by Joe Jessop

In today’s tough economic times it is even more important to create a positive team culture within your organization by conducting corporate team building. In this era of downsizing and lay-offs you have to have a positive team culture among your employees. An upbeat and positive team will help your folks feel like valued members of the company and more willing to do their part to help your whole organization survive and thrive.

As a basketball coach I used to take my teams to big summer camps where there was tough competition, player skill development, tons of basketball situations in which each player could maximize their improvement. When I first started coaching I thought that the chance to work hard and improve should be enough incentive to get my high school teams to put in the time and effort during the summer time. However, the big summer camps were never as successful as I thought they should be. There was something missing.

One year I decided to take the evening skill development sessions off after a particular hard day and instead take my team to a laser tag arena to forget about the grueling camp schedule. It was a hard thing for me to do as I felt like the kids were going to miss out on crucial skill development. The result, however, was totally different than I expected and truly amazing! What I got were a bunch of teenagers who came together and created a fun, positive team culture inside a laser tag arena without me doing a thing. I had high school Seniors who suddenly were communicating and having fun with Freshmen. That had never happened before even though I stressed how important it was. The end result is that we had so much fun that’s all the kids talked about the rest of the camp and even when we returned home that’s all they talked about to their parents and friends. The camp lasted 4 days and the laser tag lasted less than two hours but it was the high light of their summer. The next year I had kids signing up for summer camps two and three months in advance and actually recruiting younger players to come to camp because of the laser tag experience. Over the years my summer programs became a huge success as kids became more and more willing to put in long hard hours if they knew there was going to be some fun and camaraderie splashed in there as well.

The corporate world is no different. Even as grown-ups with grown-up salaries the same principles apply. We are still kids at heart. If you will take a little time to invest in your employees as people rather than just employees you will see dramatic results. There are a number of corporate team building programs that can add energy and enthusiasm to your company. Activities like Camaraderie Quest Scavenger Hunts, Murder Mysteries, Build-A-Bike®, and Rescue Bear® team events are great ways to let your staff off the hook for a couple of hours and have a little fun. You will be surprised at how invigorating it is for them… and you. They will be more willing to put in the time necessary to make the company successful because they feel like they are valued. It will take some money to invest in team building but the benefit is priceless. You will not only survive the tough economic times, your will thrive in them!

Joe Jessop is a speaker and trainer specializing in Team Building in San Francisco, CA that insert fun and energy into any convention or annual meeting. ( Joe teaches team building events in major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Las Vegas.