Remember how you had to eat your greens to get to eat ice-cream afters? We at My Chocolate believe – though it may not be quite as fun as rolling truffles – that planning is the key to ultimately having a great time at a team-building event. Here are some suggestions for success:
What Are Your Objectives?
Take the case of our workshops. Now, some might say that learning to make delicious milk chocolate praline is enough of an objective for anyone – but not so. With all corporate events, it is important to be clear about the objectives. These objectives should tie in to corporate goals, and the type of event you have will be strongly influenced by the outcome you are trying to achieve.
Positive or Negative
A key choice is whether your aim is a positive or negative one. Have your staff been particularly spangly, clever and lovely this year? In that case, you want to reward staff for a excellent year. Which means in our language, pop open the champagne and get those chocolate fountains flowing! Or are you trying to overcome psychological barriers that hinder communication? This requires a very different approach, where you try to establish relationships between people who don’t normally interact.
Suppose you are wanting to build better relationships between two separate departments. You could try mixing them in groups and at tables during mealtimes. However, left to our own devices, most of us with hunker down with those we know. To counteract this you could try briefing everyone beforehand to encourage them to mix, or even produce a formal seating plan.
After the Event
The planning you need to do not only includes the corporate event itself, but also what happens afterwards. Because once the ribbon is untied from the boxes, and the choccies devoured, people have a bit of a habit of going back to their old ways. The Choc Doc prescribes the following:
- identifying and removing, where possible, boundaries in the working environment that permanently divide people into groups. This can include desk arrangements and different dress codes
- creating cross-organisational process teams (with real objectives) to maintain the initiative and break down the barriers
- ensuring that you carry on reminding your staff how very much you appreciate them, with reward and recognition schemes, social events and celebrations for key achievements as they happen. Hell, you can even make them home-made chocolate!
Take a look at MyChocolate’s Team Building Away Days and Coporate Events for inspiration!