Empowering Teams to ACHIEVE …… Virtually

To Our Dear Pinnacle Team Events Community,

We are sending you a note to simply say that we are thinking of you all during this devastating time. We wish you and your team all the best as you navigate the myriad of decisions that lay ahead. Despite the challenging present, know that there is a bright future, as this crisis will end.

Pinnacle Team Events has spent the last 15 years aiming to empower teams to achieve. In the present time with most workplace teams working remotely from home it is important, now more than ever, to think about your team culture and connectedness. We have some FREE ideas to help your team to stay together even though you may be physically apart. Most of you will be using a video conferencing platform for your weekly team meetings. Why don’t you try one or all of these FREE ideas below:

  • Emoji Lookalike Competition – have all team members create their digital emoji and submit to you. You can compile the emojis and a prize can be sent to the person who has the emoji with the most / least resemblance.
  • Team Trivia – There is a great platform called Kahoot! that is so easy to set up and invite up to 1000 users. Participants can participate either in real time or have a deadline to submit their answers. You can create your own questions to be company specific or simply for fun.
  • Pet Meeting – team members with pets can place their pets in front of the screen so that all the pets can meet for the first 2 minutes of the conference call. You never know what they will achieve!
  • Song Stich up – choose a song for the whole team to sing. Send each individual the lyrics with their line highlighted. Have them record themselves singing that line and send it back to you. Stitch the videos together with an app such as iMovie and play at the start of the next weekly dial in meeting.
  • Scavenger Hunt – email the team with a list of items / photos / scavenger items that they need to find on their next social distancing outing.
  • Guess whose WFH station is that? – Have the team send a photo of their Work From Home station and the team must guess whose is whose.
  • Self-Isolation Comedy Videos – have team members submit a short film showing 5 days working from home: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3…. See how creative they get by day 5!
  • Daily Dial In – schedule a time everyday where team members can dial in for a morning tea coffee chat. Then as you close the meeting ask team members the following questions: What are you working on today? What is your biggest distraction and how can you ignore it? What attitude do you want to bring to your work today? Where do you want to direct your focus? The idea is that by announcing your intentions you will help to bring them to fruition and achieve.

Please reply with any other ideas you have as we would love to hear how you and your team are staying connected during this time.

Rest assured Pinnacle Team Events will be here at the end of this crisis to support you in assisting your team with events. When the time comes, we will be enthusiastic to assist in any way we can.

Take care and our most sincere well wishes to you and your team.

Remember working from home doesn’t have to be lonely – have some fun where you can and keep your team engaged and cultivate the workplace culture you have worked so hard to achieve.

Regards,

Will, Ruth, Mitch, Sam & Corey from Pinnacle Team Events

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Stevie

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Stevie K

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Fun times, great company, yeh really love the crew there! 

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
Since September 2010!

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Probably the Survivor Challenge, they’re all fun, I really enjoy the large groups conferencing locally to where I live in Newcastle/The Hunter as it feels like a Pinnacle family reunion with all the staff there!

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Haven’t had one really… ah yes I have! We were doing a Survivor, I was facilitating multiple challenges within 25 minute blocks and was currently doing Nailed It. The ball from Elimination Football was kicked towards my area from the nearby tennis court. I picked the ball up and attempted to kick it back quickly but it rebounded off a palm tree back on to the current Nailed It table resulting in water bottles and Nailed It materials exploding everywhere. I think about 40 people saw it and clapped, cheered and laughed at me…

My favourite hobbies are:
Surfing, yoga, gardening and collecting seeds, hiking, observing nature…  ha not kicking a footy!

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Recently discovered Tom Misch, album Geography..

What was the last book you read?:
Magicians of the Gods, by Graham Hancock

Favourite holiday?:
Indonesia – surfing 3 times a day, coconuts, nasi champur, tempe, sunset beers… doesn’t get any better!

