Bang for your teambuilding buck

Effective organisations boast talented employees who are not only productive but also able to work well together as a team. HRM looks at some of the best venues for organisations to conduct dynamic team-building sessions for employees

Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, said: “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, [it is] the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

This type of collaborative teamwork and motivation is what organisations would like their own employees to demonstrate. However, not all teams can work together cohesively and they sometimes need a nudge to get them going. Besides the usual workplace projects, companies also put time, money and effort into teambuilding programmes so that employees can learn to work together as a team.

Companies are spoilt for choice when it comes to teambuilding venues, from hotels to beach resorts, offering various corporate teambuilding activities. These venues offer good itineraries, a spacious location to accommodate the entire team as well as a variety of activities to choose from.

Country club offers

There are various venues around Asia that offer great teambuilding activities for companies, and in Singapore, Orchid Country Club (OCC) is one of them. The venue is well-equipped to provide various indoors and outdoors programmes.

“What we can offer you at OCC is really a number of choices and activities for your corporate needs,” says Thomas Ng, Director of Sales for Orchid Country Club.

OCC offers two packages for companies to conduct their teambuilding activities indoors in meeting rooms. The ‘Business and Pleasure Seminar Package’ includes lunch and coffee break and preferential rates are given for the golf course, hotel and bowling centre. The second is a ‘Meet and Stay package’ that includes the seminar package with a one-night stay at the resort hotel.

The country club can also customise packages to meet clients’ needs. “Pricing will be based very much on what is required during their teambuilding activities, such as requirement for rooms, number of days the program is running [and] engagement of event company for activities,” explains Ng.

To date this year, the club has hosted over 20 companies for teambuilding activities, from educational institutions to manufacturing companies. Organisations that are interested in outdoor programmes can look forward to archery, bowling as well as golfing activities.

Teamwork under the sun

If companies are interested in participating in outdoor adventures, they just have to travel to beach resort, Sibu Island Resort, on the East coast of Malaysia, Johor to experience it. The resort offers several outdoor teambuilding activities that include jungle trekking and abseiling.

Mohamed Mazlan Ali, Deputy CEO of Business Hospitality Johor Corporation, says that the resort conducts at least 40 teambuilding sessions per year for organisations. They include government organisations and non-government organisations such as Johor Land Berhad and KFC.

Various teambuilding exercises help employees work with each other to win a challenge set for them and also serve as ice-breakers as participants are randomly picked as team members.

Some of the programmes on offer include ‘War Game’, where teams are armed with water guns and pitted against each other ; ‘Treasure Hunt’ where teams have to use clues to find ‘treasure’; and ‘Team Challenge Hourglass’, in which teams traverse an obstacle course to reach the peak of a tower.

The activities are also fairly priced – the ‘War Game’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’ are RM25 (SGD$10) and RM40 (SGD$16) per person respectively while ‘Team Challenge Hourglass’ costs between RM200 (SGD$82) to RM250 (SGD$102) per person.

In addition, organisations can customise a ‘Mobile Adventure Program’ package with the resort’s facilitators to meet specific teambuilding requirements.

Programmes are conducted over either two days and one night, or three days and two nights. The first package allows companies to experience a half-day teambuilding session with extra free and easy activities, while the latter allows for a full day teambuilding session.

Besides teambuilding, participants can also undertake windsurfing, banana boat rides, cruising, canoeing and snorkelling, or meet for discussions in seminar or meeting rooms.

Shanghai welcomes visitors

China’s Shanghai is also becoming well-known for its many venues and diverse options for teambuilding programmes.

Patrick Chen, Deputy Director of International Tourism Promotion Department, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, says that as the city is the economic hub of China, many multinational companies have based their regional headquarters in the city, and such companies conduct teambuilding exercises to help promote understanding between local and foreign employees.

“Companies are developing very fast in China so they need to have a mutual understanding among the employees as well as have corporate culture that local and foreign employees can identify with,” he says.

Shanghai is renowned for many venues, such as Orient Pearl Broadcasting and Television Tower, which allows for entertainment and tourist activities. Other venues, such as Dian Shan Lake and Oriental Land, also provide watersports activities such as kayaking and dragonboat racing as well as camping.

Chen says that some of the activities that both local and foreign companies are interested in include dragonboat racing, triathlon, sailing and orienteering. He says that the venues in Shanghai can customise packages to suit clients’ needs. Sailing, for example, costs about CNY1000 (SGD$191) per person per day, and 24 to 42 people can participate at ome time.

Many multinational companies such as Michelin, Phillips and Caterpillar have participated in teambuilding activities in Shanghai, says Chen.

Choosing a great teambuilding venue

+       The venue should be able to accommodate all participating employees

+       The venue should have various activity packages or itineraries for companies to choose from. It should also be able to offer customised packages

+       If the activities run more than one day, the venue should have good accommodation or facilities for participants to stay in

Riveting team programmes

Some companies are thinking outside the box when it comes to offering interesting team building programmes to organisations and their employees.

»        Fencing: Z Fencing is Singapore’s largest private fencing club, offering teambuilding programmes that include ‘Team Bonding’, a half-day fencing workshop.

»        Human Rhythms: Started in 2001 in Australia, this company uses music and rhythm to inspire and motivate teams of people whether it is for a conference, seminar, workshop or product launch. Participants are divided into teams and given various musical instruments from drums to musical tubes and even tambourines. Facilitators then guide individual contributions into one unified rhythm that comes from the whole team.

Analysing the Workday advantage

Sandeep Aggarwal, Chief Financial Officer of Aon-Hewitt Asia-Pacific, shares his thoughts on the Workday finance and HR analytics platform. He says the cloud-based system is intuitive and easy-to-use, but still provides powerful insights across the functions.

Contact info

HR Summit Asia and Expo 2017

Follow us on Twitter