Surviving the Storm

Summer Storms have rocked the Phoenix metro area, stalling cars in flooded streets and leaving a mess of downed trees and mud-caked yards. In the same way, tough times – financial strain, acquisitions, PR crises– can sweep through a business, leaving employees feeling shocked and defeated.

The good news for organizations is that tough times can actually serve to galvanize teams, ultimately having a positive effect on morale. A business can use challenging times to focus internally, building company loyalty and creating high-performance teams that will position the business to be ahead of the competition when the economy rebounds.

Establishing high performance teams is a process that requires focused effort over the long term.  The term “team-building” has become so overused it’s almost meaningless, describing any group activity including the office pot-luck or Friday doughnut day.

However, strategic, professionally facilitated team activities creates trust and open lines of communication that don’t happen naturally but have real impact as a platform for other team functions such as generating vision and goal setting.

Effective team building requires more planning then simply arranging a group dinner but does not have to be as elaborate as an overnight dude ranch excursion.  A half day of in-town activity is sufficient, as long as the event is directed by a professional trained in group dynamics.  Effective events don’t leave room for cliquishness, but rather force the entire group of participants to interact and work together.

There are plenty of fun activities from paintball to rock climbing that are short but still exciting enough to leave employees feeling refreshed and create positive memories.  These memories can later be used by an office manager to trigger the learning that took place during the event.

Strategic team building events will improve the workplace atmosphere and keep loyal employees on-board both when times are tough and when they aren’t.

Contact our professionals today for a team building program that gets results!

Sales@onedayadventures.com or 480-788-5093

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The Value of a True Professional

As the school year starts again, think about how important professional teachers are to the education process. Our trained educators know how to keep young learners engaged by pacing the lesson, asking the right questions, incorporating the right activities. Professional team builders use similar techniques to promote practical application of the various activities teams complete together during an event. Professionals get results like:

“Our group is really bonding well thanks to your program.”

“My team had a great time – as a team we were able to find solutions and overcome obstacles.”

Sure a team can have a fun time together at Applebee’s or the bowling alley. They might get some great photos and return to the office with some good “war stories” to reminisce about but they probably won’t get much more than that out of the activity. Instead, plan an event that gets feedback like this:

“I just wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude of the work that Frank and Ryan did on Friday. They really led the group in an encouraging and positive manner and we had a great time.”

“Great job last week! Lots of fun and definitely high impact.”  

When the group is left to their own devices the purpose of the day can quickly disintegrate. A facilitator won’t impede the group from having a good time, but they will do it while maintaining focus on strategy and collaboration.

Contact our professionals today for a team building program that gets results!

Sales@onedayadventures.com or 480-788-5093

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Four Ways to Motivate Your Team

Quick – take a mental break from your work and think about one thing you most enjoy doing when you are off the clock.

Chances are, you are motivated to participate in that leisure time activity for different reasons than motivate you on the job. There are many types of motivators, or elements that drive us towards a given behavior. Motivation can be external, like the reward of a paycheck for completing our job, or internal, like the feeling of guilt caused when we don’t complete what’s expected of us.

The type of motivator most commonly associated with our selection of leisure activities is intrinsic, meaning we perform an activity for the behavior itself and the positive feelings derived from it.

There are four main categories of intrinsic motivation:

Physical. Active leisure pursuits like sports, dance and gardening, meet our needs for achieving physical health and wellness.

Social. Because we do not want to feel alone, we are attracted to activities that provide companionship, support, intimacy or feelings of being connected to a greater cause and community.

Psychological. A desire for excitement, challenge, escape, relaxation and stress relief are among the many psychological factors that contribute to our leisure preferences.

Emotional. Leisure is a major contributor to emotional health, as it can provide strong feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as well as serving as a healthy outlet for emotions which otherwise might produce distress. Emotions connected to leisure activity include happiness and well being, intellectual development and spiritual growth.

