Observations Archives

Building a positive company culture is crucial for the success and sustainability of any organisation. A positive company culture fosters employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes. Here are some key steps to building and maintaining a positive company culture:

  1. Define Core Values: Clearly articulate the core values that represent the essence of your company. These values should guide decision-making, behaviour, and interactions among employees.
  2. Lead by Example: Company leaders play a significant role in shaping culture. They should embody the values they espouse and demonstrate behaviours that align with the desired culture.
  3. Communicate Openly: Foster open and transparent communication channels where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns, and feedback. Regularly communicate company goals, initiatives, and updates to keep everyone informed and engaged.
  4. Encourage Collaboration: Create opportunities for collaboration and teamwork among employees. Encourage cross-functional projects and initiatives that bring together individuals from different departments and backgrounds.
  5. Promote Work-Life Balance: Support employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, promoting time off, and discouraging overwork. Recognise and celebrate achievements, both personal and professional.
  6. Invest in Employee Development: Provide opportunities for learning and growth through training programs, skill development workshops, and mentorship initiatives. Invest in employees’ professional development to help them reach their full potential.
  7. Recognise and Reward Contributions: Acknowledge and appreciate employees’ efforts and contributions through both formal and informal recognition programs. Celebrate successes and milestTeam Building eventsones as a team to foster a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
  8. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion: Create a welcoming and inclusive environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to be their authentic selves. Embrace diversity in all its forms and promote a culture of equity and belonging.
  9. Support Well-being: Prioritise employee well-being by offering resources and support for physical, mental, and emotional health. Implement wellness programs, provide access to counselling services, and promote a culture of self-care and mindfulness. One of the best ways to support employee well-being is, of course, TEAM BUILDING!
  10. Continuously Evolve and Adapt: Culture is not static; it evolves over time. Regularly assess the current state of your company culture, solicit feedback from employees, and be willing to adapt and evolve as needed to meet the changing needs and dynamics of your organisation.

By prioritising these steps, organisations can create a positive company culture that attracts top talent, fosters employee engagement and satisfaction, and ultimately drives long-term success.

At Tailored Team Building we believe we have put together some of the best team building activities & events to help promote a positive company culture.

‘There’s no I in team’ – but there sure are benefits for individuals. Check out the four biggest plusses of team building.

‘There’s no I in team’ goes the mantra – and it’s true, teams are all about collaboration, working together and the group rather than the individual. The ‘no I in team’ philosophy means that egos and personal agendas get left at the door, and everyone works towards a common goal. Working as a team is a skill – and team building activities help us develop, practice and nurture it.

But even though team building teaches us to work together, there are still benefits for each team member as an individual. Yes, of course the primary purpose of team building activities is to create groups of co-workers who gel well together and can complement each other’s’ skills and abilities (and whilst we’re talking team building, let’s not forget that a ‘team’ could

be any set of people who need to collaborate – a family, a musical group, a sports team). But team building activities also provide benefits for the individual members of that team. These are skills and strengths which they can carry forward, making their next team stronger, and their own lives (inside work and out) more enjoyable and fulfilling.

The benefits of team building for the individual have been studied in depth, including by Yale University in the US and The University of Warwick in the UK. At Tailored Team Building, we might not have the same academic research credentials, but what we do have is plenty of feedback from clients – and it all points in the same direction as the formal research. So, what are the main benefits to individuals of team building activities and learning to work well as part of a group?

Here’s our summary of the top four:

  1. Better problem-solving skills – most of us approach problems in a certain way, because of the way our brains are wired, or because ‘that’s the way I’ve always done it’. Seeing the way that other people tackle the same problem can be mind-blowing. We don’t know what we don’t know when it comes to problem solving, but seeing a new approach, firsthand, in a practical application, opens us up to the idea that there are other, maybe better ways to solve a tricky scenario. That’s a life skill that translates into time saved and stress levels lowered in just about every aspect of life.
  2. Open mind – many of us live in a bit of a bubble, surrounded by ‘people like us’. That can lead to a limited way of thinking and closing ourselves off to new ideas. Working with people from different backgrounds, with experiences outside of our own and with simply a different view on life does wonders for opening our minds. We learn to see things through others’ eyes, and to expose ourselves to a whole range of possibilities and opportunities that we may never before have considered.
  3. Learning about yourself – being around other people teaches us as much about ourselves as about them. It’s the same effect as learning about our home country by visiting other places and noticing the differences. You may only realise, for example, that you can stay calm under pressure when you see someone else struggling with the situation. Or see that you have great delegation skills when you see others trying to take on everything themselves. Self-knowledge is one of life’s greatest gifts, and we can develop it through team building.
  4. Being happier – team building fosters stronger working relationships, communication, and camaraderie. Burnout is a big issue in today’s workplaces, with research showing that 67% of employees feel burned out sometimes, very often or always. The same research also shows that being in a positive work environment has a highly beneficial effect on our emotional well-being. When we feel part of a team that respects, hears and values us, we are 80% more likely to feel emotionally strong. And who doesn’t want to feel happy?

