Bringing out the best in your people
The popularity of corporate team-building programmes is on the increase as ever more large and small firms alike realise the benefits that they can bring.
The aim behind such programmes is, primarily, to forge among colleagues strong cohesive bonds, which lead to higher morale and productivity.
Being in a fun situation out of the office generally enables individuals to relax and open up, paving the way for new and deeper relationships to develop.
During the programme teams enjoy various activities and challenges that promote development of skills in problem solving, creative thinking, effective communication and leadership, as well as the honing of interpersonal abilities.
It is often during team-building activities that individuals recognise their strengths and learn to appreciate those of their colleagues.
Japan is no exception to the team-building culture. Indeed many Japanese firms hold at least three out-of-office social events each year.
For international corporations in Japan, effective communication through the cross-cultural barriers that can exist is paramount. Giving individuals a common ground and goal to reach can reduce these cross-cultural divisions and unify peers.
Moreover, it gives individuals a fresh perspective on one another and their team’s potential, which can transfer into the workplace. Activities involving brain storming, physical challenges, trust and cooperation exercises are great ways to achieve this goal.
Evergreen Outdoor Center in Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture, is one such place that prides itself on its calibre of team-building programmes. It has the magnificent Northern Japan Alps as the setting and over a decade of corporate team-building experience in the outdoors.
Being an outdoor centre, all activities are led and facilitated by experienced and qualified guides who have a copious amount of skill-specific and local knowledge.
Evergreen’s location in the heart of the Japan Alps allows team-building programmes to comprise the very best activities: from adrenaline-inducing ones, such as canyoning, rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing to more relaxed pursuits, such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking and even workshops in yoga and African drumming.
Being so far from the city, there are opportunities aplenty to enjoy these activities in a beautiful natural environment.
One of Evergreen’s most popular team-building components is the Hakuba Adventure Challenge.
Introducing a healthy, competitive dynamic, individuals are divided into teams and set a series of challenges to overcome.
From the physical challenge to the mental to the creative, abilities in problem solving, teamwork, communication and leadership are key to a team’s success.
Once the tasks have been completed and the winners declared, the day often finishes with a hearty BBQ and celebratory drinks. Aside from being great fun, this challenge usually creates special memories for all who take part.
Working and living in a foreign country with an entirely different language and business culture make it essential that we take time to establish strong, authentic connections within our workplace and break the cultural barriers that can sometimes restrict our potential.
A great team-building programme, such as one provided by Evergreen, will bring out the best in people and, by extension, the firm. After all, a happy team is a productive one.