Venture Up Tabs

Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 San Diego Team Building Activities to Increase Employee Engagement

Think of San Diego and visions of sailboats, sea gulls and beach volleyball come to mind. While the city ranks as a top destination for business meetings, fun team building experiences in San Diego are often part of the mix, and many involve corporate employees giving back to the community.

Corporate social responsibility is more than just a buzzword. “When companies pay their teams to assist local communities, they send a clear message that social responsibility extends beyond corporate locations,” says David Lengyel, managing director of Venture Up, who provides team building programs from his new San Diego office at Driscoll’s Wharf on Harbor Drive.

VIDEO:  VENTURE UP Bike Building Charity Team Building Event serves local kids in need:

Lengyel believes there has been a shift in corporate culture after the Madoff scandal a decade ago. “During the recession, clients began requesting more programs combining team building with community service, even when budgets were tight” he said. “Today, the economy is much better and more businesses than ever are incorporating social responsibility into their team building activities.”

In 1983, Venture Up became the first company devoted to building team relationships, coining the term, “team building company.” The firm also works in conjunction with client’s training organizations, such as PPG’s Franklin-Covey staff development program recently.

Here are 5 popular group programs in San Diego, all of which can promote corporate social responsibility and employee engagement.

1. Jam Fest – Throughout the ages, music has been a binding agent of all people. Jam Fest strikes a chord with everyone, as no prior experience is required. A popular conference energizer, this 45- to 90-minute event gets teams moving, shaking and jamming in harmony. Teams use boom sticks, go-go bells, jug drums and congas to catch a rhythm and jam together expressing their innate musical talents.

2. Bionic Hands -- This 3D design program gives teams a rare opportunity to change the lives of children forever. Born without hands, or with hands not fully formed, such children can now have functioning hands when execs team up to help them. Teams take on the intrinsic work of putting together bionic hands created by 3D printers. The program requires no prior experience, but commitment to detail is a must. The 2- to 3-hour program engages teams in service to others, a strong component to building and maintaining a viable corporate culture. Hands are often shipped overseas to kids in developing nations.

3. Boat Regatta

Building a cardboard boat is the easy part. Keeping it afloat is quite another. This program is suitable for hotel pools and waterways and requires an able swimmer at the helm. Teams compete with one another to create a seaworthy craft using cardboard boxes, floating features, inflatable toys, pvc pipes and lots of duct tape. As in many group ventures, too many cooks can sink the ship. Effective leadership and cooperation mark the successful team. Some vessels may sail smoothly, while others require a fight to the finish. In many cases, winners receive cash rewards to donate to local charities.

4. Bike Building for Kids

Bike Building for kids in need is a popular charity-based team building event nationwide. Venture Up clients have donated more than 15,000 bikes to underserved children in local U.S. communities. In many cases, the kids are high achievers who lack financial resources, or may come from struggling single-parent families. Lengyel expects Venture Up to expand its reach to developing countries, where adults and children use bikes as their main source of transportation.

5. Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is so popular in San Diego that Venture Up has developed more than 10 versions of this festive event. Inspired by the popular television show, the physical challenges are geared for the average Joe. Teams move at their own pace and players choose their own level of involvement, as they take on physical tasks and brain twisters to solve as many clues as possible. Each race is fun and challenging for all professional and skill levels, keeping creative minds engaged and focused on a big win.

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