Companies and organisations benefit greatly from team building activities – they get greater employee engagement, productivity and alignment. But teams are made up of individuals, and those individuals can also gain massively from the activities that help to foster teamwork. So, whilst there is ‘No I in Team’, and teamwork is about group dynamics, don’t forget that by running team building activities, you’re also giving a fantastic boost – in skills, attitude and emotional well-being – to your individual employees. And they’ll thank you for that!

At Tailored Team Building we LOOOOVVVEEEE coming up with different & unique events & challenges. To be honest, thats exactly why we called ourselves ‘Tailored Team Building’ in the first place. So we get quite excited when clients ring us wanting to include something a little different in their Amazing Races in particular. 

To date, we have designed, planned & hosted a number of our Amazing Races using public transport which adds a really cool element into your race. The feedback we have received from the clients who have elected to include public transport has been that is is very much like the TV show, which is exactly what we want to hear. We have planned races using ferries, trains, buses, Ubers, trams & also the light rail. We even designed a race for Uber themselves using a few of theirs services which was really fun. 

We have also designed a race where the teams started in Brisbane & finished on the Gold Coast, which incorporated a few different types of public transport, including the train between the two cities, with a pit stop for lunch along the way. 

We simply love taking advantage of the stunning harbour we have here in Sydney by getting our teams on the ferries to soak up the spectacular views. However, we also love using the free city tram system in Melbourne, which helps us to get the teams exploring further in Melbourne while not needing a Myki card, which is great. 

The added element of using public transport can really bring the team together & help with communication as the team will need to decide together which form of public transport they use in their race, as we may give them a few options to pick from between certain checkpoints, depending on whats available. To use Sydney as an example, we once asked the teams to make their way from Kirribilli over to the Rocks using public transport. As most of you already know, there are a few different options from Kirribilli. So we saw teams use the ferry to get across the harbour, a few teams jumped on a train to get across & one team even chose to walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge (not really public transport but thats one way to do it). It was a really fun Amazing Race & the teams really enjoyed the added challenge of figuring it the public transport during the race.

So, if you are thinking of incorporating some public transport into your amazing race we can certainly help you with this. Simply tell us where you would like to start & finish your race & we will figure out the rest. 

Imagine a workplace without communication – it would be like a team of synchronised swimmers wearing blindfolds! Sure, it might be entertaining for a while, but it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Communication is the glue that holds an office together, much like coffee is the glue that holds together early morning meetings. Without it, you’d have colleagues wandering around like lost puppies, trying to decipher each other’s hand gestures like they’re playing an intense game of workplace charades.

It’s crucial because otherwise, important information would be passed around like a game of telephone played by a group of cats, “Boss needs the report ASAP” could very easily turn into “Bring tacos to the rooftop, stat!” And suddenly, the company picnic turns into a fiesta, but the quarterly report is nowhere to be found.

 

On a more serious note, effective communication in the workplace is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures everyone is on the same page regarding goals, projects and expectations. Imagine a team trying to build a puzzle without communicating which pieces they have or need – it would be chaos.

Clear communication also helps in avoiding misunderstandings and conflicts. Without it, you might find yourself in a situation where one person thinks they’re building a spaceship and the other believes they’re building a submarine. Trust me, those two visions do not mix well in a project.

 

Communication fosters a positive work environment. It promotes transparency, which is crucial for building trust among team members. If information is shared openly, it’s like having the office blinds wide open instead of shut tight – everyone can see what’s going on and there are no mysterious shadows lurking around.

 

Ultimately, communication is the secret sauce that keeps the workplace salad from turning into a comedy of errors. So, let’s all speak up, share ideas and save the office from becoming a sitcom with too many plot twists!

Over the next few months, we are going to write some articles that take a look at us, our team and a bit of a “behind the scenes” theme.

Its fair to say that the last couple of years have been a faster ride than we thought it was going to be! In less than two years, we have built Tailored Team Building and Corporate Amazing Race from a smaller, strictly East Coast of Australia operation into something much bigger! We are now a truly Australia-wide team building company with the ability to service multiple events, across all states, at the same time, for very small and very large teams (in the coming months we are hosting 6 events with well over 300 people at each one – the largest being potentially 1000 people in Adelaide!). Plus Tailored Team Building New Zealand is now up and running in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and the rest of the country.

