What Makes a Great Corporate Team Building Event?

Team Building noun1

  1. Philosophy of job design in which employees are viewed as members of interdependent teams instead of as individual workers.
  2. Ability to identify and motivate individual employees to form a team that stays together, works together, and achieves together.

Corporate Team BuildingIn layman’s terms, corporate team building is the process of bringing individual employees together through various group activities to foster a sense of togetherness, of teamwork to improve productivity, communication, and other key business functions.

“Team developmental interventions are key mechanisms that may be used to facilitate team effectiveness,” writes Raymond Noe in Employee Training and Development.2

The American Psychological Association (APA) found that team building activities helped employees feel valued, which directly affects productivity.  According to the APA’s findings,, “almost all employees (93 percent) who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work.” But we already know that team building works. If you have ever visited our blog before, we have researched the concept extensively. What we want to explore today is not the why of team building, but the what. What are the types of events that are most effective? Because, let’s be honest, team building, while easy to define, is a pretty broad term. And team building events can take many forms. So what are the most effective?

Effective Corporate Team Building Events

David W. Ballard, the head of the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program recently identified five team building activities that he deems the most effective:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Physical Activities, like maybe a high ropes course?
  3. Field Trips
  4. Professional Development Activities
  5. Shared Meals

So what do all of these events have in common? They all involve getting out of the office.

“Working in an office can be a very sedentary job, so it’s especially important to your overall sense of health and happiness to take a few minutes during your workday to get up and move a little,” says Jason Bergund, founding director of Dancetherapy.4

However, according to a 2012 Wakefield Research Study, team building activities can be counterproductive when not executed properly.5 You see, team building is not a do-it-yourself type of activity. It requires a professional approach. Team building professionals have the knowledge, experience, and resources to properly execute corporate team building activities to ensure your organization receives the maximum benefits.

“Well-planned programs are delivered by capable facilitators who guide learning rather than dictate results,”says researcher Katherine Whitnah.6

While the concept may seem simple enough, team building is an incredibly complex experience that requires an experienced facilitator to not only lead your group through each event, but also through debriefing sessions after each event. In order to fully reap the benefits of team building, you should trust a professional company, like Terrapin Adventures.

Corporate Team Building with Terrapin Adventures

Through a series of exciting and carefully designed Corporate Team Building activities, your group will find better, more effective ways to communicate and work with each other. Each activity is led by one of our experienced facilitators, who will not only help guide your experience, but also tie the lessons back into the workplace. We do this during our debriefing sessions, where we sit down and discuss what we have just done and how the lessons can be applied in our everyday lives.

Schedule Your Corporate Team Building Session!

Our convenient facility located between Baltimore and Washington, DC is uniquely suited to provide a Team Building solution for any company. In addition, we can bring our Team Building Programs to you! We service Maryland and Washington, D.C., and have traveled to other states as well.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at info@terrapinadventures.com to learn more.

Works Cited

  1. “Team Building.” Business Dictionary. Web. 5 Apr. 2016.
  2. Noe, R. A. (2002). Employee training and development (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
  3. American Psychological Association. Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. APA Survey Finds Feeling Valued at Work Linked to Well-Being and Performance. 8 Mar. 2012. Web. 5 Apr. 2016.
  4. “10 Tips for Staying Happy at Work.” Interview by Jason Bergund. Monster. Web.
  5. Citrix. Workplace Survey Reveals Surprises About Traditional Office Life, Working from Home. 25 June 2012. Web. 5 Apr. 2016.
  6. Whitnah, Katherine T. A Phenomenological Inquiry: In the Context of Organizational Development, How Does Experiential Team Building in the Form of a High ROPES Course, Contribute to Positive Leadership Development, and How Can It Be Improved? Adler Graduate School. Web.
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