A Sample of Team Building

July 17, 2012

Better Mousetrap Marketing Team - Courtenay, BCLast week the Better Mousetrap Marketing team went on an all-day culinary tour with Gaetane Palardy of Island Gourmet Trails, a local business that introduces people to Comox Valley farms, food manufacturers, wineries and distilleries. 

The day started with freshly brewed coffee and gluten-free baking at the Royston Roasting Company where we learned about the ins and outs of coffee beans and roasting. Our next stop at Grassi Point Market brought up discussions about the rewards and challenges of organic farming and how to find creative ways to diversify in changing markets. We started the afternoon with a tour of Blue Moon Winery, followed by a wonderful lunch prepared by Gaetane with local ingredients, and complemented by fruit wines with names like “Moonshine”, “Dusk”, and “Lunacy”.  At Island Bison a few of us had the rare opportunity to bottle-feed a baby bison and two water buffalo calves. We learned about the nutritional benefits of bison meat, and were there for the celebrated arrival of two new pigs. We ended the day in the elegance of the Shelter Point Distillery where we retraced the steps of creating a single malt whisky, sampling whisky and smoked salmon surrounded by beautiful stone work, etched glass, and barley fields.

It was great to spend some time together, but we shared more than that. We also shared ideas, reactions, stories, laughs, and our personalities in a way that was unrelated to deadlines and the usual work place conversation. It gave us an opportunity to see how the people we work with every day interact with people outside of the work place. Team building is an intentional act of management that takes time, planning, and a little investment but here are just a few of the advantages:

  1. “Change is as good as a rest.”  Doing something out of the ordinary is refreshing and can bring a fresh perspective to projects at work. 
  2. Being more comfortable with co-workers builds confidence and makes people more willing to share ideas.
  3. Being in a new environment gives you the opportunity to recognize new skills and strengths in other people.
  4. Improved communication is always an asset and can result in smoother processes and better results for your customers.
  5. Showing appreciation results in a more positive work place with more motivated staff.

Consider how much time you actually spend every week with your staff or co-workers and then consider how much (or how little) you really know about them.  Maybe it’s time for an outing.

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