Workplace disengagement has become a United States epidemic. According to Gallup, only 30% of Americans are engaged with their job, creating a significant drain on the economy. Now recognized as a bottom line issue, business owners are actively combatting disengagement to improve performance, increase employee loyalty, and ultimately, grow revenues. With the development of these new engagement strategies, team building activities have become increasingly popular, inspiring the emergence of local corporate-oriented experiences.
Team building has been shown to boost workplace engagement by creating a sense of camaraderie, and improves team morale, communication, creativity, and productivity. The best team building activities may have some general teamwork elements, but should not feature a takeaway or leadership lesson that makes the event feel forced. Fortunately, several local companies now offer team building events that simplify the process, and create a fun and natural bonding experience for everyone involved.
weFooz Human Foosball
Employees must constantly learn together and work together, and they’ll have to do both to compete in human foosball. A completely unique experience, weFooz Human Foosball offers teams the chance to try something new together while bonding over a friendly competition.
Human foosball is essentially a life-sized version of tabletop foosball, so the rules are easy for players to pick up. Still, the game provides a novel experience as teams work to get coordinated on the 27’x42’ court. “The thing I like most about human foosball is watching people’s faces light up when they’re playing. It’s a great activity for teams with different levels of fitness and ages to come together and have a great time!” said Founder and CEO, Dan Dias.
Patrons seem to agree that weFooz is a fun way to bond with coworkers. “Our Chuy’s employee party was such a huge success due to Human Foosball! It was so much fun– everyone played and got a chance in on the action!” said Laura Baldwin, General Manager at Chuy’s Restaurant.
WeFooz takes an active role in the Gainesville community. They donate 25% of their profits to suicide prevention and mental health organizations, contribute to education and other nonprofits, and planted over 3,000 trees last year.
Corks & Colors Studio
Corks & Colors Studio invites employees to get acquainted with the creative side of their coworkers in a relaxed environment. The studio offers canvas classes, pottery painting, mosaics, and wheel throwing, and sells beer and wine.
Canvas classes are the most popular activity for team building. The group chooses their painting together but may select different colors, and the instructor walks them through its creation step-by-step. “The out-of-the-box team building activities we offer at Corks & Colors are a great way to learn something new about your coworkers, and yourself, while having a great time!” said Owner Erika Tonnelier.
Sun Country Rocks
Sun Country Sports’ 2,500 square foot indoor rock wall is popular among all skill levels, from competitive teams to youth recreation. They offer the option to create a custom team building program that focuses primarily on trust, communication, or problem solving, depending on the business owner’s goals for their team.
At the beginning of the event, teams are split into pairs and taught to belay, the process of using a rope system to catch a climber in the event of a fall. This requires communication as participants are required to trust fall, depending on their partner to catch them. “Team building works best with a shared experience, and getting people out of their comfort zone together works particularly well,” explains Rock Wall Director, Chris Strango. “This is a great way to get people to bond over an exciting experience in a safe environment.”
By Caitlin Harder