Outdoor Team Building Activities—how to Inspire and Retain Employees Effectively

Posted December 21, 2021 by in Career
Photo Of People Holding Each Other's Hands

A high employee turnover is not only a monetary liability for employers but also reduces productivity significantly. Organizations try to reduce employee turnover by offering monetary benefits and resorting to position advancements. However, it serves only as an extrinsic motivator to employees and does not help in inspiring employees in the long run. Reports have indicated that employees would rather forego a higher pay rather than work in a toxic work culture. Rather than investing in monetary benefits alone, investing in employee mental health and engagement can be more beneficial to retain employees.

Outdoor team building activities are one such investment that helps in reducing employee turnover and improving employee engagement. It is a misconception that organizing outdoor team building games is more tedious and they might not always be effective. While it is true that they require more resources, careful planning ensures a significantly higher level of engagement from participants. 

Moreover, here are a few reasons why outdoor team building games are more effective in decreasing employee turnover:

Co-workers doing a high five together

Boosts Morale 

Boosting employee morale is key to building trust in the organization. Outdoor team building activities are a great way to boost morale and motivate employees. These activities require a higher level of physical engagement than indoor activities. Therefore, employees are often more excited to participate in outdoor activities rather than indoor activities. The adrenaline rush in outdoor activities keeps employees motivated and inspired. Outdoor activities like sports days also inculcate a sense of healthy competition while collaborating with team members. These activities motivate and inspire teams to deliver their best. Some examples of outdoor activities that motivate employees are team sports days, scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, etc. 

Improves Team Camaraderie

When employees build personal relationships at work, they are more likely to be happy to come to work every day. Although personal relationships are often undermined in a professional engagement, human beings are known to be more emotional beings rather than logical. Sharing a camaraderie with team members also helps employees in collaborating effectively. Resource hoarding, conflicts, team silos, etc. can be prevented by emphasizing on team camaraderie.

Outdoor team building activities are very effective in improving team camaraderie. As outdoor activities are not organized in a work environment, employees are more likely to break out of their shells and be comfortable in interacting with peers. Some examples of outdoor activities that help in improving team camaraderie are hiking trips, sharing memories, an outdoor barbeque etc. 

Improves Engagement

When employees are not engaged, they are less likely to consider a long-term future with the organization. Outdoor team building activities help in improving employee engagement significantly. When participating in an outdoor activity, team members are communicating with one another and engaging in building personal relationships. Organizing an activity outdoor makes it more fun, engaging, and memorable. Employees are less likely to leave an organization when personal bonds and memories are built. Activities that are organized with the objective of building bonds and making memories need to be more fun and playful than being serious. For example, an outdoor adventure or camping is a great activity to bring your team together and keep them engaged. 

Reflects Organization’s Commitment

The key to retain employees and attract top talent is to be committed towards employee well-being. Investing in employee personal growth is an investment in organization’s success. When employees believe that their employer is invested in their personal growth, they are interested in going the extra mile for their employer and realizing the organization’s vision. Investing in outdoor team building activities reflects the organization’s vision towards employee mental health and social fabric of the organization.

As outdoor team building activities also require a great level of commitment from the organization than indoor activities, they are perceived more positively by employees. 

Improves Dedication and Commitment

Employees are more likely to be dedicated and committed to their work when they trust their employer and enjoy their work. Organizing team building activities is one way to keep employees connected to their work. Outdoor team building activities often require a high level of team commitment to complete. As team members come together to achieve an objective, they develop leadership, commitment, and learn working towards shared goals. Some examples of outdoor team building activities that improve commitment are treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, adventures, outdoor explorations etc. 

Outdoor team building activities are fun, engaging, and memorable. It may not be possible to organize them as regularly as indoor activities. However, incorporating outdoor activities in employee engagement plans at least twice a year can help organizations in reaping long term benefits. It not only improves employee experience but also builds a strong organizational culture. If your organization does not have the resources to organize them effectively, hiring expert facilitators can ease the process and reap better results.  

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