Team building events can be extremely beneficial in helping to create a ‘one company, one team’ mentality.  Using a motivational team building event to bring colleagues together to work on a project or task that is outside of their usual comfort zone and remit, will help to improve communication and strengthen company ties, both within their own team and throughout the business.

In today’s ever changing world, businesses can go through many re-organisations and changes of personnel.  This can often lead to employees having to acquaint themselves with new colleagues and learn to work effectively and efficiently together.   Redundancies and changes in management can often lead to a team feeling de-motivated and lacking in morale.  This results in lower productivity, distrust of management, higher rates of employees leaving and a general lack of interest and pride for the company.

Motivational Team Building Event Ideas

Getting people back on track and feeling good about the company they work for is critical after major re-structuring changes.   Attending a team building event can quickly restore balance and allow employees to showcase their skills to a new audience in a relaxed, informal and neutral environment.   This can help to overcome any feeling of mistrust, awkwardness and reservations that employees may be harbouring concerning the new company structure.

Allowing teams to participate in fun, yet challenging team building events will give everyone a chance to shine and also get to know their new team on a different level than they would in their usual working environment.  This will improve trust and communication within the team, which will lead to a better morale and a more motivated team when back in the workplace, and a bigger sense of pride in their team and the company as a whole.

Getting participants to work together as a team rather than concentrating solely on their own roles within the company will help to strengthen inter-department relationships.  It will also increase trust and confidence between colleagues, regardless of rank within the company.

Once back in the workplace, employees will be much more likely to consider their colleagues and their needs when going about their daily roles, they will be keener to offer help when necessary and continue to improve their communication skills within the team.  This will lead to a more united team who want to work together and be as productive and efficient as they possibly can.

Whether you’re looking for a venue for an office Christmas party, annual planning meeting, or other corporate event, trying to find the right location, size, and features to suit your needs can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Sure, there are a multitude of venues to choose from, but what percentage of available venues are really right for your company’s needs? Furthermore, do you have the time to go searching for them?

While large venues are often high-profile and easy to search out, the vast majority of venues and halls — many of which are attached to hotels and restaurants — are simply inaccessible. In order to really find and assess which ones will fit your event, you’ll have to do a lot of phoning around. And even then, after you’ve compiled a short-list of possible rooms, you’ll have to visit them all to really make an informed decision. Venue managers, after all, will tell you anything to get a booking — and fail to mention all of the room’s shortcomings. You’ll only discover them after it’s too late.

Fortunately for you, there are businesses that make it their business to familiarise themselves with the best venues. Corporate events providers like Accolade Corporate Events are like you: a venue is simply a means to end. But whereas you might only need to book one or two venues for events in a calendar year, companies like Accolade work with venues on a weekly basis, scheduling and administrating several events for a wide range of clients. As a result of this work process, a venue finder really gets to know the ins and outs of the best venues.

Some basic factors to consider when choosing a venue:

  • Size: Simply put, does the room have enough room for your event?
  • Dimensions: Sure, it might be big enough, but is its shape conducive for what you need it for?
  • Facilities: Are you going to have catering? Entertainment? The room has to have the ability to handle what you’re planning.
  • Location: Sure, you might find the perfect venue — but if you’re a London business and the venue is in the Midlands, it simply won’t work.
  • Price: Are you getting value for your money, based on what you’re getting? And can you afford it?

The best part about working with Accolade to find your next venue is that they do it for FREE! If you’re ready to find the venue that works for you, be sure to check out Accolade’s FREE venue finding service today!

 

Improving listening skills is rapidly becoming one of the most requested reasons to host a team building event.  To have good listening skills means that you can be sympathetic to people’s needs, help to come up with workable solutions to problems, and become more approachable in the eyes of your colleagues and the general public.  Being able to listen, as opposed to simply hearing, means your company can be more productive, trouble shoot more effectively and generally increase all-round communication and confidence in the workplace.