With the hectic ride in full swing, we have managed to find time to build and train new team members across both countries and all states and even do some Team Building for them! However, what do we (Kerri and myself) do to keep motivated and continue to work well together (or at least not attempt to kill each other every now and then)? Good question!

First of all we are best friends and have been friends for a long time. Neither of us have any issue in being honest (brutally sometimes) with each other without any fear of the other taking offense. Secondly we are both hugely passionate about what we do and what we are building together and have the same vision and ambition.

We do need to blow off some steam sometimes however, and need to do something outside of our business that tests our ability to work together – very much like we design for our clients.

Our answer, among a few other things, is escape rooms!  Yes that’s right, we take a break from designing puzzles and challenges for others, to solve puzzles and challenges together! We get to have fun, switch the brain into a different mode for a while and work together outside of our normal environment. We have been complimented so many times by escape room games masters on the way we communicate with each other.

So, with that in mind, here is a list of our favourite and most memorable escape rooms we have conquered! Note that these are in no particular order and are purely my personal memorable rooms.

  • Extraction @ The Curium Experience (Melbourne) – www.curium.com.au – The most immersive room we have played. Great story line and massive set including slides, crawling through air ducts and more. Fantastic effects too.
  • La Rebellion @ The Cipher Room (St Peters, Sydney) – www.cipherroom.com.au – The Cipher Room is one my favourite companies for Escape Rooms. Two locations and awesome rooms.
  • Into The Dark @ Codebreakers (Christchurch NZ) – www.codebreakers.nz – A unique experience! The room is completely pitch black meaning communication becomes critical. Great puzzles with a twist.
  • Buried @ Padlocked Escape Rooms (Surfer’s Paradise) – www.padlockd.com.au – Not for the claustrophobic! You and your partner are locked in two different coffins! A big test of communication between players.
  • The Mystery of the Missing Crown Jewels @ Xcape (Wellington NZ) – www.xcape.nz/lowerhutt – Great puzzles, great theming and sets and some twists that we haven’t seen before.

Did you know that we have designed our own online escape room game (award winning I might add) and a lot of our puzzles and activities take inspiration from the escape rooms we have done ourselves. Also we can include escape rooms in a wider activity for you and your team.

Get in touch and let’s have a chat!

 

We all know by now that Team Building is important within any company, but your monthly team drinks are NOT helping anyone, most of all your team’s productivity. There has been a multitude of research over the last 10 years into this exact area and I’m going to take a deep dive into what is shows.

Communication is a must have within every team environment. Without effective communication, studies show that your team will be less successful, be less fulfilled in their work and ultimately, be less beneficial to the company. The team MUST be able to communicate effectively with each other.

What does the research say communication is within a team environment:

  1. Does everyone in your team talk and listen equally?
  2. Are they energetic? Do they face one another during conversation?
  3. Do they connect with each other? Not only with the team leader?
  4. Do they break, explore outside the team and bring information back?
  5. Are there side conversations within the team?

Within a workplace some teams thrive and surpass all expectations while others are luck-lustre and tend to have low employee retention. The Human Dynamics Lab at MIT investigated WHY this is the case. They studied over 2500 employees within an organisation and were able to pinpoint that communication was a MAJOR factor in the ability for a team to thrive or fail. But how do you improve communication in a team? Well, the study showed that unstructured activities such as Friday night drinks or long lunches do little to improve communication and relationships within the team. There are specific things that worked – having everyone go on breaks at the same time, that provides an opportunity for team members that were otherwise strangers to communicate and form bonds outside of the corporate structure. But what if your team works remotely? Other research has shown that targeted and structured activities where they have a common goal also goes a long way to improve communication within a team. This doesn’t need to be in person. It can be virtual. Communication is key. It is as significant as intelligence, personality, skill and qualifications. Does your team communicate effectively enough to benefit your company?

Another study by Saraswat and Khandelwal (2015) examined the effectiveness of team building exercises on team effectiveness. They used a control group that did not go through team building and another that did. Researchers scored them by team performance. The team building exercises had a huge positive influence on effectiveness of the team in the workplace. It is ‘Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare’ (Saraswat & Khandelwal, 2015).

 

The idea that a team can communicate and create meaningful connections is a tricky thing to navigate. So what do you do?

You need regular activities that:

  1. Foster connections between team members.
  2. Build trust and instil confidence.
  3. Teach your team to communicate.
  4. Assist your team to manage conflict.
  5. Improve collaboration under pressure and in new situations.

When you are planning your next team building events, it is imperative to consider the science behind team building. Using this information, you can structure your activities so that the team benefits from a more focused, effective approach. As your employees become closer and more engaged, you will find that they will also be more productive. It’s a win win!

But how do you organise these structured activities? Tailored Team Building can tailor make your next team building activity and make it fun! Your teams will learn how to communicate, identify each other’s strengths, they will connect with each other, and they will collaborate in order to meet a common goal, all while having a laugh and having a huge amount of fun!

