Who said business has to be all work and no play? Not 3Seed.
Recently, we moved the entire 3Seed team to the top of a local wildlife preserve for a day of team building and geocaching. It wasn’t just a fun excuse to get out of the office for the day, it was a way to shake things up and empower one another.
Why is team building important? Managing partner Julie Moyer has a lot to say:
“It’s important for me to create unique company events – events that I would want to participate in if I were the employee. I like getting people to tap into their inner child and I keep that in mind when designing our company activities. In the past, we’ve done capture the flag with squirt guns, scavenger hunts, and most recently we went geocaching at a local wildlife preserve. 3Seed has never been a typical company. That’s why it’s important for us to let our quirky and fun-loving spirit shine through in everything we do — especially internally. That’s how we maintain a collaborative and creative culture.”
How coming up with nicknames tightened our bond (and weakened our stomachs)
The first geocache helped to break the ice for the day. The entire team had to come up with nicknames for each person in the office. Once decided, the nicknames had to be used for the rest of the day. If someone slipped up and forgot to call someone by their nickname, they had to eat a Bean Boozled Bean. Bean Boozled is a game in which each jelly bean color could have two different flavor outcomes: one good and one bad. For example, a brown bean could be a delicious chocolate pudding, or, it could be a fresh can of dog food. This activity got people talking about what they know about each other, individual quirks and created inside jokes.
This activity took teambuilding to a personal level. Yes, everyone on the team knows each other. But this activity broke the barrier and created an outlet to get personal with colleagues and create stronger relationships. Throughout the day, it was fun to watch people interact with each other using their new nicknames. It was even more fun calling them out to eat a bean (it was not so fun when the tables were turned).
How we used the woods to build a brand
Throughout the day, there were a variety of activities that incorporated our line of work while still forcing team members to put their heads together and come up with creative and innovative ideas. One task was to break off into teams and create social media posts for an imaginary adventure company and posts could only be created with thing that could be found in the woods and the items found in the adventure packs. But, the items in the adventure packs ranged from hiking equipment to little plastic dinosaurs.
Using activities that involved our line of work allowed the team to think outside the box. Everyone got to contribute, everyone had ideas and everyone had fun putting the photos and posts together. Activities like this get the juices flowing, which will help business later in future brainstorming and creative sessions.
Why spend a day playing in the woods?
Team building allows you and the team that you work with every day to step away from work and get to know each other. This builds a sense of community between colleagues and can actually boost productivity. When people warm up to the people in their office, they are more likely to share their ideas in a group environment. Since there is a feeling of comradery, the fear of being judged is gone. Without that fear, employees are more likely to take risks, share their ideas and collaborate on tasks. In the long run, team building creates a better functioning team. People will relax, share and work together like a well-oiled machine.
Getting out of the office puts also puts everyone on a level playing field, without status standing in the way. Everybody participates, everyone gets their voice heard, and everyone makes decisions. That is an important part of being a team, lifting one another up, and strengthening not only our group but our brand and the work we produce. That’s what’s important to us, and that’s what we found at the top of the mountain.
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