May 21, 2022 3:13 pm


Whether it’s your company’s first team building event or you’ve done it a gazillion times, there are a lot of reasons for taking time to choose the right facilitators for your next team building session. With the start-up ones and the more established companies all offering a fun-filled and meaningful company outing, you may start to wonder which one is right for you. When looking for a company, here are some tips to help you decide:

1. Ask around. People always like to share stories about how they became good friends with people from other departments after they teamed up for a particularly fun activity during a company outing. Others would swear they are never going to any team building activity again after they almost lost a limb rock climbing to “push their boundaries”. Some may not remember how their last team building went – which should say a lot. It must have been so completely boring they slept through most of it or so completely shameful they would rather forget. There is nothing like firsthand information to set you on the right direction in finding the right company for your team event.

2. Observe. You can pretty much tell from your first call or your first meeting if the company is suited to your needs. If the person receiving your inquiry sounds bored and uninterested, that is a red flag right there. Team building companies are in the business of igniting changes in human behavior, they should be genuinely interested in people and responsive to your needs.

3. It should be about YOUR people. Your company decided you needed a team building event. That means you have specific requirements you want addressed. If a training company puts together a menu of pre-packaged activities for you to choose from, run away fast. A professional training company will always ask first what specific concerns you have that you wanted addressed or goals that you want to achieve during the activity. From your specific requirements, they should be able to design a unique program that is hand-crafted for your company.

4. They should know from whence they speak. There are a lot of clichés in team building. Companies toss around words like “paradigm shift” and “core competency”. Sometimes it becomes hard to distinguish between the real deal and a bunch of cheerleaders out to make a quick buck organizing a series of games for sun-starved, desk-huggers. However, listen longer and ask questions. Pretty soon the jargon will run out and you will be left with either a deer in the headlights or someone who is actively taking notes and asking questions in return. A professional team building company will take the time for a needs assessment in order to prepare the best program for your group.

5. Takeaways and follow through. Team building is an investment in your company’s future and well-being but it only becomes an investment if the learning and positive attitudes you acquire are translated into the real-life workplace environment. A reputable team building company includes “takeaways” filled with insights to provide a connection between the workshop and the workplace. Instead of dashing off to the airport, a good facilitator will take the time to make sure your needs are fully met.

When you have decided which team building company you will entrust with handling your next team building event, it is important to be pro-active and not leave everything to the facilitators. Remember to provide input and help steer the direction of the program to ensure that your group gets the most out of your investment.

Colette Johnston is a Corporate Specialist in Professional Development focusing on soft skills related to effective leadership, presentation skills, and executive presence. For more than 15 years Colette has used experiential learning to help F500 organizations and the people who lead them to build skills around communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, trust and personality discovery.

Since a one-size-fits-all mindset does not fit in today’s dynamic business environment, Colette works with business leaders to develop individualized solutions through her consultative approach. Her years of knowledge and experience benefit a variety of different organizations from small business to Fortune 50 companies.

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