So what do Vodafone do?
Are they one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications companies or do they undertake studies about team building which highlight examples of activities such as bikini-clad bed-baths and lingerie parties?
The answer is both.
As well as running one of the top mobile phone networks, their UK operations have just released some findings into a study they undertook together with YouGov about what people think of team-building courses.
In summary, a lot of the people interviewed felt that some organised team building was a waste of time.
Now I’ve attended a few team building courses during my career. Some have been good and some have been not so good but none of them have included the following activities which were identified during the Vodafone research.
“The research among more than 1,000 British employees with colleagues uncovered some eye-popping examples of awkward and silly team-building activities, including enduring bikini-clad ‘bed baths’ and massages from colleagues, holding lingerie parties, and eating crickets as part of a ‘bush tucker trial’ style event.”
Now, let’s just pause there.
“Bed baths and massages from colleagues”!!
If you’re sat in the office then look around you now and think which one of your colleagues would you like to receive a massage from at a team building event and then perhaps more alarmingly think which person would really freak you out if they were asked to give you a massage as part of a team building activity.
The Vodafone survey also identified that the older people get, the more cynical (or wise??) they tend to be about team building.
Only 10% of people aged 55 or over thought that team building would help them work more effectively with their colleagues compared with 42% of 18 to 24 year olds. Whether this cynicism has anything to do with the thought of massage remains to be seen.
There were some positives in the research though with the most effective forms of team building being found to be “social events like going out for a drink or a meal, followed by volunteering and charity work.”
Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, said that “Many genuine team-building activities can be valuable, but ultimately, to achieve better teamwork businesses need to get the basics right first. Employers need to focus on how their employees work day-to-day, and give staff the tools they need to be able to do their job best. Employees also want to be able to work smarter – and that means easy access to customers, colleagues and information wherever they are.”
So in conclusion, any of you working for Vodafone can look forward to your employer getting things right and giving you the tools you need to be able to do your job best.
There is no need for you to take any massage oil into the office.