We often come across similar questions about team building from our clients, which we hope to address in the answers below.
When planned and executed properly, team buildings are more than just fun and games. Team building programs often utilize games to keep participants engaged and interested in the topics being explored and they are often fun, but that doesn't mean that's all team buildings are good for.
More and more, companies in the Philippines are finally turning to proper team building facilitation to address issues in the office, improve communication, cascade new and important company values and initiatives, resolve conflicts, and create stronger bonds between newly formed teams. Team building companies like Playworks employ dedicated program designers with backgrounds in team psychology, organizational management, and game theory to create the right team building program to address your company's needs.
Traditional team outings, usually held during the Summer in the Philippines, allow a team take a break from the daily stresses of the office and experience teammates beyond their work persona. This can range from activities as simple as a night out of drinking and videoke (a favorite Philippine past time) to booking a beach or mountain resort far from Manila where work mates can relax and enjoy one another. Team outings are effective in releasing stress and encouraging camaraderie amongst work mates but often this happens in an uncontrolled environment, so any real value and learnings that happen during a team outing is often just happenstance. Since team outings also usually involve alcohol here in the Philippines, we have also heard of instances from clients where team mates become too inebriated and end up being a bit too straightforward to the rest of their workmates, causing break downs in work relationships back in the office.
Team Buildings, on the other hand, allow for bonds to be formed and stress to relieved in a controlled environment. This often involves a series of planning meetings to establish objectives, companywide surveys to identify issues or areas of improvement, creation of a specific program of activities to be carried out during the team building, and formation of a facilitation team to ensure that objectives are carried out during the actual team building. Think of team buildings as a more evolved form of team outings, where a clear Return on Investment (ROI) is able to be achieved.
Some companies opt to utilize their own Management Team or their Human Resources (HR) department to plan, design, and carry out their team buildings. This is often done in conjunction with the creation of an internal team building committee made up of employees who are pulled out from participating in the team building activities since they are the ones organizing it. There are three main reasons why this set up is not always ideal:
Some resorts in the Philippines offer team building activities and "facilitators" to clients in an all-in team building package. For resorts that are not particularly specialized for team buildings, this means a resort will provide makeshift, temporary obstacles and simple relay race games for outdoor activities and parlor-type games for indoor activities. Most of the time, these activities are not run by professional facilitators, but anyone who is available in the resort to run the activities. We've seen anyone form the managers of the resort, marketing staff, and even the groundskeeping staff be the ones to facilitate activities for companies! The result, for the most part, is that games are just games for fun and no real processing and learnings are properly discussed by such "facilitators" - don't be taken advantage of by these resorts.
If It is important for your company to achieve certain objectives and properly process the activities of your team building, look into the educational and professional background of your team building facilitation team being offered to you by the resort. Have them meet you in your offices to present their program and to check if they are truly legit. There are resorts and venues in the Philippines, such as the PLAYFARM in Tagaytay, that are specifically created for corporate team buildings; resorts such as the PLAYFARM provide permanent structures and facilities for team building challenges as well as resident professional team building facilitators that can meet at your office to present the venue, understand your requirements, and properly plan with you the appropriate team building program you need.