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Team Bonding & Why It’s Important

When I hear trainers who conduct serious team building events say that team bonding activities aren’t important, I start to resemble our wild hare mascot, Wild Harry. My nose starts twitching and I thump my foot down in frustration.

Yes, it’s beneficial to companies to host skills-based programs to enhance team knowledge. But, it’s equally beneficial to host play-based events to enhance team bonding. And, here is why:

 

Team bonding activities allow employees to, well – bond!

And, to see one another as real, flesh-and-blood people. They’re no longer “that number cruncher from Accounting.” They’re now Alan with two kids who has a hysterical sense of humor. It’s easy to let “the number cruncher from Accounting” down. But, it’s not as easy to let Alan down. That’s what really well planned and effective team building activities can do.

team bonding activities games

Team bonding activities – fun & games get people to interact outside the cubicle.

It’s hard to feel close to your team when you work in a cubicle or remotely all day.

Technology is a beautiful thing, but email means you can interact with fellow employees without the need to see or speak to a human being all day. If you want your people to care about your company and their fellow employees, they have to interact face-to-face and team bonding activities allow them to do just that.

team-bonding-activities-mixer

Team bonding activities are a fun way to get to know your colleagues.

Team bonding games and activities are fun! Fun energizes your team. Fun makes people happy.

Think about a typical school day. Teachers know they need to educate students with skills-based activities. Teachers know students have to work. But, teachers also know students need to blow off steam at recess. In fact, according to Stanford research, recess helps students feel more engaged and positive about their day. Just because we’re grown up, doesn’t mean we don’t still need recess. And, don’t you want your employees to feel more engaged and positive about their day?

 

Hosting team bonding events can make your employees feel more appreciated.

When you host a skills-based activity, they know your investment went towards making them better at their job, which translates into money for your company. But, when you host a team bonding event, they know that investment didn’t go directly towards the bottom line. It lets them know you are investing in perks and making them happy. Interestingly enough, however…

team bonding activities hospital art

Hospital art is a team bonding activity that your people will appreciate as it helps a good cause, which makes them feel good.

Team bonding activities do help your bottom line!

When employees are happy, like the people they work with and feel that their company cares about them, they stay at their job. Recruiting and training new employees takes a lot of time and money, so why wouldn’t you want to encourage team bonding?

 

Finally, don’t believe those trainers and academic types who tell you that team bonding activities don’t build skills. They do!

Yes, a treasure hunt is a team bonding activity, but clues can reinforce company information and help people hone their problem-solving skills. Sure, your employees may get a little silly when they do a creative event, like a “make a movie” team bonding activity. But, the theme of the movies can focus on corporate goals or product benefits and even showcase your team’s hidden talents! Host a variety of team bonding activities to put their different abilities into play each time.

team bonding activities treasure hunt

A team bonding activity to treasure – teams explore a theme park with a hunt!

team bonding activities creative events

Our Make a Scene movie-making event is one of many creative team bonding activities that pack a punch!

And, what does the company that plans team building events for a living do as a group to encourage team bonding? We’ve treated ourselves to a spa day, gone shoe shopping, walked together in a 5K, had a girl’s game night, done a charitable team bonding experience at Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue,  and, challenged ourselves with Escape Room experiences to name a few! And, today we did it again!  We had lunch, took new head shots and team photos, got massages and broke out the Easter baskets.  Come on, admit it…doesn’t it make you want to work here too (just a little bit)?  And,  that is the importance of team bonding!

team bonding activities Wildly Different team

The Wildly Different team bonding before Easter and emulating their mascot, Wild Harry!

Team Building in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Wildly Different, which offers events worldwide, has a history of operating team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale for years.

But, we’re happy to announce that we now have an office based in the area, making it even easier for us to offer team building in Phoenix!

