Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said that, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” The best part of this quote is not that Wayne Gretzky said it or that it is about hockey. The best part of the quote is that these same words can be attributed to any sport, job or part of life. This is the reason that corporate sporting events are so useful for business success.

The concept of team building within the corporate environment is more than a buzzword. This is the idea in which employees are viewed as members of interdependent teams instead of as individual workers. This is not exclusive to business as it can be found in many areas like sports, schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations and religious groups. Team building has tremendous benefits that lead to improved self-development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to solve problems.

Corporate Sporting Events Benefits

Through corporate sporting events, team building is put into actual practice through competition and fun engagement. There are plenty of reasons why sporting events within a team building philosophy is beneficial.

1. Instill Discipline – Sports have always been said to teach discipline through rigorous practice and willingness to work as a team. It takes discipline to learn the skills in order to maximize performance. As team members go through different outdoor team building activities that stress sporting themes they are working through developing strong discipline to stay on task, work hard, and enjoy the process.

2. Sacrifice – Any athlete knows what sacrifice is. However, the business world does not usually stress sacrifice on a personal level in order for the entire corporation to move forward. Corporate sporting events lead team members into valuing sacrifice as a way to succeed. This sacrifice is not on the same level as hard athletic training, but has some similarities. Sacrifices in personal achievements, stretching boundaries, putting larger vision in place are normal to a business team building environment.

3. Teamwork – At its very essence team building is about participating in a shared, group working environment that will require teamwork to be a success. For the best example of this, team sports is the perfect model in which to learn the basics combining efforts of a collective in order to create an environment of success. The importance of the team then supersedes the recognition of individual accomplishments. Through teamwork – with the larger corporate vision and success in mind – greater levels of success are achieved on a sustained basis.

4. Dealing with Failure (and Success) – Corporate sporting events are a powerful way to help people deal with both the failures found in business and the successes. It is common in the sporting world to see a lot of “smack talk” and putting down the other team when they lose. This is unacceptable at any level, but can only be taught how to deal with it through actual practice. Transitioning to a business mindset, sporting events then can help with dealing with the emotions when a project fails.

5. Overcoming Adversity – Many of the principles that are taught through team building games and activities can also be used in every day life. Business, like life, isn’t fair sometimes. Many things can happen that involves overcoming setbacks and other adversity. Team members can learn how to overcome adversity and temporary failures through the many situations they learn through corporate sporting events, both in their preparation and during the competitions. Learning to overcome adversity is a mental skill that can serve participants well through both their business and personal lives.

Corporate sporting events are very useful for business success because of the many different benefits associated with them. Through competitive events, great businesses are playing there the puck is going to be.

Activities for team building are used by many corporations around Europe and North America to increase morale and boost productivity. These events, when planned and executed with a high degree of attention to detail and focus, can be very effective in improving many essential business skills.

When done poorly, however, activities for team building can be seen as a waste of time. In fact, poorly run team building games and events can have an adverse effect on business skills, productivity, relationships and reaching goals. Improving upon the way that activities are planned and implemented should be a part of the team building routine.

Improving Activities for Team Building

Each time your corporation holds a team building event there must be some recording of results for continued determination of what needs to be worked on, what needs to be changed and how to improve the events. These observations will lead to creating better experiences for your workforce while also developing new resources and ways to build teams.

Here are a few ways to improve your activities for team building to make the most out of every event, conference or corporate retreat.

1. Keep Competition Low – Competitive spirits can run strong in many people. Games that rely on competition and winning can bring out the worst in some of the team members and work against the goals which you want to achieve. Choosing activities that can help people feel good about themselves, foster teamwork and pride in a finished product will drastically improve team building days.

2. Be Productive – One of the great ways to incorporate both the business side of things and the fun of games is to incorporate a little bit of productivity into the mix. Have teams do some role reversal as members take on new tasks such as brainstorming marketing tactics or creating new services. This exercise not only gets people out of their mundane day to day activities, but instills a spark of creativity and communications.

3. Hand Out Shirts – This may seem like a small thing, but providing employees with custom team shirts is a great way to boost morale and remind everyone that they’re all part of the same team. This should be made fun with creative designs or team names. Giving the employees themselves input into their colors, design, logo or other aspects of the shirts can also inspire more production.

4. Be Regular – Activities for team building are only successful if they are done on a regular basis. Sports teams know the value of regular practice for continued improvement, building unity, and learning how to interact with each other. The same holds true for businesses and individual offices. These team building events do not have to be a major cost or drain on personnel. A simple one to two hour activity during the regular work week can help maintain what is learned in major corporate retreats.

Activities for team building are a major tool to use in improving team cohesiveness, communication, innovation, and leadership. If your organization is looking to improve in its specific field, start to incorporate more team building and team events into the corporate life.

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