Should You Stop the Teambuilding Retreat?

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    The KnowHR blog posted what they titled Good F’ing HR Advice on October 25, 2010. The advice is to skip the teambuilding retreats. What outstanding advice! Think for a moment about the teambuilding retreats you have attended. They can often be filled with dreaded activities and motivating speeches that might spark some immediate motivation, but what happens after the speech? Often, the evenings are filled with drinking with fellow participants some of whom can kill your motivational buzz in a matter of minutes. And if you make it back to the workplace still riding the high of the event, how long does it take for the pressures of the daily grind to kill your buzz?

    While there are numerous reasons why these events fail to show long-term results, one of the most overlooked is the workplace application. If the purpose of the teambuilding is to form relationships and build collaboration, how is that supported once you return to the workplace and what impact does it have on the bottom line? If you want to build collaboration among peers or across work teams and groups, bring them together and give them a workplace problem to solve. If you want to provide them with some techniques to learn collaboration and teamwork, provide the usable, applicable techniques then give them an opportunity to apply them in a real-world work setting with clear goals and objectives provided for the team to accomplish.

    The problem with the application is fairly common with many different types of training. A few minutes of role-play may help demonstrate the techniques taught in a course or in a training session, but if you fail to provide applicable practice in the workplace or fail to provide support after the training, it is sure to fail long-term. The challenge is to figure out how to create applications and support outside of the training department.

    What ideas do you have to create applications and support? Your comments are always encouraged!

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    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to or visit Follow me on Twitter @Sherimaz.