Can you identify which of these factors is the reason behind your preferred leisure activities? (There may be more than one.) Can this self-awareness be useful to you on the job, seeking out tasks that will keep you engaged and productive? What about in assigning tasks to your team? Those same factors that motivate us off work, will motivate us on the job also.

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Keepin’ Up the Kindness

Last month, in honor of Valentine’s, this space was dedicated to promoting workplace acts of kindness. But nurturing an atmosphere of goodwill, doesn’t have to limited to one month a year. Kindness is not difficult. It doesn’t require any money, any training, any real effort, and you can start right away, either individually or as a team.

Here are some more tips to encourage those good habits:

Spread the Word. Let others know of your commitment to being kind to everyone you encounter, from vendors to clients to clients. It’s OK to keep it simple; remembering to say please and thank you, or make an effort to offer help.

Make it competitive. Remember those games your mom used to play, making you give five complements for every criticism or putting a quarter in a jar every time you say something mean? Why not implement some of those same practices?

Start at the beginning. In these days of understaffing, new employees are often thrown into the fire with minimal welcome. Reverse the trend by taking a genuine interest in new employees, and an interest in helping them become successful.

You’ll soon find the benefits of a more benevolent workplace are worth the investment. Sign up for our newsletter for exercises that can be used to promote kindness. Return to the One Day Adventures home page

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Random Acts of Kindness

Let’s face it; Valentine’s Day can be awkward at the office. We want to make a good impression and acknowledge our coworkers on holidays but the romantic nature of Valentine’s makes it tricky to do so without getting HR involved.

Why not use the thoughtfulness of Valentine’s Day to encourage random acts of kindness and caring. Given we spend around 2000 hours a year with our colleagues and they can affect our well-being. There are plenty of ways to use the positive feelings generated in February to improve the wellbeing of your team.  Here are some (HR approved) ways to get started.

Commit to Kindness

Try one kindness initiative at a time—for example, regularly saying thank you or offering to help a co-worker at least once a day—and see if you can get the kindness bug to spread.

Nix the negativity

It’s easy to get slip into negativity as a default behavior at work. We hear others being negative so we join in to stay out of the crossfire. We all need to remind ourselves to stay out of that negativity and instead be kind, nice, and thoughtful.

See Everyone’s Strengths

Seek to find value in what each of your teammates brings to the table – remember that there is a reason each of them was hired.

Call off the clique

Believe that everybody works hard—even if they are separated by building, business function or geography. Try a little kindness with the people who work in other divisions and you might be surprised how it actually makes things better for you.

Find Some Fun

Previous posts have discussed the positive effects of playing games and laughing together as a team. Subscribe to our newsletter for some games to do on your own, or contact ODA at sales@onedayadventures.com to plan an event.

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Lessons from the Field

The next time someone tells you that you watch too much football—tell them you’re working! Effective leadership and high performing teams possess many similarities, whether the goal is a trophy or revenue. There are plenty of business lessons to be learned from the sport of football.

A good coach, just like a good manager, promotes cooperation and teamwork. They regularly reassess their game plan, and make adjustments if necessary. They have to know the competition and how to best deploy team members and strategy to come out ahead. They have to communicate that strategy and motivate the team to effectively follow through.

There are examples within the organization as well, particularly in production-related organizations and factories that function similar to a football team. For example, they have an offensive line—production, maintenance, planning and scheduling, and marketing groups—and a defensive line–human resources, health and safety, and environmental protection groups.

Just like there are many skill positions on a football team, your business team needs people with a variety of talents to be able to compete. You need:

  • visionaries, who see the long term;
  • leaders, who define the mission and motivate others;
  • implementers, who make things happen; and
  • infrastructure builders and supporters, who keep the operation running.

Even in a team sport like football has many individual challenges. Take the goal-kicker. That is all he does, but the team relies upon him for points. In order to compete, there must be players to fill every role. Team members are more that just “team players,” they are talented individuals whose inputs feed into the team’s success.

Watching for leadership and team lessons in a football game can provide some great learning. And encouraging your business team to do the same, can be a great way to encourage conversation and team building. Subscribe to our newsletter for some tips on facilitating an activity.

