From BMW racing to sumo wrestling, here's how 4 local companies do team building

by April Bohnert
July 2, 2018

Creating a team that works well together inside the office often requires getting that team to work together outside of it. Without the day-to-day responsibilities of work in the picture, employees are able to let loose, have fun and get to know one another on a more personal level.

We talked to four local tech companies about the unique team-building activities they love that help bring people together and build camaraderie.

 

AdAction teambuilding activities Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of AdaCtion Interactive.

AdAction Interactive’s full-service ad platform helps businesses drive user acquisition and performance of mobile marketing campaigns on iOS and Android platforms. We asked the AdAction team about the coolest team-building activities they’ve done. Members from multiple teams chimed in — and best of all, those teams are hiring.

 

What's the coolest team-building activity you've done with your coworkers? What did you enjoy about it?

“The coolest activity I've gotten to participate in was getting to put BMWs to the test on an open track. I enjoyed it because it was an absolute adrenaline rush and getting to experience that with coworkers when I was still new to the company definitely helped get me out of my shell.” — Tom Olsen, manager of publisher development

 

How do team-building activities like this reflect and/or reinforce the company culture?

“Our social and volunteer endeavors allow us to interact with colleagues outside our immediate team — in most cases, with a friendly, competitive spin. AdAction challenges us to be the best version of ourselves in all areas, and this sense of personal development extends to critical moments like working together to capture the flag at Dartmania.” — Sarah Greenlee, director of strategic accounts

 

How has a team-building activity you've done outside the office impacted the way your team works together?

“At last year’s staff retreat I was still new to the AdAction family, and the opportunity to come together as one group, put faces to names and actually get to know everyone outside of the office over an entire weekend really helped me get acquainted faster. After that, I felt much more comfortable reaching out for help and asking my colleagues questions, which allowed me to develop better in my role.” — Tom Olsen, manager of publisher development

 

OthoFi teambuilding activities Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of OrthoFi.

OrthoFi helps orthodontists attract new patients while also helping patients obtain affordable and manageable orthodontic care. Their tech-driven SaaS platform handles everything from billing and payment processing to patient and risk management analytics. Director of Culture and Performance Mike O'Muireadhaigh shared how he brings the team together outside the office.

 

What's the coolest team-building activity you've done with your coworkers? What did you enjoy about it?

We invented a game here called SumoFi. We bought two bubble soccer balls that fully enclose a person except for their legs. We draw a huge circle on the floor and contestants will try to knock each other out of the circle — best two out of three times. What I like about SumoFi is that everyone laughs the entire time the game is going.

 

How do team-building activities like this reflect and/or reinforce the company culture?

We like to say we take our work — but not ourselves — too seriously and this punctuates that point perfectly. It is fun and nonsensical, which is exactly what people need to get them having fun and seeing their teammates in a different light.

 

How has a team-building activity you've done outside the office impacted the way your team works together?

We had a couple of team members who struggled connecting with each other. We did a funny scavenger hunt and they were hanging around each other the whole time and bonded. They are good friends to this day.

 

Havenly teambuilding activities Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of Havenly.

Havenly’s online interior decorating service aims to help people beautify their spaces without the hassle and expense of hiring a designer. Instead, the company helps to deliver users a personalized design plan and provides an e-commerce shop to buy everything they need to complete the look. Design Program Manager Lauren Cox explained how Havenly combines team building and strategy planning into quarterly retreats.

 

What's the coolest team-building activity you've done with your coworkers? What did you enjoy about it?

One of my favorite team-building activities at Havenly is our quarterly strategy days. Havenly does a great job aligning everyone on our quarterly goals with a balance of goal setting, meetings and fun, interactive team activities. Once a quarter, we get together and spend half of the day aligning around big, company-wide goals and breaking that down into how each smaller team can align to meet and crush these goals. The other half of the day is spent doing cross-functional team activities to get us thinking outside of the box and getting to know our team members better.

In January, we all went to Breckenridge for a two-day strategy retreat where we spent the first part of the day one completing a scavenger hunt all over town, ending at a restaurant at the top of a mountain where we could all talk about the scavenger hunt we just did and share the photos we took along the way. (Some teams fared better than others, but a little healthy competition is a good thing!)  

 

How do team building-activities like this reflect and/or reinforce the company culture?

Getting all of us into one room to talk strategy is no easy task, especially as the team continues to grow, but our strategy days really enforce our overarching cultural value of creating #oneteam. The scavenger hunt clues from our January strategy day were aligned with our cultural values, which set the tone for the rest of the strategy-building activities for the upcoming afternoon and following day and reminded us why we're all at Havenly in the first place. And, most importantly, it reminds us to “stay playful” while we're setting goals and working towards our next milestones.

 

How has a team-building activity you've done outside the office impacted the way your team works together?

With each and every team outing, I try to connect with someone who I may not spend much time talking to at the office. A small group of us recently volunteered at Brent's Place and between the six of us who were there, we learned that one of our co-workers used to sing a cappella in college and our CEO is a pretty talented cook. I think even these small conversations can make a big difference, and it validates that we have more in common with people than we may initially think.

 

Zen Planner teambuilding activities Colorado tech
Photo courtesy of Zen planner.

Zen Planner helps fitness businesses — from yoga studios and gyms to mixed martial arts facilities — better manage their members, schedules, billing and daily business tasks through its cloud-based software platform. Customer Success Team Lead Hannah Blount shared Zen Planner’s data-driven approach to team building.

 

What's the coolest team-building activity you've done with your coworkers? What did you enjoy about it?

Zen Planner did a mobile escape room this past quarter that took team building to the next level. Our company elevated this experience by having us complete the DISC assessment prior to the event, analyze our results and create teams to participate in the escape room based on these personality profiles.

 

How do team-building activities like this reflect and/or reinforce the company culture?

Communication is key with Zen Planner’s internal and external customers. The emphasis the escape room put on purposeful communication that was guided by our new DISC insight reinforced the success this focus can create within our teams and company as a whole.

 

How has a team-building activity you've done outside the office impacted the way your team works together?

We have a company-wide Impact Day where we close down and give back to the community. This year, I got to help weed, clean and organize a community youth center. The group I was in was comprised of members from every team in the organization. This gave me the opportunity to work with people from Zen Planner who I don’t get to on a daily basis. I came back to the office with new friends and resources.

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