We’ve had a good few requests this year for more team-build focussed year-end bashes, so we took this to our LinkedIn contacts for a bit of a discussion.
The year-end bashes of yester-year were mostly party focussed, lots of glorious food, far too many drinks and a generous portion of “letting it all loose” for some, but companies are finding little return on investment in this approach, hence the request for a more uniting/inclusive year-end event.
It makes sense from a corporate spend point of view, the old “two birds, one stone” but often the team build aspect can go horribly wrong if not thought through. The expectation of most staff is that a year end party is a celebration of work well done, more of a thank you to staff, so sometimes forcing Jackie in Marketing to mingle and run/cook/brainstorm/sing with Marcus in Accounts doesn’t leave staff feeling very rewarded, it’s an uncomfortable, forced situation.
Team Building & Development Specialist, Nicky Delport worded it beautifully saying “The term ‘Team Building’ is not a term we like to use, as for us, it’s not about building a team… it’s about building each individual attending, to make them comfortable and confident, to laugh and share and connect with their colleagues, to respect each other’s diversities, and to simply see each other in a new light. THIS then ‘builds’ the team.” I really like this approach, focussing both on the outcome of a closer team, while ensuring everyone is comfortable.
We agree and understand the need for a ROI in terms of what you’re spending on a year end event as well as keeping staff feeling rewarded, happy, festive and motivated for the new year.
David Wilson, MD of Participate Technologies agrees “The better the relationships amongst co-workers, the stronger the culture, the stronger the culture the more likely the company is to perform better. Events are one way to create an ‘out of office’ opportunity for co-workers to mingle, games create opportunities to engage with co-workers you might not normally deal with.”
So there you have it. There are 3 different options for your Year End gathering:
- The Team Build: You can go fully fledged team build making sure you take into account who your audience is and ensuring that whatever you plan is fun but within their comfort zone. Some ideas here could include: a Survivor or Amazing Race theme, adventuring such as white water rafting in Parys, zip lines in Magaliesburg or quad biking in Hartebeespoort, ending off with a casual, reflective lunch or dinner in a secluded country venue, or a private picnic space in an alcove of trees. It really does depend on your workforce, their temperament, ages, genders and overall personalities.
- The Experience: Others would prefer the more in-between approach, making the event more of an experience than just a meal, but less of a team build than a full day of activities. These could include events like visiting the Elephant Sanctuary, a Hot Air Balloon ride, a tour of Soweto which could include the Apartheid Museum – experiences that will be remembered for years to come.
- The Lunch/Dinner: And then we have the classic corporate options, a fantastic lunch or dinner, with great food, brilliant entertainment (have you seen our walking topiary trees?) which could be themed incredibly elegantly like a day at the races hosted at The Polo Room in Inanda, or a casual show at a Barnyard Theatre (private viewing for your company only).
Be in touch if you’d like to discuss some of our ideas, or let us know how we can turn your ideas into reality.