To become a good listener you need to be able to put a few basic skills into practice:

Be Approachable

Having an open door policy where anyone can pop by your office or desk to discuss things that may be concerning them will help you address problems before they become too much of an issue.  It will also increase people’s confidence in you.

Put People at Ease

Put the phone down (or turn it off) and make sure you won’t be disturbed by anyone.  Have the person sit down and make themselves comfortable and watch your body language; ideally you should both be at the same level so you should also be sat down and eye contact should be encouraging and not intimidating.  Find somewhere private to speak if the person is worried about being overheard.

When listening in group meetings, ensure that everyone is allowed their say without any interruptions, takes notes so you can remember who said what and encourage people to contribute with their ideas and opinions.

Don’t Speak

To effectively listen, you must stop talking.  Allow the other person to say what they need to say without interruptions.  Avoid finishing their sentences for them or simply dismissing their concerns.  Even if you can’t actually help them, wait until they have finished and offer some practical advice or point them to the person who might be able to sort out their issue.

Ask Questions

When it is your turn to speak, ask relevant questions to clarify the situation.  Do you need to hear from other colleagues to better understand what is happening?  If so, invite those people to come and talk to you as well.

Invite the person to come up with answers and solutions themselves, don’t dismiss these out of hand, if they really won’t work explain why and steer them towards another path.

Host a team building event that focuses on listening

Many of our musical team building events require people to hone their listening skills to get the best out of the activities.  Events such as the Drumming Workshop requires people to really get in tune with each other and The Crystal Maze will ensure that teams need to listen as well as they speak to complete the various tasks.

 

The 21st century has quickly become the era of “the crowd.” Read about how team building in this new era makes sense for improving business communication, productivity, and creativity.

In the past, the individual was always in binary opposition to the group. Whether you’re talking capitalism versus socialism, or simply how societies saw themselves, this binary was present everywhere. And in the end, the 20th century clearly became the century of the individual.

There is a new dynamic in this century, however.

While the rise of the individual continues, people have learned to balance their desire to maintain their uniqueness and sovereignty with that of the group. In this way — think about it — there are tons of effective, successful group-based concepts gaining popular traction: crowdfunding, “groupons” (group-based coupons and promotions), and even cloud computing. This trend isn’t a coincidence — the power of the group has finally been reconciled with maintaining one’s individuality. And in this way, businesses now have an opportunity to do the same in empowering their employees.

BJSS - 2013Accolade Corporate Events0032

Welcome to Team Building in the New Era

We’ve talked in the past in previous blog posts about how business managers can motivate employees, and that it is simply not possible to expect workers to strive to make the success of the company a priority if they themselves do not feel like an inextricable part of it. To be sure, as business professionals get promoted up the line, the success (or failure) of the business they work at becomes more apparently critical to them keeping their job and hopefully receiving more promotions.

But what about mid- and low-level employees? How do you engender that feeling — that motivation — in them?

Fortunately, the Group (with a capital G) is now a force to be reckoned with, and team building efforts can go a long way toward making employees at all levels of the company feel as though they are part of something bigger than themselves. Team building can help to reinforce the notion that being in business (and working for one) is part of a grand competition — one that requires everyone in the team to contribute to its success.

For lower-level employees, there is often a disconnect between them understanding how critical their role is in a business’ success. Whilst managers and executives are the thinkers, they are the doers. In order to help stoke competition and pride in the work that they do on a daily basis — and underscore its importance — team building events that involve hands-on tasks that truly require a total team effort to succeed are incredibly successful in this regard.

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Even team building events that pitch two teams against one another can be effective for team building in the new era. True, one team is bound to lose — but losing in a team building event becomes a valuable lesson in reminding your workforce that businesses lose, too. And in business, it isn’t a game — losers lose jobs.

