Maximizing Entrepreneurial Success: The Benefits of Outdoor Activities and Inclusive Team Building

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Maximizing Entrepreneurial Success: The Benefits of Outdoor Activities and Inclusive Team Building

May 17, 2023
Male friends sitting on boulder with laptop

Talented employees drive a company’s operation. But it goes deeper than that. Individual workers are critical, but what’s more important is their ability to work well together. 

There isn’t a successful company out there that doesn’t pride itself on teamwork. But the best businesses are intentional about bringing their employees closer together. How? Well, in various ways. Making outdoor activities and team-building events a regular part of their team’s life in the workplace is one of them. 

Spending time outdoors and participating in team-building activities can inspire better leadership, strengthen your team, and elevate your business. 

Become a Better Leader 

Good leaders are a critical component of any successful business. Exemplary leaders are committed, constantly learning, and know how to inspire the best in their employees. On the other hand, poor leadership can lead to low morale and lacking employee performance. 

If you’re struggling with leadership right now, thankfully, you can improve. Many people spend time outdoors to reflect. You can reflect on the quality of your current leadership on a hike or nature walk and come up with what you’ll work on to be better. 

Then, you can bring that list to your team-building activities and implement what you brainstormed there. You’ll have a chance to see how your team responds to your changes in a relaxed environment and that should give you the confidence to continue them in the workplace. 

Encourage Inclusivity

You can improve as a leader with outdoor activities and team-building. But the obvious benefit of participating in these gatherings is how positively they impact your team. The way they encourage inclusivity is a big one. 

The whole point of scheduling a team-building activity is for the entire team to participate and get something from it. That can’t happen if the activities you choose exclude people from your team. 

So, it’s essential to choose inclusive team-building activities that accommodate a variety of needs..For instance, doing group yoga outside and providing mobility aids for those who need them, attending a local outdoor event, or walking an accessible trail are all ways to get your team members outside.   

Allowing everyone to participate demonstrates attention to the needs of your employees, and encourages inclusivity and accessibility beyond the activity. They become core values that are at the foundation of your company culture. 

Nurture Mental Health and Well-Being 

A recent Statista survey revealed that nearly 80% of employees said that reducing or managing their stress was a priority. 71% said spending more time on themselves and their interests was a priority. And 76% said getting enough exercise was a priority. 

After reading statistics like these, you can conclude mental health and well-being are top priorities for employees. They’re ready to actively nurture both. 

Fortunately, spending time outdoors is a way to do this. Engaging in the outdoors is directly connected to reducing stress. Stepping into an outdoor setting helps significantly lower the stress hormone cortisol, inciting relaxation and calmness. Spending time in nature also makes people happier and helps relieve symptoms of various mental health conditions. 

Outdoor activities that promote inclusive team-building can address two should-be priorities for your company:

  1. Your employees' mental health and wellness 

  2. Building a better team 

Build a Better Team 

What’s the whole point of team-building activities? To build a better team, of course. It would be a dream to assemble the right team from the start and not have to work at making it better. It would just grow and flourish on its own. 

But this isn’t at all realistic. You must be intentional about building a better team. Outdoor activities and inclusive team-building events are for exactly that. 

Whether you’re participating in a team hike, city scavenger hunt, or company camping trip, there are opportunities to work together and improve team communication and collaboration. Even the set up, communal cooking or preparation for these types of activities ahead of time can allow your team to bond and figure out what is the best role for them to play in a group. Problem-solving and thinking outside the box are typically required in team-building activities as well. So, employees will be able to sus out their creativity and innovation.  

In addition, team-building activities can help you better define the strengths and weaknesses of each person on your team. You can learn how to use each person's strengths and also find ways to encourage them to work on their weaknesses in the activities. 

Finally, team-building and outdoor activities are catalysts for deepening employee bonds. They get to talk to each other openly and learn things about each other’s personal lives that hopefully draw them together. Their connections will lead to better working relationships and a stronger team. 

Confront Team Issues 

Team conflicts are never fun to deal with. That’s probably why so many workers and leaders avoid doing so. But letting conflict fester in the workplace and among your team does nothing but harm. 

For example, when two employees have an issue with each other they'll avoid working together, disrupting the workflow of your team. Or if an employee is being bullied by a group of coworkers, it stifles their voice in the workplace, keeps them fearful, and can lead to mental and emotional health issues. 

It's so important to confront team issues head-on. Some conflicts can be resolved immediately in the workplace. But others require deep work to resolve them. Outdoor activities and team-building events give your employees the space to confront team issues and delve into the work to resolve them. 

For example, your team can talk about a particular issue while participating in a walking tour. You could all go to a rage room and take out your frustrations with one another there. Or you could host a company beach party and discuss issues over a bonfire. 

Confronting team issues and moving past them will only make your team stronger. 

The Bottom Line 

You could put together a team of the most talented people in the world. But if they don’t work well together and you can’t confidently lead them, your entrepreneurial success is at risk. Actively building a better team through team-building activities is the key. Incorporate the outdoors into them and you’ll unlock a new level of team health and camaraderie. 

Meet The Author:


lukesmith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.

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Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/self-made-nase-blog/self-made/2023/05/17/maximizing-entrepreneurial-success-the-benefits-of-outdoor-activities-and-inclusive-team-building