Cobb’s top services and professionals share why team building is the most important investment you can make for your employees.
Let’s face it: In most offices, just saying the words team building will lead to some audible groans and awkward glances across the room, with most employees wondering what uncomfortable situations their bosses have gotten them into. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If done effectively, team building exercises and activities can help your office build trust, alleviate conflict, establish better communication and encourage more collaboration among team members. When employees are more engaged, both overall morale and your bottom line are likely to see a significant boost.
For more than 25 years, Larry Lipman has worked with every type of business group to improve business outcomes, from Fortune 100s to small mom-and-pop retail stores and teachers, nurses and government groups. His Smyrna-based service takes him all over the country to facilitate team building sessions, leading anywhere from 12 to more than 1,500 people, but the goal is always the same: blending professional and personal growth.
“That means my participants take home life skills that they can apply in the workplace and at home,” Lipman says. “My seminars take teams to the next level. We dive into specific, nitty-gritty outcomes, like handling change, appreciating our differences, communicating more effectively, choosing our attitude [and] kicking out dysfunction.” His training activities also promote collaboration, accountability, integrity and trust, as well as teach the importance of understanding leadership styles.
Of course, the ultimate goal is for employees to let loose and enjoy themselves so they can open up and ultimately build a stronger bond within their team. Lipman abides closely to the belief that people learn best when they’re having fun. “[Many participants] don’t want to be there at 8 a.m. … and then, I have to ask them to leave at the end of the day because they are having so much fun.”
Lipman found his calling as a certified leadership trainer and success coach in 1990 after participating in several team building conferences and workshops. Helping people grow, learn and evolve is what keeps him professionally invigorated. “Companies, corporations, schools, government and hospitals will always involve people,” he says. “Training activities accomplish [growth] with a learn-by-doing format. This will never get old or go out of style.” Visit funteambuilding.com or call (770) 333-3303 to learn more.
On the following pages, we’ve rounded up a few more fun ways to get your team working together more effectively — many of which Lipman can utilize when working with his program — without ever having to leave Cobb County.
2778 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta
At some point, everyone dreams about what it might feel like to fly. Whether your group is full of skydiving enthusiasts or has several members who are afraid of heights, iFLY gives everyone the opportunity to experience real flight in a safe and controlled indoor environment.
“Since this is new for most people, we level the playing field and allow co-workers to try something new together,” says David Connor, sales manager at the new iFLY location on Cobb Parkway near SunTrust Park. “The bonding experience you gain from being in the wind tunnel is amazing.”
Guided by certified instructors throughout the experience, your team will get the feeling of flight in a nearly 50-foot-tall flight chamber that is designed to create a vertical wind tunnel that pushes flyers up above the ground, simulating true free fall conditions. The experience is safe for anyone older than 3 years old, with a few exceptions for those with shoulder, back and neck problems, people weighing over 300 pounds and pregnant women.
Connor adds the approximately 5,000- square-foot facility offers everything for a full day of team building, including a business meeting room, catering options and a variety of event spaces to fit your needs.
“We customize each event to meet our clients’ needs to make sure they have the best experience possible,” Connor explains. “We have some simple packages that just include flight time for larger groups as well as more complex packages that include catering, bartending and even a DJ.” For package information, visit iflyworld.com/book-now.
1349 Old 41 Hwy NW #235, Marietta
This real-life escape room game allows teams to build camaraderie by spending time with each other in a casual social situation. As owner April Simmons explains, an escape room game is a social incubator. “As people work together to solve puzzles and riddles to achieve a goal in an hour, they become more aware of the roles that each play within their team,” she says. “Plus, it is fun and exciting, and no matter their apprehensions as they enter the escape room game, they always leave laughing and engaged.”
In addition to the fun social aspect of the escape room game, The Escapery offers enhanced team building. “Our most popular team building option is our Team Escape, which includes a one-hour interactive workshop facilitated by a Team Adventure Consultant,” Simmons says. “While a team is completing the escape room, we observe closely via video camera and audio placed in the room. As we watch the teams work together, communicate and interact, we discover much about their group dynamics, strengths and weaknesses, and individual roles. Once the team has completed the escape room, we offer feedback based on our observations and encourage group discussion. ” Next, the team completes a questionnaire that delves into their perception of the dynamics of their team, both while playing the escape game and within their professional environment. The Escapery staff then facilitates a discussion around the responses to the questionnaire. “Finally, we work with the team to set goals to build on what they learned during their escape game and workshop,” Simmons says. “As they leave, we send the leadership home with ways to continue to build on the camaraderie developed and discoveries made during their visit.”
The Escapery offers many customizable options for team building events called Team Adventure Packages, which can accommodate groups as small as 5-6 up to as many as 50 participants. The Team Experience package is the “just-for-fun” option that lasts one hour, while longer experiences like Team Escape (2.5 hours) provides longer discussion time and Team Retreat (4.5 hours) provides everything plus a full-service continental breakfast and lunch, an hour-long presentation from a leadership training expert and a half-hour wrap-up with a Team Adventure Consultant. Packages start at $25 per person and catering options can be added as desired.
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
1255 Roswell Road, Marietta
In auto racing, it takes an entire team communicating and working together to win. Take those teamwork lessons back to the office with an energizing experience behind the wheel at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games.
What sets Andretti apart from other facilities is the multitude of entertainment options in its more than 10,000 square feet of event space. “We work with a professional team building facilitator to develop activities that are not only productive and engaging, but fun! Our professional facilitator, Dale Moody, works one-on-one with the client to plan a customized team building experience for their group to achieve their objectives,” says Samantha LaMagna, senior marketing manager at Andretti.
LaMagna says Andretti offers a team building experience that allows participants to use the DiSC personal assessment tool, which is used by more than 1 million people annually to facilitate discussions about behavioral differences and how to work with different profile types within the workplace. Andretti also offers AutoBond, another activity that encourages colleagues to work together as a team to build a kart and race against their co-workers. “Finding the right exercise can be challenging, so we work with the client to adapt a package that will help their crew achieve their winning goals,” says LaMagna.