As a company Creation has always believed in the importance of both engagement and teamwork, and know that there’s a big connection between the two.
As part of the People & Culture team, I’m always looking for ways to get people to feel connected to Creation, to each other, to our performance results, and so on. We need to know, is our philosophy of “work hard, play hard” alive and vibrant?
A few years back, I got a call from Corporate Champions Vancouver. At the time, we were looking for creative ways to enhance our Wellness program in BC…and still are, by the way, if anyone has any good ideas!
They’re a company that, (from their website):
“…hosts sporting events and tournaments that focus on team building and employee engagement while providing opportunities to connect and network. Our mandate is to help organizations big and small benefit from the power of sport.”
Sounds great, right?
I really liked Corporate Champions’ mandate to get companies to realize how they can benefit from the power of sport – something that can often be overlooked in a corporate setting. This program looked like it could fulfill our needs on a number of levels – health and wellness, engagement and teamwork.
Another big draw was that I got the call shortly after the exhilarating Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Like so many people, I’d been inspired by watching the athletes and their determination and ability. The thought of taking home a “gold medal” was too tempting to resist!
We decided to take the plunge. We entered into the Corporate Champions Vancouver Summer Games, a tournament that today has 35 companies and over 1,300 participants competing.
Creation Technologies & Corporate Champions Vancouver Summer Games 2012
The program has really enabled us to come together as a team, helping us build trust, forge stronger relationships, and form cohesive teams.
This was our third year participating in the Games, and it’s been our best year yet. The events just wrapped up last weekend, and we’re really proud of our accomplishments.
We achieved competitive success, placing in the top 3 teams in 3 of the sports we joined.
More importantly, we also achieved pride in ourselves and teambuilding success.
It’s been great seeing people come to work wearing their medals, or seeing them hanging proudly at their workstations. I’ve loved listening to everyone share their stories and hear what a great time people had at the games this year.
Returning to the question of whether our “work hard, play hard” mindset is alive and vibrant, the answer’s yes!
We’re really looking forward to next year! Maybe we should start practicing now…
Are you in a leadership role, looking for ways to engage your people?
Or are you part of a team, and looking for ways to build relationships to make it stronger?
Or maybe you just want to have some fun at work!
Here are some things to think about as you consider team challenge activities.
Tip #1: Tie the events into your day-to-day programs and initiatives.
Whether it be wellness, health & safety or teambuilding activities, use programs you already have in place as the foundation for a team challenge. Build on the initial theme as a motivator, and tie in the competitive aspect.
Tip #2: Ask the experts.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to team challenges.
Consider partnering with a company like Corporate Champion Vancouver or any organization that has a simple approach to building a team. Their core expertise is in developing programs and events that provide a positive experience, and most often these organizations have optimized a model that works for a broad number of people.
Partnering externally also provides your people an opportunity to network and interact with others outside the organization, which can be a great learning experience and a way to make new friends.
Tip #3: Get aligned.
Like with any new program, you’ll want to evaluate how impactful it will be for your team, whether you have the budget, and one of the biggest questions – will people actually participate?
Just make sure that the activities and any partner organizations align with your company’s culture, and that the environment is always encouraging and fun!
The advantage of using sport or any other universal language to get people to rally behind a goal is that it’s a great bridge between people of different ages, cultures, demographics, genders, and roles within the company.
What kinds of team building activities have you organized or taken part in? What have you liked, and what have you disliked? What tips can you give to a company looking to participate in their own team challenges?