Our very own Manager of Making It Happen, McKenzie Kaufeld Counts moved to the area in November. She’s been busy making contacts and learning as much as possible about her new home. Here are some insights she’s made that may help if you’re looking to host a team building in Phoenix or Scottsdale:

team building in Scottsdale, AZ

McKenzie scoping out Old Town Scottsdale for a team building in Phoenix area

It’s possible to do team building in Phoenix that goes beyond the Jeep tour

Many groups love to take a Jeep tour for their team building in Phoenix. We think it’s a “hot” (in more ways than one) activity too! But, it does have its limitations. For instance, you’d be hard pressed to take a large group out, as the number of Jeeps are limited. Thankfully, Wildly Different has options for team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale that can be done at or around your event venue in the Valley including:

Hunts that allow you to explore while doing a team building in Phoenix & Scottsdale & beyond

There are so many places to visit in the area – from Phoenix, to Old Town Scottsdale, downtown Tempe, or even the beautiful Papago Park etc. And, there are equally as many different types of hunts you could host for your team building in Phoenix. It all depends on the profile of your group. Traditional team building treasure hunts are an ideal way to get your team to use creativity, strategic thinking and communication skills. They’re also a great way to weave in company information! But, if you simply want your team to have fun and explore the area, something like our Epic Selfie Quest would be perfect, as teams simply have to collect photos and scavenger hunt items. For those looking for a high-tech option, our iTech Trek outlines a variety of challenges on a team iPad. And, we’ve hosted Amazing Race-themed events that are, well…amazing!

team building activities phoenix

Teams participating in The Great Race in Tempe

Western-themed events – the perfect theme for a team building in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Some of the favorites that we’ve hosted here include an event that has guests making chuck wagons out of fruits, vegetables and other parts and then racing them on a track! Or, if you prefer something more life-sized, there’s Wagons Ho, which has teams transforming a regular cart into a wagon and their people into horses that pull it and a rider along a race route. Another one you can lasso is our Make a Scene event. It puts your team’s creativity to the test, as teams must recreate a famous western film with a company themed twist.  And for those who like to puzzle out conundrums instead of using their creative flair, there’s Escape The Gold Mine.  This popular favorite builds on the popularity of Escape Rooms, but can be done for any size group! If you need team building in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Wildly Different has a host of options or we can create a custom themed team building event just for you.

team building Phoenix

Getting ready for teams to enjoy a Wildly Different western team building event in Phoenix

A golf-themed team building event in Phoenix & Scottsdale is a no-brainer!

Teams can build their own golf course using items that are donated to charity afterwards. Or, they could build their own 19th hole in our event that has teams creating their own tiki bar. There’s also our Golf Game Show that is a duffer’s delight, but wouldn’t tee off any non-golfers either.

You can do your team building in Phoenix at your event venue

There’s no need to go offsite to do your team building event in Phoenix. That just adds on a lot of additional expense and time to your event schedule. Most event venues have huge ballrooms and beautiful outdoor spaces. We have events that work well in ballrooms, outside, or a combination of the two.

team building in phoenix az

McKenzie sitting pretty in one of the area’s local haunts!

If you’d like to talk to our expert on team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale, don’t hesitate to “butt in” (pun to accompany the photo above) and reach out to McKenzie! Simply contact us and mention that you read this blog and would like more information.

Treasure Hunts – Tips on Writing Clues

People always ask us what makes our corporate treasure hunts and clues “wildly different.” Our short answer is usually, “We don’t just tell you to look at a sign and tell us what the third word is. You have to work for it!”

For those of you who want to know what we do to create unique treasure hunts and clues, here are some tips. We:

Make the scavenger hunts and clues challenging…but not too challenging

If you make clues too easy, participants will get bored easily. Make the clues too hard and they’ll get exasperated and give up. You want the Goldilocks of treasure hunts – make the clues just right! Know your audience. We’ve created a lot of family treasure hunts and they are easier than our treasure hunts for corporate groups. You’ll know you have it right when people claim, with a big smile on their face, that they were stumped at first. But, they were able to solve it in the end.

Incorporate props into the treasure hunts and clues

A lot of our treasure hunts and clues incorporate puzzles on paper. But, don’t forget to throw in some props as well. People love to play with “stuff.” For instance, a puzzle on paper may find teams having to read letters on a page backwards instead of forwards. But, how cool is it to step it up a notch and make them find a mirror, so they can see which letters in a phrase don’t get reversed to solve the clue? Or, to make hunters do a physical challenge before they’re handed the mirror they need to solve the clue?

fun scavenger hunt props

Messages in bottles are perfect props for pirate treasure hunts

Pirate treasure hunt clues

The bag doesn’t just hold treasure hunt clues…it IS a clue!

