Home Archives May 2008 Using retreats to advance your team

Using retreats to advance your team

| Print |  Email
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Teambuilding1.jpg

Collaboration is essential in the workplace, but the office isn’t always the best environment in which to develop rapport. Corporate team-building activities and retreats can help by getting employees to interact outside the cubicle to improve their performance on the job.

With the detached communications of cell phones and email, it’s easy to lose touch with co-workers you see every day, says Julee Wasserman. Her Glenwood, Wash., company, Julee’s Gorge Tours, provides a host of recreational activities designed to reconnect the team, address problems, and get everyone to have a little fun.

Her most popular package, Wasserman says, is an outdoor orienteering scavenger hunt, where teams are taught to use maps and compasses. Through the activity, participants learn to work together as a team and improve communication skills.

“It breaks the group out of their normal clique and usually out of their normal comfort zone and forces them to work together in a fun way,” says Donna Luna, a project coordinator for Nike who has brought groups to participate in Julee’s Gorge Tours. “When we go out there for a team-building project, it’s not managers versus employees. It’s a chance to mix together all levels in your department.”

Erik Marter, owner of another corporate team-building company, Synergo, based in Portland, takes corporate groups on Survivor-style challenge courses that serve as metaphors for situations they encounter in the office. One activity, for instance, involves talking a blindfolded colleague through a maze of mousetraps to improve communication and trust.

“A day on the challenge course can accomplish what you would in a year in typical office conversations,” Marter says.

But not all retreats have to be high energy. At Lonesome Duck Ranch and Resort, in Chiloquin, corporate groups can choose to golf, fish for trout in the Williamson River or just hang out.

“I think the main thing for all of them is they want to relax,” says owner Steve Hilbert. “You’ve got five or six people sharing the same house, sitting in the living room chit-chatting life away, but not in that formal, meeting room atmosphere.”

John Von Schlegell, managing partner with Endeavour Capital in Portland, says groups from his company have been to Lonesome Duck three or four times.

“It’s a bonding experience, and people aren’t distracted, answering calls and getting on computers,” he says. “It’s a way away from the boardroom or the office to get to know people better.”

JAMIE HARTFORD

Teambuilding2.jpgTeambuilding4.jpg

 

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Monday, March 03, 2014

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.47 AM

Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

The solution to youth unemployment

News
Thursday, February 27, 2014
02.27.14 Thumbnail TeenworkBY ERIC FRUITS

Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.


Read more...

Leader's bookshelf

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 14, 2014
02.06.14 BooksBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Five books that will make you a better leader.


Read more...

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS