When considering your team building event, inspiration can be taken from a team of golfers from Boston, who completed an amazing 72 holes of golf in just 24 hours according to the Boston Standard. The event was in support of Macmillan, and not only did it bring the golfers together in pursuit of a good cause, it brought the community together too.
While they were playing, friends had been organising and setting up the community centre at Hubberts Bridge and held raffles and auctions to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan.
Sometimes the pursuit of something more than just a business goal, or getting on better together at work, can lead to a better opportunity for people to bond than simply through an engineered, structured event, with little tangible purpose to those participating.
However, when people are given the opportunity to use work time to prepare for, and develop a strategy to take on a big challenge, and to raise as much as they can for a charity, they tend to come together, put aside their differences, and do what they can to succeed. That makes charity team building very powerful. It can recreate the whole experience that people who come together, as these golfers did, for personal reasons to achieve a goal, and have that same motivation enter workplace teams.
The difficulty tends to be that it’s usually not possible for everyone to participate in every conceivable charity event. Some people may not be able to participate in strenuous endurance based events, for example. Sometimes this leads to teams fragmenting and tackling different charity events, which may not align with corporate goals. Also, sometimes specific learning goals need to be incorporated into a team building event, and that may not always be possible within the charity events that are available locally.
Having said that, some charities have simple needs, and require straightforward help at fundraising or giving drives, where almost anyone can help as illustrated by the way entire organizations are able to step in and take part. This can lead to a great way to build cross-departmental bonds.
So while not perfect for every team event, charity-based team building should not be overlooked. Not least because it’s a genuine chance to give something back and make a difference to the community in which your business draws it’s staff and customers.