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

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


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