeamBuilding-Unlimited was interviewed by Maria Lenhardt for MeetingsMedia (Meetings West, Meetings MidWest, Meetings South) Excerpt here:
What with rampant layoffs, corporate mergers and a dark cloud of gloom and doom hovering over many a workplace, it s little wonder if those left on the office team are in sore need of a morale boost. But while sometimes viewed as a frill, team building is taking on a new sense of urgency in these troubled times.
At the same time, budget-strapped companies need to ensure that every investment yields a full measure of return. Doing so means taking a hard look at what needs to be accomplished and working with the team-building facilitators to find the right solution.
Janet Rudolph, creative director of San Francisco-based TeamBuilding Unlimited, also notes that clients are asking for more direction.
People really want to justify the program more with tightening budgets, clients sometimes have trouble convincing the powers that be how important it is, she says. I'm seeing more demands with events with a strong team-building element, rather than just entertainment and fun. Of course, our goal is to have fun while doing team building.
She adds that the strongest request from corporate clients these days is to build morale among participants.
A lot of companies have merged or reorganized, she says. In these cases, there s a real need to bring people together and build morale and trust. You can do things that are competitive, but in a non-threatening way.
Along with building morale, facilitators also say team building serves an important purpose in getting people unplugged from an increasingly technological environment.
According to Rudolph, it s not only corporations who are turning to team building to cope with challenges.
We re now seeing a lot of nonprofits doing team building with their boards and with their staff, she says. People who are involved in fund-raising really need motivation these days. And the cost of team building is more affordable now for these groups because corporate business is down.
With the need to save on costs, Rudolph says many companies are choosing to hold meetings and team-building events closer to home. While some clients choose to do the activities at their workplace, she advises them to take the event to a unique venue outside the office.
It s also really good if they can do it during the actual work week, not after-hours, she says. It makes it more of a special event.