If you’re a business owner, executive, or manager looking to rally your team, its fortunate for you that “The Group” has come into its own in this new century. Now it’s time to engage your team with effective team building events and show them how everyone is needed to remain successful.

Thanks for reading our article! Are you ready to book a team building event for your business? Be sure to contact Accolade for a FREE quote!


When should you begin planning your office Christmas party? Now. And depending on when you read this article, “now” might have been weeks or even months ago.

Each year around this time, we begin to blog heavily about planning for office Christmas parties? Why now? It’s simple: by this point in the year — just at the tail-end of the summer — it is officially “late” for companies like yours to begin thinking about the office Christmas party. Frankly, the scheduling, key reservations, and planning should have been done months ago.

The fact is, there is a real “supply and demand” problem when it comes to office Christmas parties: most businesses, small and large alike, hold some kind of party around the holidays. And yet, there is a very limited selection of appropriate venues, entertainment, catering, and available days to schedule around. Here are a few key variables to consider for planning an office Christmas party, and why now is the time to make those plans:

Venues

It’s naive to think that the large number of restaurants and pubs throughout the UK indicates a wide selection of venues appropriate for a corporate event. For most businesses, a large, clean, private venue is needed for a proper office Christmas party that has the necessary facilities for catering and entertainment.

Before you book a venue, it’s critical to have a sense of what your office Christmas party is going to be all about. We recently blogged about how team building events, professional entertainment, and themed decor are all critical for a successful party. First, before you even consider venues, you must have a clear idea of the full scope of your party.

Once you have that in mind, ensuring you have the space and facilities will narrow the field of possible venues considerably. This, combined with the fact that there are only a few weeks of possible dates for your party, is why booking your venue far in advance is advisable.

Entertainment

Whilst there are plenty of bands and DJs out there, what percentage of them are professional enough to entertain your employees all night long? Generally speaking, you’ll want to book professional entertainment that will play popular music that people love to dance to, and bring all of the necessary equipment to properly perform it live.

Unfortunately, there are very few professionals to choose from in this department. In spite of the fact that professional entertainment tends to be more flexible and isn’t as prohibitive as venue choice, the best bands and DJs get booked up well in advance. As a result, now is the time to make enquiries into entertainment.

Catering

Offering good food and reliable quality is also quite tricky for an office Christmas party. It’s never a good feeling to be left with making a generally uninformed decision about the food for your party, and yet, that’s often where party planners find themselves.

Should you go with the caterer that the venue offers or suggests? Perhaps, but typically that suggestion is based less on quality and more on some kind of agreement that the venue and caterer has with one another. Your best bet is to ask someone whom you know and trust, and make an informed decision based on their recommendation.

Leave it to the Professionals

If by this point you’ve managed to do none of the above, the best solution is to probably put it into the hands of the professionals. Professional event planning agencies like Accolade already have deep ties with venues, entertainment, and caterers. Unlike you, their business is predicated on dealing with these service providers. Perhaps it’s too late for you to find the right venue and services for your office Christmas party, but it isn’t for Accolade.

Are you ready to book your office Christmas party? Be sure to contact Accolade for a FREE quote today!


The mirth and merriment that comes with Christmastime can sometimes lead to an out-of-control office Christmas party that coworkers come to regret. Read how team building events can complement your office Christmas party and reign in the madness.

We’ve blogged numerous times here on the Accolade Corporate Events blog about the interpersonal dynamics between coworkers, and how team building events outside of the office can help your workforce connect and bond with one another in ways that aren’t always possible during the rigours of the workday. Of course, for as much as taking your employees out of the office environment in order to experience one another in a new light can be incredibly productive, so too can a raging party, such as the company’s office Christmas party, lead to a potentially embarrassing aftermath.

Years ago, I recall working alongside a young lady who would have by far been considered the most conservative, buttoned-up professional in the office. A few too many cocktails at the office Christmas party, however, helped to explode that perception. No one ever saw her quite in the same light again.

