Observations Archives

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!

Laughter

Someone said to me the other day “laughter is the best medicine” and it got me thinking…is it though? So of course, I did some googling and it turns out it really does help. This is what google told me:

When you laugh, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body.

So, I thought I’d put it to the test myself & see how people’s moods change during some of our team bonding events. I hosted one of our popular Game Show events tonight & when everyone walked into the room I could tell they were a little ‘down’ when they were told they were here for some team building activities (understandable I know!). However, after getting the teams up & moving around the room playing some silly games, laughter filled the room. During our grand finale “project runway”, to our Game Show I even saw a tear (of joy) running down one ladies face from laughing so much. This brought me great joy personally.

At the end of the evening, everyone was in such a good mood & genuinely enjoyed themselves & this really made me start to think – laughter really is the best medicine.

So if your team is feeling a bit glum – then book your next team building event with us. We can guarantee to bring the laughter!!

Virtual Team Building Screen

Well one thing we can all agree on is that the world looks & feels a little different these days. I guess a little thing like a global pandemic would have that affect. 

One thing that we have certainly noticed is that businesses are operating differently than before & at least for the moment, that looks like remaining. More & more people are still working from home, or are heading into the city / office on a roster based arrangement. This is great for work/life balance but through all this one thing has brought to the forefront of managers minds & that is team building! Team morale is hard to achieve & maintain when you’re not actually seeing anyone you work with. 

Enter tailored team buildings virtual team building activities!!! 

We work with a number of clients situated all around Australia (and globally to be fair) where their teams are spread across cities, states & even countries. We have transformed some of our popular face to face events into virtual team building events, including online game show, online amazing race, online survivor, and many more. We can also work with your team to customize an online team building event specifically for your team. We have even run online tournament’s over a number of weeks for teams. 

Put simply – we just love working with businesses to bring their people together, regardless if that’s face to face or over a computer screen in our best zoom attire (business on top, pjs & fluffy slippers on the bottom). 

So call us to chat about your next team building event! 

Line of people at the airport

It’s fair to say that I have spent a huge amount of time sitting in airports around the world. Its also fair to say that when I retired from a career at sea, I thought I had left airports behind! However, since starting Tailored Team Building, I seem to be again sleeping in hotel rooms and racking up the air miles.

The difference is that this time I get to travel to run events and thoroughly enjoy myself, rather than the travel being an arduous, long journey simply to join another ship.

I enjoy airports. I am one of these people who happily arrives hours before a flight (even a domestic flight) and happily wanders around, looking in shops or finding a quiet spot to catch up on emails. Occasionally you may even find me warming a seat at an airport bar. I also enjoy chatting to people. I find that travelers are more likely to talk in an airport.

Last week I was at Brisbane airport having spent two days planning and then running events around the city. It had been a long couple of days and I spotted a large TV showing a footy match live (helped that it was my team playing) in a jovial little bar. I went and found a seat at a table among similar travelers watching the game. Now, remember I had come straight from a Corporate Amazing Race and was still in my Tailored Team Building uniform polo shirt.  So the gentleman opposite me looked at the logo on my shirt, read the phrase “Team Building” and very obviously rolled his eyes with a sigh. Now I am not one to leave an opportunity alone and smiled in a friendly manner at him and said “I know! No one likes Team Building!”…and we started to chat.

So Patrick used to work for a photocopy company, back in the day when sales teams had a lot of “Team Building Experiences” thrown at them. He told me that he went on a survival course in the bush once with twenty other sales reps and spent the whole time being bitten by random unseen creatures. Patrick had also done every one of the old cliche Team Building activities – trust falls, obstacle courses, human pyramids, lost at sea scenarios….

This response is something we come across all the time. People hear or read the words Team Building and immediately lower their eyes, worried they are going to be volunteered for some embarrassing task! And this is where we are different and exactly WHY we are different.

The first stage of any event is a chat, preferably over a video call. The reason we do this is so we can get to know “Patrick” and the things they hate about Team Building, what they have done before and what they are expecting from their experience. This allows to us completely Tailor every event.