There's a lot to be said for investing in an away day for your team. Being out of the normal workplace environment can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved - often your team will feel invigorated, excited and creative.
This new-found enthusiasm can help you plan exciting projects, address sensitive issues, rebrand your company’s vision and mission statement, and discover new strengths and skills in your colleagues.
Here are some common types of team away days:
Strategy planning sessions
Training and development workshops
Innovation and creativity days
Wellness and team bonding
Outdoor adventure activities
Jon Stainer, Director of CompanyAwayDays.com – a business with more than 20 years' experience in such events, said: “Businesses gravitate towards running away days for their effectiveness in building strong teams, encouraging communication, and aligning with company values.
"They’re also a great way for senior leaders to entertain and motivate their teams, say thank you, and celebrate significant milestones across the business.”
So, what benefits can you get out of organising a team away day for your business?
Improved team collaboration and communication
Collaboration is a key element of any successful team, and away days can help promote this by providing colleagues with the opportunity to work together on new projects or challenges. They offer a relaxed and informal setting, away from the usual work environment, where employees can interact with each other on a more personal level.
Engaging in team building exercises, such as outdoor activities, escape-room challenges, or problem-solving tasks, encourages individuals to work together as a cohesive unit. As team members face these challenges collectively, they learn to communicate effectively, delegate tasks, and rely on each other's strengths.
These experiences foster a deeper sense of camaraderie and build trust among team members. When back in the workplace, employees will then collaborate more naturally, having gained insights into each other's working styles and communication preferences.
This in the long term will also lead to fewer misunderstandings and conflicts within your team and a more harmonious and productive working environment.
Enhanced morale and motivation
When a group of employees accomplish something together, such as winning a challenge, solving a problem, or being recognised for their achievements, it motivates them to exert their best effort.
The opportunity to participate in away days demonstrates that the business values and invests in its employees' wellbeing and personal growth. This sense of appreciation can significantly boost employee morale, helping staff feel more connected to the company and its mission, knowing their contributions are recognised and celebrated.
Away days are also a stress reliever, an opportunity to let off steam and find common ground with those they may not usually interact with or know very well.
CompanyAwaydays.com Director, Jon Stainer, added: “Team away days do wonders for morale and motivation. They break the routine, boost team spirit, and foster strong bonds among employees. It's like hitting the reset button on enthusiasm, leaving everyone refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.”
Strengthened leadership and decision-making skills
Many team away day activities involve challenges that require participants to step into leadership roles and make decisions. For instance, team-building exercises that require a leader to guide the group through an obstacle course or escape room, can help employees hone their leadership abilities.
Leaders learn how to communicate goals effectively, delegate tasks, and keep the team motivated during high-pressure situations. When team members are given the opportunity to take on new roles and responsibilities, they can learn to inspire others, which can translate into better leadership skills back in the working environment.
When employees return to their day jobs, they are more self-assured in their leadership skills, resulting in greater autonomy and empowerment within their respective teams.
Increased creativity and innovation
Away days often include activities that encourage creativity and innovation. Participating in team building sessions, or team challenges that require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, can spark employees' creativity and encourage them to explore unconventional ideas and find creative solutions to problems.
When team members step outside their usual work environments and collaborate with colleagues from different departments or backgrounds, they are more likely to be inspired and generate innovative ideas that can lead to enhanced business growth.
Employees are more likely to approach tasks with fresh perspectives, leading to the development of new products, services, or streamlined processes. This, in turn, can give the company a competitive edge in the market and bring about continued growth and success.
Positive impact on employee wellbeing
Team away days often involve outdoor activities, sports, or mindfulness exercises that promote physical and mental wellbeing.
According to HR solutions software company CIPHR, one-in-14 UK adults feel stressed every single day, while 23% of adults say that work causes them stress. So, by engaging in the mental and physical challenges typically experienced on team away days, employees can help reduce their stress levels, and potentially discover something new that they enjoy doing.
When employees feel that their employer cares about their wellbeing, encouraging a positive work-life balance along the way, they are more likely to remain loyal to the company.
Reduced stress levels and a healthier work-life balance can also contribute to higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and increased productivity throughout the workforce.
Jon added: “Team away days prioritise employee wellbeing. They provide a break from office stress, encourage creativity, and promote physical activity through exciting challenges.
"By providing employees with the invaluable opportunity to learn and develop, team away days can contribute to the growth and success of both employees and the business as a whole. A happier and energised workforce leads to increased productivity and overall success.”
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