And the feeling would only get worse as time dragged on…
And so, as you can see, the latest studies show…’
Janet shuffled around in her seat, shifting her weight from one side to the other.
‘Did the guy take a bet as to how many ‘s’ words he could include in a sentence without slurring?’ she wondered, as the instructor chugged along.
And then, as luck would have it, the instructor’s marker reached the bottom of the board.
Janet sat up, interested.
‘Is it over? Finally?’
Nope, it wasn’t since there was another board under that one.
Disappointed, Janet crumpled back into her chair again.
You see, Janet had started out on a high note.
The office had announced the booking of a well-known motivational speaker, the best in his field, to give the employees a talk about the importance of teamwork at the workplace, and how they could actually develop team spirit themselves, via team-building exercises.
Given the raised tempers in the office after the disastrous last quarter, it was an event she was looking forward to.
A half hour into the pep talk, Janet’s outlook had changed, drastically.
‘Isn’t this guy supposed to be some kind of highly sought after motivational speaker?’
And, she had transitioned from sitting on the edge of her chair, trying to capture every word, to slouching back, in a daze, oblivious to the outside world, and making up word plays in her mind.
Such as ‘the only motivation I have right now is to leave this event horribilis, come what may’, and ‘this pep talk is giving me a peptic ulcer’.
The problem with most team building and motivational events
What Janet was facing is, unfortunately, an all too common problem at workplaces these days.
Hardly any business will dispute that keeping employees motivated, and instilling team spirit among them is a key requirement of business success.
The question is not to do, or not to do.
The question is, how to do it.
And this is where a lot of businesses fall short.
These days, there are so many options for motivating employees and building team spirit - motivational speakers, pay rises, online courses, and so on.
And, here’s the thing - most of them don’t work.
The cost of holding dysfunctional motivational events
The costs are pretty stark.
The entire point of organizing that event is to motivate employees to work harder, creating value and bringing in revenue for the firm.
And, if the event turns out like in Janet’s case, clearly, the entire investment in it by the firm - time, money, and everything else - will have to be written off as a loss.
What about the effect on business output
The effect of unmotivated employees varies from business to business.
However, nationwide, unmotivated and disengaged employees are estimated to result in losses of $450 billion to $550 billion in productivity each year.
That’s pretty huge.
A different kind of team-building and motivational event
Here comes the concept of an escape room.
A group of people enters a room in which a dramatic situation has been portrayed.
Clues, puzzles, and tasks are strewn throughout the room.
The team has to work together, looking for clues as to the way forward. And, wherever they hit a puzzle or a task, they need to crack it, using logical and innovative thinking.
How effective is this?
One, it’s a different kind of event. It involves the team getting out of the office, and going to a place (the escape room) which simulates a thrilling/exciting situation.
By removing the team from the office environment - one where the bad blood between them (if any) has been generated - and placing them in an environment that is far removed from their everyday lives, you have given them a huge incentive to participate fully in the event.
Two, it requires them to:
Work as a team.
Communicate between themselves.
Follow the team leader to coordinate the escape activity.
Engage in critical and innovative thinking.
All of which are very important in office work.
Three, it’s easy to organize.
Most escape rooms will have dedicated team building packages you can avail of.
And, unless your team is very large, all that’s required to organize the event is a phone call or an email.
Bringing the escape game to you
And, if you so wish, the best escape room in Chicago even has an option to bring an escape game to your office, so you can even schedule your team building event right at your workplace!