It’s time to get out of the office and into your local park. Contact us to organise a Team Building activity tailored to suit your specific needs. Be it 10 people or 500 people, we can tailor a package that will build confidence, collaboration and communication within your team.

Perhaps your team is from all over Australia, or the world and it is unrealistic to meet for a team building activity. All is not lost! We also offer virtual activities that fit the brief and are equally as tailored as our other activities. Afterall, research also shows that virtual team building is beneficial if they work together to meet an objective.

 

 

 

References

Saraswat and Khandelwal (2015), Impact of Team Building Exercises on Team Effectiveness, Volume 6, Issue 3, Sep-Dec (2015), pp 89-97, Article ID: IDMHRM_06_03_010, Available at: http://www.iaeme.com/currentissue.asp?JType=

IJMHRM&VType=6&IType=3

 

Klein, Cameron & DiazGranados, Deborah & Salas, Eduardo & Le, Huy & Burke, Shawn & Lyons, Rebecca & Goodwin, Gerald. (2009). Does Team Building Work?. Small Group Research. 40. 181 – 222. 10.1177/1046496408328821.

 

Lacerenza, C. N., Marlow, S. L., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (2018). Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork. American Psychologist, 73(4), 517–531. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000295

Networking by Tailored Team Building

Networking….yes that dreaded word! We understand that most companies & businesses these days expect their employees to do some form of networking outside of the office. Whether its joining a formal group or an online group, they are kinda all the same – am I right? Some formal networking groups feel like they are still stuck in the 1990’s with their formal scripts & protocols, we hear you (funnily enough that’s where Jonathan & myself met 10+ years ago).

What is networking? I hear you (not) ask. Well, networking is the exchange of information & ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal social setting.

I recently attended an online group (Fresh Networking) & was asked what having a strong network meant to me…..well to me, networking is about trust & relationships. You need to have those relationships with people in order to refer them to your friends, colleagues & family.

So, what if Team Building was a form of networking within your own business???? Crazy idea, I know, but seriously. At Tailored Team Building, we take Team Bonding seriously & honestly believe that this should be your first step towards your ultimate goals. Wouldn’t you want your team to build trust within each other? That way, when they are out there in a social setting & are asked if they know ‘a guy’ they can honestly recommend someone with the right expertise within your business, whether its another department or simply the best person for the job.

Team Building is designed to bring your team together & to help strengthen those work relationships between colleagues & different departments. So what better way to help strengthen your employees social networks than to put on regular team bonding activities?

Check out our popular team building activities to see what might suit your team! Don’t hesitate to call us today.

Virtual Meeting

Despite a recent tweet by Elon Musk stating that the remote workers are only ‘pretending to work’, it appears that the hybrid office is here to stay. Also, at the recent Jobs & Skills Summit at the Federal Government announced that it would amend the Fair Work ACT to strengthen access to flexible working arrangements. So what does this mean for your business ??

At Tailored Team Building, we work closely with a number of businesses who are in the exact position. They have a number of staff members who are choosing to continue working from home a few days a week as appose to coming back to the office full- time. We have chatted to our clients about this as we have found it quite interesting how the workplace has changed post-COVID, and the feedback to date has been nothing but positive. Some studies have found an increase in productivity for people working from home. Team morale is higher as people have flexibility & seem to have finally won that ‘work / life balance’ battle for once. 

In saying that we are also finding a higher importance for regular & ongoing team building activities to keep the teams engaged & connected with one another. We have a number of companies that we work with that are booking in regular team bonding events which is great. It also shows the team that upper management care as they are willing to still put in the time & effort to bring the teams together, even though they aren’t working in the office full-time.

So, if you’re looking to bring your team together contact us! We can offer a load of indoor, outdoor & even virtual events for your next team building experience. Also, like many of our clients, once you have booked an event with us you will automatically join our loyalty program & receive 10% off future team building events. We call that a win / win!

October

As Halloween approaches, I find myself sitting at Brisbane Airport, reflecting on the things we have done this month. Its been quite a month for events, travel, records and milestones!

In October we, Tailored Team Building, have run events in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle, Townsville, online and in Roma (Not sure where Roma is? I wasn’t either before the event).

In October, we ran a fantastic private event for the smallest group we have ever hosted – 4 people. We also ran a corporate event for the largest group we have done (to date) – 400 people!

In October we have been named the Global Team Building partner for a worldwide seminar / conference  company.

In October we negotiated ways of creating a race around Sydney where one of the checkpoints is at the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In October we continue to love planning and running this business and still laugh daily!

So bring on November. We know November is going to be huge, not only in the number of events and people we are going to host but some of the plans we have! Watch this space!