Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Bike Chic: 7 stylish options for cyclists

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.


Read more...

Game On

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

LEED for weed

Linda Baker
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
012815-potcarbon-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions?


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


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