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Many… The Aquatic Meerkat, Barry, Sundance, Squid Lips, Kman just to name a few…

I am frightened by _____ :
The rapid loss of habitat and destruction of nature…

Favourite movie of all time:
Uummm so many favourite(s) come to mind!… The Wizard of Oz, The Never Ending Story, Labyrinth, Mary Poppins, Beetlejuice, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, The Matrix, and everything Star Wars! 

First concert I went to:
Powderfinger at Newcastle University! I might add I love the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Music Festival…

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Love my hometown area of Redhead/Dudley/Kahibah… The dream is to live and work in Australia, possibly Tasmania or somewhere on the east coast NSW, for 9 months of the year and then continue exploring yoga and surfing in Asia/India/Spain/Indonesia 3 months a year… 

What makes you angry:
Overcooked vegetables and snapping surfboards…

What makes you laugh the most:
My friends, wow they’re comedians, just so unbelievably and ridiculously funny!

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
No idea? I’ve never sung at a Karaoke so um let’s just run with Robert Palmer Addicted to Love with some solid air guitar!!

Team Building: Success vs Fail

Team building is one of the most important investments you can make for your team and when executed correctly, can have long lasting positive effects on your employee’s productivity, performance and general happiness at work. So, how do you ensure that your next team building event is a success?

Fear

Set Clear Goals

One of the first questions you should be asking is WHY are we holding this event. Do you want to get everyone energised and excited about the year ahead? Do you have specific focus areas such as wanting your group to work on communication & collaboration? Or you may simply be wanting to get your employees together for a bit of mingling, general ‘team building’ & fun. Whatever the reason, it’s important that the outcome you’re wanting to achieve becomes the focus of the activity. Once you’ve narrowed down what your desired outcomes are, talk to us about which team building programs would be best or how we can tailor an activity to suit.

Know Your Participants

Just as team building can fall short when the goals & outcomes are not in alignment, similar issues come up if your specific participants are not taken into account. Puzzle-solving might be fun for brainy participants but could bore those who prefer to be more active. On the other hand, athletic activities may delight some but send others into a panic. This requires looking at questions such as the level of physicality attendees would be comfortable with, and what their roles are within the organisation. Generally, unless otherwise instructed by you, our activities are designed to suit participants from a wide range of demographic i.e. ages, fitness levels & interests. This way, everyone in your team feels comfortable contributing and no one feels disengaged or excluded.

Don’t Embarrass Your Employees

Leading on from knowing your participants, the last thing a company should want to do is push participants so far outside of their comfort zone that they feel alienated or even embarrassed. There are many horror stories out there about team building that have given it a bad rap. A few of our favourite ‘team building fails’ include:

The Trust Fall

Arguably the most infamous team building exercise in the history of team building! An activity whereby a person closes their eyes, crosses their arms, and blindly falls backwards into the arms of a colleague. An exercise that on the surface generates warm & fuzzy feelings of building support & trust between co-workers but in reality, involves a lot of unwanted touching, invasion of personal space & possible injury when your colleagues fail to catch you.

Paintball

It’s hard to perceive how shooting other members of your team with hard pellets covered in paint could be deemed as remotely related to ‘team building’. If you want to create a sense of team camaraderie, any activity that insights violence towards others is not the way to do so & will have the absolute opposite effect.

Face Your Fears – Ropes Course

For an active, outdoorsy person with no fear of heights, a ropes course may sound like a great idea for a team event. Once again, a successful team event is all about knowing your participants. Just because you might be into something doesn’t mean that everyone in your team will feel comfortable. We’ve heard many horror stories about employees paralysed by fear on a ropes course and either refusing to participate in the challenge at all OR giving it their best with the result being plenty of tears & embarrassment.

Our tips:

  • Don’t choose activities that might violate people’s dignity, privacy, or personal space.
  • Something you might enjoy with your buddies on the weekend isn’t always appropriate for the workplace.
  • The purpose of team building is for everyone to feel comfortable to contribute & included – not the opposite!

Incorporate a Debrief

A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review showed that teams who host even an unstructured debrief have a 22% higher chance of succeeding than a team that didn’t do one. So, we can see that even a quick, informal debrief can have such a greatly positive impact on the way we do work. To learn more about how to incorporate a debrief into your next activity, check out our blog post, Team Building Activity Debrief.

