Beware of team building companies just taking your money and playing games

What’s important when choosing a team building company?

     1. Check the background of the company and their instructors.

Many team building companies know how to play games, but don’t understand business. They may be able to debrief those games but don’t really know team dynamics in the business world. You may test them by asking advice about some practical team building issues in your organization.

“Team building” has become a buzz word that is used by all kinds of service providers. Since most of them don’t have any training expertise they can’t deliver effective team building. So, be wary of people selling “team building” who just take your money and play games.

     2. How is the team building exercise linked to your business environment?

There is a particular skill set involved in designing and implementing an excellent team building program.  Design is the easier part. Almost any team building activity can be used for almost any team building issue. It is specific activities that lend themselves to specific outcomes (i.e. communication, trust, problem solving, decision making, cooperation vs. competition, etc.) provided it is organized by a skilled, professional facilitator. This facilitator will make sure the participants will get debriefed according to the real issue the team is facing. Unfortunately, most team building companies do not do a thorough debrief of the activities. They don’t deserve your money.

     3. What’s more important:  Having fun or becoming a more effective team at work?

There is nothing wrong with having a fun-day out and doing some great bonding. 

But we have noticed that more and more team building companies are losing customers because of their reluctance to add any benefits apart from just fun into their programsood Human Resource managers will always look at the staff benefits and not just the fun . The most important result to be gained from team building activities for your staff is to solve real business problems. That’s what your company pays for and what it should get. Only good team building companies will enable participants to make connections from the team building activities to business problems, backed up with relevant examples.

     4. Ask the team building company questions, like these:

Where is the venue for the team building program and can you guarantee it is available for our usage?

Does your program include visiting key landmarks to take photos? (In the affirmative your answer would be: “In this case we’d better organize it ourselves.”)

How many instructors will be allocated per X participants?

What does your program include that we cannot do ourselves?

How different is (for example) your “Treasure Hunt” or “Amazing Race” program compared to your competitors’?

Why is your price higher/lower than your competitors?

What is the qualification of your chief trainer?

How different will this  program be, compared to your previous ones?

What elements will be used for this team building program, and what are the goals of each activity?