To be sure, individual employees ultimately have to take responsibility for their behaviour at company events. However, businesses can also manage the office Christmas party experience to a certain degree in how they plan and execute the event. One of the best approaches is to combine team building events, professional corporate entertainment, and  a professionally themed decor in order to craft an office Christmas party that will keep employees actively engaged throughout the evening.

Make Entertainment & Team Building a Focus

Office Christmas parties can very quickly devolve into a one-dimensional party experience, with drinking becoming the sole form of entertainment. While it’s important to allow your workforce to unwind, enjoy one another’s company, and celebrate the near-end of a hard year of work, it’s almost important to remember that an office Christmas party — whether on-site or off-site at a venue — is still a company event. As a result, the event itself should project the same level of professionalism, coordination, and organisation that you strive for in your work.

Therefore, booking professional corporate entertainment is a must. Without some sort of viable entertainment to break up the evening, booze can very quickly become the sole focus. It’s a known fact that the best bands, DJs, comedians, and other appropriate corporate entertainment gets booked long in advance before the Christmas season, so make sure to lock in your entertainment now.

Once you’ve got some entertainment booked, it’s also important to add a level of coordination to your office Christmas party. Prior to the music beginning, engaging in a fun team building event is a sure-fire way to engage your employees and allow them to unwind and have fun while still reinforcing the fact that they all work together (and that they’ll still all have to face each other in the office the day after!)
There are a wide range of team building events to choose from, ranging from indoor and outdoor team building events as well as events that are more intense versus more “fun.” Since your employees aren’t looking to work at the office Christmas party — or do anything that reminds them too much of work — choosing a team building event that involves music, dancing, or just making a lot of noise and commotion is a wonderful way to engage your team without being too stuffy or intense. Setting up a team building event, however, is a great way to begin the evening, which will then lead into entertainment and even more merriment.

Finally, as mentioned, decorating with a theme in mind is also an important way to reinforce a corporate image to your employees. Businesses sometimes skimp on decor, but properly theming your event will go a long way toward really dazzling the attendees. And best of all, you can even coordinate your team building event theme with the theme of the office Christmas party!

Remember: corporate events can be a huge morale boost for your company if done right. Give your employees the proper environment to bond with their fellow coworkers and celebrate their efforts with an office Christmas party that includes team building.

Thanks for reading our article! Now is the time to begin planning your office Christmas party! Be sure to contact Accolade for a FREE quote on how we can give you everything you’re looking for in an office christmas party this year!

Winter Wonderland Christmas Party

Believe it or not, if you want to have the best Christmas party this year you need to start acting now!  The best venues, entertainment, and caterers get booked up very quickly each year so it is imperative that you start to make some decisions.

First, let’s take a look at the different office Christmas party ideas we have for your company!

office Christmas party ideas

Themed party’s: Christmas is an ideal time to throw a party and thing about our themed party nights are that we can just give your room a light sprinkling of a theme or go the whole hog! In addition to the wintery Christmas theme, our corporate clients also like to host something different last year we hosted a Back to the 80’s theme and a Venetian Masked Ball – call us for more theme ideas or fill in our quick contact form and we’ll call you.

Singing Policemen

Unique corporate entertainment: We offer a range of unique and inspirational office Christmas party ideas. Imagine the stir created when your guests notice that the police have arrived in your room – what’s going on? After patrolling the room searching for their suspect they suddenly burst into song and stun your guests! An incredible event that guests always love!

Christmas party band

Bands and Entertainers: There’s nothing like live entertainment at your office Christmas party and we’ve lots of different ideas and genres for you to choose from. From tribute bands to the real deal, we can help you. Magicians, illusionist, mind readers, stilt walkers, fire eaters – you name it, we’ve got it – please just ask us for details!