Integrate the event area into our treasure hunts and clues

There’s no sense creating treasure hunts in cool places like a theme park, city center or park and not spotlight the area. For instance, a tower sculpture with different color blocks can become the key to unlocking a cipher clue. I.e. if the top block is blue, then hunters know the word written in blue on their clue page is the first word in the solution. A word of warning though. It’s best if all clues can be solved from walkways/outside. Don’t require hunters to go inside stores. You don’t want to upset store owners and other shoppers. And, if in a theme park, don’t make hunters go inside an attraction or on a ride to solve a clue. Long lines will frustrate them and could prevent them from finishing the theme park hunt in the time allowed.

scavenger hunts in orlando

Make your event area the star of your treasure hunts!

Reinforce your message with the treasure hunts and clues

We love taking company information and weaving it into our treasure hunts and clues. Not sure if your group has retained training information? Put it to the test by ensuring the only way hunters can solve the clue is by knowing that information. For instance, in what year a product was launched, or what a side effect of your product may be. This goes beyond simple question and answer or multiple choice. Utilize the information in a unique way and it will become even more memorable.

Weave a theme into the treasure hunts and clues

If you’re creating a Christmas hunt, make all the clues tie into the theme (see our sample clue below). But, it doesn’t have to be a holiday to have a theme! Hosting your hunt in a park? Incorporate a nature theme. Or, borrow a theme from popular culture. Chances are good that a hot movie will provide inspiration. It could be spies, pirates, aliens – you name it!

group scavenger hunts

Having a theme enhances treasure hunts

We’ll be posting a new clue each month for those of you who would like to see examples of fun treasure hunts and clues. See if you can solve them first before looking at the answer. Happy hunting!  And, if you don’t want to write your own treasure hunts and clues, visit our site to see what we can offer!

 

Sample Scavenger Hunt Clues

 

Clue #1

Christmas treasure hunts clue

Clue #1 – Posted December 16, 2016

Clue #1 is a sample of a Christmas Hunt we created for families to play at home.

Answer to Clue #1 – If you change the letter below the hat to something Christmas-themed, you get snow, candy, canes, toys and star!  When you put the new letters together, they spell out Santa.

Clue #2

treasure hunts sports clue

Clue #2 – Posted January 16, 2017

Clue #2 is a sample of a sports-themed hunt we created for families to play at home.  The solution to each clue took them to a location where they could find their next clue.

Answer to Clue #2 – Instead of numbers, there are letters on the jerseys.  Where do you find letters?  In the mailbox of course!  And, that’s where player’s next clue could be found.

 

Clue #3

Treasure Hunts Clue Puzzle

Clue #3 – Posted February 10, 2017

Clue #3 is an example of treasure hunt clue we use in our Epic Selfie Quest.  Teams must solve the clue to reveal where they need to take a team selfie.

Answer to Clue #3 – Each letter of the alphabet stands for a number.  When teams crack the code, it spells out “Take a photo of your team interacting with a sculpture.”

 

Clue #4

Treasure Hunts Clue Puzzle 4

Clue #4 – Posted on April 28, 2017

Clue #4 was taken from a fitness themed hunt created for a pharmaceutical company.

Answer to Clue #4 –  If you follow the maze, starting at the opening on the right side of the square, the letters spell out “desserts (the correct answer).”  The red herring?  If they start on the left path, it spells out “stressed!”

How Can Wildly Different Help With Your Corporate Scavenger Hunt?

Well if you want to plan a the ultimate scavenger hunt in Orlando, look no further. Wildly Different is based in Orlando and has held wildly successful team building hunts at Disney, Sea World, Universal and other Orlando area locations. But don’t get boxed in with our Orlando location. We’ve held fun hunts in numerous in cities across the U.S. and can help you plan the perfect scavenger event for your team. Contact us today for a free consultation.