Companies have started to look beyond cocktail evenings and the odd 'trust-fall' when it comes to corporate team building. Businesses are catching on to the fact that a branded clipboard, peppermints and a carafe of water are neither exciting nor practical for the purpose of building people and relationships. They’ve also realised that more can be done than simply rewarding employees for good performance. Team building is about investing in a company's most valuable asset – its employees – with the aim of creating a more gratifying working environment and ultimately improving the bottom line. Although the game is still a growing niche in the South African business tourism industry, there are a host of creative and unique programmes around the country designed to motivate participants to reach their full potential and obtain the results companies’ desire.
Here are some great options for businesses looking to take their corporate team building to the next level:
In the wilderness
Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape has merged team building with their work in the wild to give programme participants a hands-on experience with animals while they learn to work together. Activities include tracking animals and assisting Shamwari's veterinarians with darting and releasing animals back into the wild. They also offer 4x4 driving lessons, game drives, stargazing, wine tastings and botanical walks.
Adventure caving is perhaps one of the most extreme and rewarding activities. TBI Adventures, based in Oudtshoorn – where there are some of the country’s best caves for exploring – specialises in adventure and team building packages. Tours are led into limestone cave systems on private land, which are similar to the nearby Cango Caves, though they are smaller and boast fantastic unspoiled formations. Groups of between two and ten people can be accommodated per tour, which last between two and three hours. TBI Adventures also offers a wide range of packages tailored to different business needs, ranging from purely recreational programmes to structured itineraries incorporating a range of activities.
Fast and Furious
Most people will admit that there is nothing quite like driving at a hell of a speed and throwing a car around sharp corners in a screech of tyres and puffs of smoke. Fantastic Racing offers individual and corporate racing in high performance vehicles at three top tracks in South Africa, including the famous Kyalami in Johannesburg and Killarney in Cape Town. They offer packages perfect for team building and conferences, with a range of options and even the opportunity to race a Reynard single-seater and a Jordan Formula 1 car.
Something for everyone
Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, situated in Limpopo province and two hours from Johannesburg, is a five-star golf estate, nature reserve, bush lodge and spa with a comprehensive range of conference facilities and team building packages. Zebula prides itself on being able to create the perfect itinerary for any company’s conferencing and team building needs thanks to its specialist staff and range of available activities, such as archery, clay target shooting, paintball, quad biking, fishing and volleyball. There is also a spectacular golf course that lies within 1 200 hectares of bushveld and during a round you will more than likely see a fair amount of wildlife.