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Tips on choosing the perfect team building vendor

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With working in teams fast becoming a norm in today’s workplace, one of the ways in which organisations can ensure great teamwork between employees is to implement team building programmes.

While there is always the option to build an in-house team building programme, as seen in our recent feature, some organisations might opt to outsource these programmes to a vendor.

However, with many vendors to choose from in the market, what should HR leaders look out for when selecting a team building provider?

For this, Human Resources spoke to Alex Blyth, founder and managing director of Mega Adventure, for some tips on choosing a good team building provider.

Before selecting a team building provider, it is recommended HR leaders have a clear goal of what the organisation is trying to achieve.

“The better you can define and articulate your needs as an organisation, the more likely you are to identify the right supplier,” he says. “The more basic your needs, the easier the task.”

For organisations that are just looking for a half day or day of bonding fun, here are three things to look out for when sourcing a provider:

  1. The resources of the team building company.
    Where does the team builder operate? What activities do they suggest? Who will deliver the programme? Can they accommodate your numbers and needs?
  1. How efficiently is your initial enquiry responded to?
    Are they efficient? Are they personable? Do they respond to your needs in the way that you would like your team to respond to the needs of your clients? Do you feel a good chemistry? Can they adjust their programme to accommodate your specific needs?
  1. The proof is in the experience.
    Before reaching a decision, check out the experience of other organisations who have used the services of that provider. Any team builder worth their salt will have a long list of happy customers who have enjoyed working with them, and they should be keen to share those contact details with you. In addition, ask your friends and contacts in other companies who they used and what they thought of them.

Should the organisation have more complex needs, which focus on specific team needs, such as communication, risk assessment, decision-making and crisis management, the abilities of providers can be quickly assessed by asking them more penetrating questions.

“Your investment in such a programme is likely to be substantial, so ask the provider to visit you. Give them a detailed brief on the issues that your team encounter and need to solve, and ask them how they would approach the problem,” Blyth says.

“Beyond an understanding of your team needs, they will need to know how much time and money you are prepared to invest in the project and most importantly (if they are good provider), what the most accurate and meaningful measure of a successful outcome is for you. You can then map out the project journey and final objectives, with both parties clear on mutual expectations.”

Now that you have a clearer idea of how to choose a team building provider, feel free to refer to the Human Resources’ special edition – Vendors of the Year 2015 for a list of Asia’s best team building providers.

Additionally, for case studies on how SCIEX, Grey Group, IKEA and Singapore Airlines created their own in-house team building programme, and tips to create your very own, head over to the Human Resources’ January-February feature

Image: Shutterstock

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