Team Building Tips: Gaining Clarity: Why Recreation and Entertainment are NOT Team Building


Team Building vs. Team Recreation

 

1. Don’t Confuse Team Building with Team Recreation and Entertainment.

I’m all for fun. In fact, the fun factor is always a part of any business team building simulations that my company (Executive Oasis International) offers. When I am organizing a retreat, I always make sure that there is some recreation and entertainment built in. BUT…there is a disturbing trend in corporations and I am going to address it in a number of blog entries.

Many organizations treat the terms team building and team recreation as if they are interchangeable. They aren’t and it is important to understand the differences. The key is to determine what you require and articulate this clearly to your assistant or the person who will be contacting prospective suppliers on behalf or your organization. Here is a tool that will help your administative assistant or coordinator pinpoint what you company requires.

Free Team Building Planner & Selection Tool [.DOC]

This is a tool for executives to calculate team building R.O.I.

Free Team Building R.O.I. Calculator [.DOC Document]

So, what’s the difference between team building and team recreation?

Team Building

Team building seeks to enhance team cohesiveness and performance to improve business results. In team building initiatives, a facilitator guides teams through the predictible phases of team development often described as forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Team building can be delivered on-site at your company premises, off-site as a day session or at a hotel or resort involving overnight stays, locally or at a foreign destination.

Team Recreation
Team recreation is intended to get your team out of the office for a time of relaxation, recreation and leisure. Team members participate in an activity for fun and to get to know each other better. There are no specific business objectives or outcomes. However, it is hoped that if team members are more relaxed and comfortable with each other, this will improve interaction and communication at work.

Many team building sessions involve recreation, however, recreation is a means to an end, not the end. Let’s be clear. Team building isn’t paintball, rock climbing, drumming, bowling, cooking, or going out for drinks or dinner. That’s team recreation.

Yes, team building can include recreational activities but a recreational activity is not the same thing as team building. Just because a group gets together and engages in an activity that is “fun”, does not make the activity “team building”.

Team Entertainment or Corporate Event

This is strictly for pleasure. It could be an active pursuit such as an Improv night with audience participation or something more passive like a dinner, concert or even dinner theatre.

If you want entertainment or recreation, then that is what you should call it. Why try to pass it off as “team building”?

I’ll post more about this later but in the meantime, here are a couple of other relevant blogs.

Other relevant blogs:

Update:   I promised that I would post more about this later and I have:

Here is an excerpt:

It’s simple.
- too much focus on activities of questionable value
- not enough focus on results.
- too little tie-in to the business
- no attempt to measure return on investment
Drumming, hot air ballooning, paintball, or grape stomping (that was featured on the Apprentice a few seasons ago) and we’ve passed it off as team building?
Read more here:

Why companies are cutting team building?

 

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10 Responses

  1. [...] Team Building: Gaining Clarity – Why recreation and entertainment are not team building [...]

  2. [...] In one of my other blogs, I  have previously written about some of  the bizarre ways in which companies were spending money on recreational activities and passing them off as “team building”.   The problem with corporate excess is that there will ALWAYS  be a backlash and innocent [...]

  3. [...] Gaining Clarity: Why Recreation and Entertainment Aren’t Team Building [...]

  4. [...] Team Building Tips: Gaining Clarity: Why Recreation and Entertainment are NOT Team Building [...]

  5. [...] Why Team Recreation & Entertainment are not Team Building [...]

  6. [...] Team Building Tips: Gaining Clarity: Why Recreation and Entertainment are NOT Team Building [...]

  7. [...] Don’t Confuse Team Building with Team Recreation and Entertainment [...]

  8. [...] Don’t Confuse Team Building with Team Recreation and Entertainment [...]

  9. [...] Why recreation and entertainment are not team building [...]

  10. [...] Using recreational events or extreme activities as a substitute for real team [...]

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