Team Building with Corporate Volunteering
It’s a weekly question for our WeHero staff: “What are the team building aspects to these volunteer experiences you provide?” Upon initially receiving that question we tried adjusting our events to always have a team building component. A great idea, but it almost felt like too much “team”, like twice the syrup you actually needed on your Saturday morning pancakes (guilty as charged).
We started surveying our participants to understand if the WeHero experiences invoked team building as is. Over 90% respond yes. So then we dug into the why.
1 // Not a “Team Outing”
Companies spend a lot on team outings (sometimes classified as team building). $350 / person for a NASCAR race. $180 / person to go see a concert. We’ve heard it all. Sometimes these events get really elaborate. One sales and marketing executive was flown to London with 20 of his colleagues, put up in a pricey hotel, and then trained to do the haka, a traditional war dance, by a group of Maori tribe members from New Zealand.
I won’t put my foot in the dangerous public waters and say this is a waste of money. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that these experiences bring everyone closer together. I’m just not sure it can be classified as team building and our survey respondents feel the same.
When fighting together towards a common social goal, people get close and feel like they are building a team. Digging more into the “why” we can look at just a little science (don’t worry not too much).
2 // The Science
It’s no secret that giving feels good which can make for a great team building environment. Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give and volunteer, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. We think of it as creating the perfect social conditions for team building. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.” Again what we think of as the perfect team building environment.
3 // A Common Goal
WeHero volunteer experiences aren’t what we would call “busy work” and are far from an outing to the movies or go karting. We gather people by the tens to the thousands to make impact. Every event and every participant has a common goal. Support 1,000 underserved students in education, provide 500 relief packs for Hurricane Dorian victims, so on and so forth. These goals have a limited time frame to be accomplished and can only be accomplished as a team working together.
This pursuit of a goal in unisine, and leaning on eachothers strengths is team building at its finest, and we now design our programs to encourage it.
So the answer is yes! Our volunteer experiences are designed for team building and if you would still like to know how, we’d love to talk with you.
Thank you for reading, and happy giving and happy team building!
The WeHero Team