Corporate executives are always looking for creative ways to bring their team together. Assigned projects, collective lunches and other team-building strategies seem to work a little bit but not enough. Business owners and managers must think outside of the box when it comes to modern, team-building strategies.
The newest trend is in cooking. A match made in heaven is possible when everyone heads to the kitchen.
The Common Factor
One of the core problems with team-building exercises is catering to everyone’s interests.
You might try a dinner at an Italian restaurant or sports competitions in the afternoon, for instance. There’s a challenge here, however, because some employees might be allergic to the gluten in Italian food or sports isn’t their favorite thing.
When you choose cooking activities, the scenario changes. Everyone has to eat. Most people enjoy eating and exploring new tastes. Schedule the class or program around lunchtime. Your employees will enjoy the reprieve from their desks. Hunger will make the program successful.
Choose a mixture of foods or regions to focus on during the team-building session.
With a variety of foods, your employees will have every desire covered. Simply be aware of any vegans or vegetarians in the group in order to cater to their interests as well.
Breaking the Ice
Part of team building is breaking the ice between people who don’t normally socialize.
Accounts-receivable employees may not work too closely with service professionals, for example. As the cooking session begins, everyone is on equal ground.
Ask everyone to wear aprons and chefs’ hats. If anyone has a standard uniform at work, that fact is erased with the cooking garb. Everyone suddenly feels free to be themselves instead of their corporate personalities. It’s not unusual to see executives laughing freely with the custodial staff.
If you are booking the activity with a major provider such as Cozymeal, cooking class often begins with the basics, such as identifying utensils and food items, and continue with more challenging goals and problem-solving. Feel free to ask questions and team up with colleagues to ramp up the fun. The competition is just beginning, which only encourages more participation and socialization.
Classes or Competition?
When executives book a cooking party, they’re often asked about the session’s structure. It might entail a competition or basic class. The session can also be a mixture of choices. There are several perks to both types of experiences.
Classes are perfect for groups that are a bit hesitant around each other. They need to feel more comfortable as a group. A class creates a relaxed environment where the group can work together or in pairs. When everyone learns something new as a group, the collective psyche relaxes and workers start speaking to one another.
Competitions work well for groups that are already well-acquainted with one another. They simply need more bonding time. Posing several groups against each other allows them to communicate on different levels than before. These discussions lead to perks that last much longer than the cooking party itself.
A fractured team doesn’t reflect well on a company. The customers will ultimately see the discrepancies between departments.
Take on a cooking class because the resulting perks are priceless. People who used to work disjointedly with others are now on the same page. Their communication patterns improve as everyone rallies together during any future projects.
Understanding one another is part of a well-oiled, corporate machine.
Misunderstandings become rare as employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions about certain projects or tasks. They resolve conflicts in record time without hurting anyone’s feelings. Being able to communicate with confidence and respect is the result of bonding during a cooking class.
Consider a class once a quarter. Any new employees can benefit from the experience while current workers anticipate the fun. Working can’t always require the nose to the grindstone. A break from the action rejuvenates everyone’s psyche.
Enjoying the Catering Aspect
Many cooking classes include a catering section. Your employees can taste some of the world’s most amazing foods without paying for an expensive restaurant. The catering time is perfect for after a competition when everyone is talking about their experiences. As people connect with each other on a personal level, they’ll feel closer to each worker. When work time rolls around, those connections remain strong as they figure out an issue or complete a project.
Discuss the catered food with the cooking professionals. Chefs with extraordinary experience can make a huge difference in your company’s outlook.
Although employees may move on at some point, the memories associated with cooking and team building will remain. As an employer, you’ll have a network of people that respect and admire your treatment of the workforce. This appreciation equates to quality applicants applying for future jobs at your company. Continue to treat your employees well so that a strong workforce is the result.