Masquerade Ball

So let’s talk about why you should host your party.Perhaps you’re wondering if you could forego the annual Christmas party this year, maybe you’re concerned about the economic climate, maybe your company has undergone major restructuring or had to make people redundant and you feel that it may not be appropriate.  If this is the case then we ask that you continue reading for reasons why you should host a Christmas party.

Office Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas team events

First and foremost, the Christmas party is a chance for the management of a company to express their gratitude to their staff for all their hard work over the year.  Any business success depends on the hard work of its employees, and those employees need to feel that their work is appreciated.

Holding a Christmas party will ensure that all employees realise that their efforts are appreciated and in return they will want to continue to do their best.  A well-organised Christmas party will help to raise morale in the workplace and motivate the team to continue with their good work through into the next year.

Showgirls

By not having a Christmas party, you’re sending out the message that you don’t appreciate their hard work or care about them.  This is even more so if your company has undergone major changes.  Staff need reassurances and this is one way of giving them some confidence in the company.

There is no need to spend big

If you feel that a large and lavish Christmas party would be inappropriate or unaffordable then you should consider scaling down your plans rather than abandoning them altogether and we’ve got a huge range of office Christmas party ideas to suit all different budgets

Christmas team events

Holding your Christmas party in-house or holding it at a venue at lunchtime instead of evening will considerably cut costs.  It will also have the added benefit of more people attending if they don’t have to travel to an event or it is on company time.

Another option to keep costs down is to hold your Christmas party either before or after December.  Not only will venues, caterers and entertainment generally be cheaper at these times, you will probably be able to pick better choices for your money as they won’t be booked up.

Remember that there are tax benefits to having a Christmas party!

Staff Christmas party

Incorporate it into another event

If you’re planning on having a conference or holding a team building event you could tack the Christmas party on to it.  Merging corporate events means that you will save money and be assured of a high turnout.

By following a serious corporate event with a fun Christmas party, you will help people to network, improve communication skills and allow everyone to get to know their colleagues better in a relaxed environment.

If you need quality office party ideas then please get in touch – call on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our quick contact form and we’ll be in touch.

outdoor team building events

Outdoor team building events can breathe life into your teams! Getting outside, moving around and having fun while working as a team works wonders for team morale. We are experts in outdoor team building events, take a look at our Outdoor Events section or if you prefer to speak to one of our events team then call on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our very quick contact form and we’ll contact you at a suitable time.

Let’s take a look at three very popular outdoor team building events!

Corporate School Sports Day

School Sports day: There’s nothing like our School Sports Day to give your team the opportunity to let their hair down and have some good old fashioned fun – with the hidden benefit of team bonding and an injection of energy.

Crystal maze team building events

The Crystal Maze: Popular for the event’s organiser wants their team outdoors but still a hands on problem-solving and communication improving event. With our superb finale taking place in our inflatable Crystal Maze dome, it’s a fantastic event that everyone has fun with.

 

Game of Knights; With the Game of Thrones riding high as one of the most popular TV shows ever, our Game of Knights gives your teams the chance to get their hands dirty and see if they can complete a series of noble challenges.

If you’d like more information on any of these events or if you’re not sure what would work for your team then please just give our events team a call and we’ll be happy to give you some impartial advice. Call on 0800 083 1172 or complete our contact form and we’ll be in contact within the hour.

Fun Outdoor Team Building Events can have a Lasting Impact on Team Morale and Performance

Team Motivation

Team building events can sometimes be regarded with caution, often thought of as a waste of time or simply a chance to get out of the office, we wholeheartedly disagree.  Team building events can be used for a variety of reasons and with forethought and the right event, your team can benefit hugely from attending. Here are some of the top reasons to host a team building event for your staff:

Following a business restructure

Change management, redundancies, takeovers and mergers all have an effect on staff.  Morale tends to be quite low when companies undergo major restructuring and many members of the workforce can feel quite mistrustful of their new leaders and even workers on the same level as them.

