In the business environment, personal relationships matter. In many cases, the dynamics of your team can make the difference between progress and success or conflict and stagnation. While every business owner wants to hire the best applicants for each post, that doesn’t mean that the dynamics come automatically. Indeed, each manager must work diligently to bring a team together in a cohesive way. Team building is an excellent way to create a fun and productive work environment. Because chocolate is such a universal confection, building unity with this food just makes sense.
Recommended Chocolate Team Building Suppliers
Why Team Building?
Because performance is such a necessary part of most jobs, the work environment can be a stressful place for your employees. Team building works by creating personal and professional bonds in a way that is fun and laid back. In many cases, team-building exercises also provide an easy, unobtrusive way for management to find the hidden talents among their employees. In a casual environment, your co-workers may show sides of themselves that are normally suppressed during regular work activities. Team building also builds understanding between co-workers who may clash during normal working routines, leading to a more peaceful office.
Benefits of Chocolate-Making Events
Team building is becoming a widely used management tool; there are now hundreds of different programs that a personal relations department can use. While there are many good options, chocolate-making events provide many benefits that other environments cannot reproduce. Frankly, food is a huge motivator for people on a very basic level. Provide good food and you’re likely to get heavier participation. On top of that, chocolate is an almost universally loved treat, so your team will likely be more excited about the event to begin with.
Of course, when it comes to team building, the event isn’t really about the refreshment; it’s about what your team can learn from the experience. Because chocolate making spans such a wide variety of skills, a program can match perfectly to the desired skill-set of your particular team or company. There are events, for example that focus on the chocolate-making process, while others offer a heavy emphasis on building a successful business or working with people. Standard activities include fun icebreakers, the selection of a project manager for each team, and the full development of the chocolates with an associated marketing strategy. Regardless of what program you select, creativity and critical thinking are a huge part of any chocolate-making team-building event.
Do They Work?
Team building can be complicated project. In order for an experience to be fully successful, it must stick in the mind of the participants. Because chocolate making is a full-sensory and fun experience, these culinary events automatically get a boost over the competition. Chocolate-making events for team building are becoming so popular that companies like Chocolate Delight can accommodate up to 400 team members in one session, while also having complete programs in place for groups of a dozen or less. Because commercial chocolate making is still the main money-maker of these businesses, they wouldn’t offer team-building programs if they didn’t help their own bottom lines. When companies refer team-building programs to their colleagues, it is clear that they really do work.
What to Expect From the Event
Depending on what type of event you select, you can expect different things from a chocolate-making program designed for team building. Because competition brings energy and enthusiasm to each group, most team-building events built around chocolate have an element of competitiveness. In most cases, your group divides into two teams and completes a specific task or set of tasks. The most popular type of scenario involves the full development of a line of chocolates, from taste to presentation. To keep the energy up, many programs provide a prize package to the most successful team. Depending on the scope of the chocolate-making scenario, your team should plan to spend at least a few hours at the designated location. Some programs, however, last the entire day or cover a weekend.
Different Events and Opportunities
When it comes to chocolate making and team building, there really is something for everyone. If you have a small team that just needs a break from the everyday work environment, chocolate making can be presented as a mere demonstration. These programs are relatively inexpensive, as there is less planning involved. The chocolate expert will come to your location, demonstrate chocolate production and provide samples for your team to enjoy. Your team will return to work refreshed and renewed.
When a true team-building experience is desired, one of the competitive programs mentioned above is ideal. These options are perfect for businesses that know what they want from a team-building event but do not have the time or resources to create the perfect scenario. Most chocolate team-building programs offer one-stop shopping. You can purchase a package that includes the materials, supplies and facilitators. Depending on the company you work with, you may need to travel to their location, or they may be willing to work at any suitable location you specify; your own office space or a hotel conference room are great options. Some events need access to specific amenities, such as refrigeration or electrical outlets, so get a full list of requirements when booking the event.
For those that need a fully immersed team-building experience, a longer chocolate-making session is the option of choice. These are particularly useful for large teams or for companies who have employees who really need to break the ice and create cohesiveness. It’s hard to maintain animosity when surrounded by chocolate, after all. Weekend events, naturally, will be more expensive than a half-day exercise, but they can prove well worth the cost to a struggling group. Chocolate making is the perfect way to mix business with pleasure and provide something for your co-workers to look forward to in the work environment. This translates into better morale and a stronger and more productive office.
A Word About Accommodation
If you do select a longer team-building event, you will need to provide overnight accommodations. In most cases, chocolate-making venues that provide longer workshops either have their own rooms or work with collaborating hotels to provide your group with a place to stay. Some of the most interesting weekends provide a fully immersed chocolate experience. At the Chocolate Boutique Hotel, for example, guests stay in chocolate-themed suites while they participate in team-building events. This venue can only accommodate about 25 people, however, so be aware of limitations when using a full-immersion team-building event. The Chocolate Boutique Hotel has packages for both weekends and mid-week events.
Image © Emily W Jones