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Total Team Transformation

Recovering from setbacks takes fortitude, perseverance and strong leadership. Author Joe Frontiera has written a book about team turnarounds, which outlines his five principals successful teams use to not only forge through tough times but come out even stronger.  As an illustration he uses the example of the work Jeffrey Lurie has done as owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.

When Lurie took over in 1994, the football franchise had made the playoffs just 14 times in a 62-year span (23%). Since then, the Eagles have been a perennial contender earning playoff berths in 11 of his 18 years as owner (61%). Doing so made also made Lurie’s $195 million initial investment into a billion-dollar brand.

Then the team fell from Super Bowl contender to underdog. Quotes from Lurie in response to this challenging time help illustrate the qualities Fronteira has found to be the impetus behind team turnaround.

1. Lead past losing: accept the reason for failures and identify root causes of problems.

“When you start to reach for short-term solutions that are not consistent with your culture and your football program, that’s when you end up 4-12.”

2. Commit to Growth: Communicate the vision and values of a better future.

“(we have) an obsession not just to be good but to be great.” 

3. Change Behaviors: introduce and reinforce new behaviors and best practices.

 “I think we lost some of the exact nature of the method we have all shared that created the success, which was discipline, strategic thinking, don’t do what’s popular, but do what’s right.”

4. Embrace Adversity: fend off obstacles to test your team and become stronger.

“So when we have a season like this year, it’s embarrassing to me, it’s personally crushing, really, it’s terrible. Our fans, they’re the best fans in the country. We say that a lot. These fans deserve the very best, and this year, they got a team that was not very good at all, and I feel terrible about that”.

5. Achieve Success: achieve your team’s goals and decide what’s next?

“(this is) an organization that’s used to winning, that’s used to winning big, and is part of the mantra and that culture, that’s huge.”

6. Nurture a Culture of Excellence: turn attention to keeping your team’s success sustainable with continual learning, innovation, and maintenance of your culture.

“I don’t speak a lot, but I care deeply, no one wants to win more than I do.”

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The Nature of Collaboration

 

This interesting TED Talk explains how a team building exercise reveals the nature of collaboration. When asked to build a structure, teams of kids generally perform better than adults.

Why? Adults spend too much of their time orienting themselves to the task, determining team roles, creating a plan of attack. Kids aren’t worried about who is in charge and they are not afraid of failing– they jump right in to building prototypes until they get it right.

A day of play can release the creativity in your team. Contact us to schedule an event. 480-788-5093 or sales@onedayadventures.com

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Team Building Lessons from Video Games


This interesting TED presentation talks about how data from video games support the effectiveness of games as team building tools. Some of the findings discussed include:

  1. Games play releases dopamine, which creates engagement and enjoyment and makes players are more likely to remember lessons learned.
  2. Game players learn to be more confident and more likely to take on difficult tasks. 
  3. Players consider the best reward to be not monetary but collaboration with peers.
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School’s Out!

Arizona corporate team buildingAround the country, kids are looking forward to a long relaxing summer – playing and relaxing.

Their parents, on the other hand, get to continue the same daily, commute-work-commute routine.  Why not mix it up a little this summer and commute up to the cottonwood lined banks of a serene pond backed by Sedona’s red cliffs? Spend a day cheering on your colleagues as they race around the water, tackle a tricky suspension bridge, or zipline over the surface.

Or maybe travel with your team to Prescott, where the cool pines create the perfect backdrop for adventure. Teams bond while sharing laughs and helping each other succeed at physically and mentally challenging obstacles.

Just like school kids, we can benefit from a little play time. Play encourages a team to relax around each other. Playing a game gets people to let their guard down. Fun times help break down walls and create camaraderie. That solidarity will manifest in the work place as improved collaboration, and groups who identify and tackle problem solving together.

To see video clips of One Day Adventures’ games in action, check us out on Facebook. For ideas on games you can play in the office to help your team bond, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Send an e-mail with the subject “Newsletter” tosales@onedayadventures.com.

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