In the News – Australian Workplaces take new approach to training

Australian workplaces are taking a new approach to teambuilding and improving engagement, with companies getting creative and taking employees through the desert and up on trapeze.

Collaborative teamwork and motivation is what most organisations herald as the hallmarks of a quality staff.  However, not all teams naturally work together cohesively and they sometimes need a nudge to get them going.

A far cry from the days of corporate-seminar style retreats, many workplaces have embraced the new opportunities to engage their staff, and business is booming for companies hosting the new wave activities.

Dean Sappey, HR director, Frucor Australia said his organisation has “taken leadership training out of the office and into challenging physical environments. We encourage staff to be straight up and honest with their opinions and ideas, and we believe in distributed leadership in order to create a successful company.”

(I think it’s ok just to go straight into the teambuilding choices on offer)Companies are spoilt for choice when it comes to alternative teambuilding activities and venues, with the best offering varied itineraries, a spacious location to accommodate the entire team as well as a variety of activities to choose from.

Human Rhythms is one Australian company offering alternative teambuilding exercises, and uses music and rhythm to inspire and motivate teams of people whether it is for a conference, seminar, workshop or product launch.

Participants are divided into teams and given various musical instruments from drums to musical tubes and even tambourines. Facilitators then guide individual contributions into one unified rhythm that comes from the whole team.

Another craze taking engagement by storm is teambuilding through circus activities. CircusOz offers its successful program called High Flying Teams, which aims to cut through ‘team building jargon’ and address the key stages and issues faced by business teams.

Mike Finch, artistic director, Circus Oz, said the company aims to “provide the all-important reminder of what can happen when a small group of diverse, yet co-operative people set their minds and bodies to the task of making something spectacular, successful and fun”.

The benefits of these new-wave programs are also said to come though different avenues, such as corporate secondment programs. Cary Holm, NAB global markets operations manager says his involvement with the Wunan Foundation in Kununurra to promote engagement in the Warmun community through a supported employment re-build program has not only changed him personally, but also the way he does business.

“Being caught in one of the Kimberley’s biggest wet seasons on record was certainly different to my usual routine in Melbourne,” Holm said, adding “Now in my work as a manager, I am more resilient and have more confidence working in unfamiliar and changing environments.”

Some points to consider when choosing a great teambuilding venue include:

  • The venue should be able to accommodate all participating employees
  • The venue should have various activity packages or itineraries for companies to choose from. It should also be able to offer customised packages
  • If the activities run more than one day, the venue should have good accommodation or facilities for participants

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One thought on “In the News – Australian Workplaces take new approach to training

  1. As a former member of the armed forces (I was a soldier way back when) I can attest to the benefits of getting people out of the proverbial ‘comfort zone’ to develop their leadership skills (not to mention team building, stress management, etc skills).

    As a friend of mine, Ken Salisbury, (who’s also a GREAT facilitator) says; “culture only truly shows itself in a stressful situation”…

    Sam

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