Old School Team Building or Team Boredom?
The concept of team building has been around for decades now—who hasn’t swung through the forest on rope swings, taken on a corporate cooking challenge, or experienced one of the myriad bonding exercises on offer these days?
For some people, team building is pure agony: mandatory corporate fun, with each new activity blending into the one before. Cue sick days or the apathetic participation that really does no one any good.
Likewise, learning and development has been around long enough to develop a ‘sameness’ that can easily spark a weary sigh. Who really wants to introduce themselves in 30 seconds or tell everyone some interesting personal fact no one knows? Who wants to have their personality unpicked with yet another online tool?
There’s a cringe that’s hard to get past, and the feeling of familiarity (whatever the team building tool or L&D platform) that can easily breed contempt.
Team Building and Escape Rooms – A Match Made in Heaven
That’s where we saw a chance to bridge a gap, avoid the naff, and use the vibrant escape room team building atmosphere.
First up, the ultimate icebreaker: locked in a room, pressure of the clock, teamwork the only way forward. What we love about escape rooms is they quickly draw you in. The people sighing at the back at the start can’t help getting involved. There’s something about the time pressure, and who doesn’t like solving puzzles? It’s in our human makeup to see a problem and take it on. That’s why escape rooms are the best team building.
Then, springboarding off that environment of intense immersion, we immediately swing into a facilitation, using the game as the catalyst. We don’t need to throw up hypothetical problem-solving situations — our participants have faced them minutes before. They are exploring the way they approached real situations, discussing real people.
It’s wonderfully easy to get people to open up about something they’ve just experienced, compared to asking them to cast their minds back to a particular situation or look forward to what might happen in the future. It’s real, it’s just happened. The escape room team building activity connects the icebreaker with the outcome, and removes the ‘naff factor’.
The joy of it is that everyone has something to offer in an escape room. We design it so it takes all skill types. While the loud salesy types can tend to dominate team building, the escape game environment is designed to get all types of personalities and thinkers involved—the best teams are always diverse. People learn to appreciate a broad range of skills, and the benefit of leveraging different skills and mindsets to get to the answers faster.
We’ll prove it. Escape rooms are the ultimate tool for team building
The proof is in the bookings: we hosted more than 1000 teams for corporate team building, including Nike, Fisher & Paykel, T&G, and ANZ, to name a very few. We’ve also entertained great sports teams like the All Blacks Sevens, Blues Rugby, and the NZ Black Sticks Women’s Hockey.
Leaders and coaches looking for a fresh way to engage people and unlock their abilities have found the escape room environment does just that: the right combination of challenge, fun and intensity that mirrors some of the problems that need to be faced and overcome in business, or on the sports field. No wonder the field of gamified learning and development is taking off.
Thinking of your next team building event?
So, next time you’re looking for a new trust exercise, or can’t find an activity everyone can take part in, here’s your option. Escapade will lock you in a roomand you’ll work as a team to escape! You’ll get sixty minutes to escape, and at the end of it we’ll help you and your team understand how it all unfolded, and what you might do differently next time you’re facing a challenge. And you can grab a drink in the bar afterwards and talk through the trials and tribulations!