Can a Distance Event Help a Team to Cohere?

March 7th, 2016 | by Ashyln Molly
Can a Distance Event Help a Team to Cohere?
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If you’re looking to develop your workforce and help them to work more effectively as a unit, then a team-building exercise might prove immensely beneficial. Corporate team building events come in an enormous variety of different forms – ranging from the impressive to the ridiculous.

Of these sorts of excursion, charity events abroad are among the more popular and effective. But why exactly is this? There are many reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the major ones.

Glamour

Would you rather be cooped up inside an office, staring at a screen all day, or navigating the world’s most spectacular landscapes? However exciting a job might be, a holiday will likely be more so – and, on the face of it, many endurance events share much in common with a holiday. Give your employees something to look forward to and to look back on fondly, and they’ll be far happier and more productive for it.

Social cohesion

A team building exercise such as a long distance cycling trip will require that its participants speak to one another. If you’re traversing a strange environment, or even a slightly hostile one, you’ll want to do so with the benefit of friends. It’s under the heat and pressure of adversity, after all, that the strongest bonds are forged. In other words, putting people in an uncomfortable situation will make them more willing to reach out to out another for support, and the group will emerge on the other side of their ordeal all the stronger for it.

Physical fitness

Perhaps it should go without saying that going on a long hike or a bike ride will tax the body as well as the mind. Participants will need to subject themselves to a long, and perhaps gruelling, training regime in order to get to the required level of fitness.

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Having a workforce that’s physically healthy is advantageous, even in workplaces where physical health isn’t key. You might suspect that, while a professional builder might need to be in good shape, a professional clerk might not. But physical fitness has an impact on both morale and competence – not only will your workforce take fewer days off sick, but they’ll be able to do their jobs more effectively, too.

If you’re training with other people, in order to prepare for a special event where they’ll be present, then you’re likely to train all the harder in order to make the grade. After all, no-one wants to be embarrassed – especially if the whole thing is for charity.

Team Spirit

When you’re trying to succeed in the world of business, it can be easy to view your colleagues as hindrances rather than collaborators. This temptation is particularly apparent if every encounter with a given colleague is a result of human error. For example, if you’re the person who repairs the printer every time someone overfills the paper tray, you might feel resentful of the people who make extra work for you – however plausible their excuses might be.
A workforce which is fractured and comprised of individual members pursuing their own self-interest is going to be less effective than one which works as a seamless whole. But this needn’t mean that you buy everyone grey uniforms and insist they refer to one another by number rather than name.

In the endurance event, you’ve a perfectly natural and non-sinister means of fostering a sense of camaraderie. This obviously might yield considerable benefits when the team returns to their normal positions. They’ll be more willing to go to bat for one another, and more forgiving and understanding when things go wrong.

Competition

Naturally, it’s good to have your workforce work well with one another. But competition, too, can be beneficial. A long-distance bike ride can help to bring the best out of your workforce’s natural rivalry. Everyone will push to be that little further up the pecking order – and the entire workforce will thereby experience an increase in productivity.
Personal pride can be a powerful motivator. No-one wants to be viewed as lazy or feckless – even if they secretly are. Moreover, no-one wants to let the side down. And these desires will come out during an endurance event – both in preparing for one, and during the event itself.

And an team-building endurance event will provide an outlet for this rivalry that is wholesome and non-destructive. Then, when you return to the work environment, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of competition without having your employees sabotage one another.

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