Outdoor teambuilding

A team building event is a great way to introduce new and old staff.  It allows people to get to know each other in a relaxed and informal setting while showcasing their skill sets to the new management.

Old rivalries can be put aside as everyone has to work together to accomplish the goal set in the team building event, which in turn will help to quickly establish trust.

Bringing field employees together

In some large firms, there may be teams where the individuals haven’t actually met each other due to the geographical locations they work in.  A team building event is a great way to bring these colleagues together so they can finally put a face to the name they’ve been emailing all these years.

As well as being fun and proactive, a team building event will help these colleagues share their best working practices and ideas and improve their networking skills.

Fun team activities

Adding on to another corporate event

A corporate event such as a conference or seminar can be long drawn out days where from time to time, even the best speaker may find that they are losing the attention of the delegates.   Interspersing the day with some short, fun and informal team building events will help to keep everyone energised, interested and help to break the ice between different delegates.  These types of add-on team building events can be tailored to your exact business needs to reinforce your company message or mission statement, or simply be an element of fun to lift spirits.

Forge better working relationships between departments

Often teams only concentrate on their own roles and targets, forgetting that a successful company requires different teams and departments to work together.  A team building event can be an extremely useful tool to improve communication and aid inter-departmental relationships.

World Cup Team Events

To reward staff

Whether it is a Christmas party to remember or to reward your team for a job well done, a team building event can be a fantastic way to thank your staff.

Family fun days and summer outdoor team building events are great fun and are great ways of raising morale and allowing everyone to let their hair down.

Call us today on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our contact form and let’s start planning your next successful and fun outdoor event.

Summer Team Building 

With the recent heat wave continuing you may notice that your team’s energy and positive outlook in the office is waning.

Workplaces in the UK are not generally used to any sustained period of extreme weather, and come to think of it, neither is the average worker.   Feeling hot and bothered at work can make the most mild-mannered person become short-tempered, forgetful and generally just wanting to get the hell out of the office to go home, to the beach or the local beer garden!

However, there are ways to keep motivation and morale up when the temperature rises.  We’ve come up with a few suggestions of summer team building events to keep everyone happy and working together as a team:

Adapt your dress code

Do employees really need to be in business suits when it’s touching 30ºC outside?  Unless they are meeting important clients or facing the general public, allow members of staff to dress more appropriately for the weather.  You could even inject a little fun and hold a charity day where people can come dressed in outrageous Hawaiian shirts and beach shorts.

At the very least you should let your staff where short sleeved shirts and blouses and smart shorts or lightweight trousers.

Bring in flexi-time

Allowing staff to leave the workplace early (if they don’t have any important deadlines to meet) when it’s sweltering outside and then letting them make up the time at a later date will win you brownie points all round.  Not only will people be able to take advantage of the wonderful weather, but those with families will appreciate being able to spend some extra time with their children over the school holidays.

Make sure the office environment is comfortable

Access to open windows or air conditioning units is a must in this hot spell.  So too is plenty of water.  Make sure your air-con units are working correctly and provide desk fans if necessary.  Top up the water cooler regularly and bring an extra fridge into the kitchen area for staff to store food and drink in.

Be creative with meeting venues

Do you really need to hold your weekly sales meeting in a hot and stuffy meeting room?  Why not decamp to the car park, local beauty spot or even a nice beer garden nearby.  The change of scenery may even result in a better than usual meeting with everyone feeling inspired.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Can staff work from home?

Is it necessary for everyone to be in the office?  Those whose roles are not tied to a certain desk could be just as proactive and productive working in their back gardens as they would in the office.

Make work interesting

Setting new goals over the summer or coming up with innovative projects that members of staff can participate in will keep everyone motivated and happy to come into work.   Encourage team work to achieve goals and reward when completed.

Hold an outdoor team building event

Turn the good weather to your advantage and hold an outdoor team building event or a family fun day.   Using the sunshine to help team members bond in an informal and fun setting will help raise morale and increase motivation.

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