Top team building ideas for Southern Highlands

With heritage towns amid rolling green hills and unspoilt bush and located a short 90-minute drive from Sydney, the Southern Highlands is a conference offsite destination your delegates won’t soon forget. And due to the recent bush fires, the Southern Highlands needs your help now more than ever – and you can do this by simply booking your next conference offsite in the Southern Highlands region.

Southern Highlands

“Come visit with us, stay with us and spend with us. Enjoy everything our beautiful region has to offer including our wonderful places to stay, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, cellar doors and local produce to take home.”
Visit Southern Highlands talking about their ‘Share the Love’ bushfire recovery campaign.

Similarly, you may have already heard of the ‘Empty Esky’ movement. Empty Esky is a national movement of foodies and adventurers on a mission to support small businesses affected by the Australian fires. The concept is simple, they are encouraging everyone to grab an empty esky, embark on a road trip to a fire-affected town (when it’s safe to do so) and to stock up with produce and wares purchased from local traders. Check out their website to peruse the many small businesses that have registered as being affected by the fires.

The first thing you will need to organise for your conference offsite is of course your venue. Check out the venues listed on our website under South Coast & Southern Highlands to get you started, then chat to us if you’d like to discuss our venue recommendations further. We’ve then put together a list of our top team building ideas for the Southern Highlands to help assist with your organising. We have even included our bespoke Southern Highlands Explorer which sees teams venture around the local area visiting wineries & local producers all the while participating in a team activity – so make sure you pack your empty eskies!

Southern Highlands Explorer

The Southern Highlands is a breathtaking plateau of scenic countryside littered with remarkable things to do, see and experience. For corporate groups to fully explore this area Pinnacle Team Events can tailor a program to suit your requirements.

The Southern Highlands Explorer event would transport teams of delegates to various locations where they undertake challenges that see them interacting with the best the Highlands has to offer.

Experiences include: The Bradman Museum, The Illawarra Fly Walk, Southern Highlands Wines, Red Cow Farm, Montrose Berry Picking, Farm Club Café and much more.

This event usually starts at the conference venue and finishes either at an off-site dinner location or back at the conference venue. Delegates can be transported in mini buses, coaches or company cars. The whole event is tailored to suit your delegates, time frame, location and desired experiences.

Wine Olympics

Rather than running, jumping and swimming your way to victory, teams will tackle a very different series of events – an array of winery related activities that will guarantee a good time.

This activity is also great in conjunction with our very popular Grape to Glass wine blending activity – where delegates design a label and blend your very own company wine that will be bottled and delivered to you post event.

Example Challenges:

  • Grape Stomping – Teams race against each other to stomp enough grapes to fill a wine bottle.
  • Cork Toss – Each team receives a box of corks which they must throw into a barrel with the aim of outscoring opponents.
  • Waiter Relay – Teams race against each other whilst carrying a tray of wine glasses
  • Grape Catapults – Teams fire bunches of grapes via replicated catapults towards a landing zone where strategically positioned team members await ready to catch

Amazing Race

The Amazing Race On Site is an action packed adventure where teams navigate their way around the conference resort undertaking team based challenges. Speed is not always the deciding factor with an emphasis on teamwork, planning, problem-solving and of course having fun.

Teams will be issued with a map of the resort and cryptic clues to various locations hidden around the grounds. Awaiting the groups at each location are team-based activities known as “roadblocks” that will be tailored to suit your outcomes and the venue.

All teams converge at the finale location at the same time for a final all-in team challenge before prizes are awarded to the victors!

Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting

Experience the thrill and excitement of shooting clay pigeons as they fly through the air in this safe and entertaining team activity.

This dynamic and interactive event uses authentic 12-gauge shotguns that have been converted to fire harmless laser beams. Clays with Omni-directional tape are fired from the launcher – when the shooter hits their target the beam is reflected back to the gun and registers a hit on the electronic scoreboard.

This activity is very popular and loads of fun for males and females of all ages, fitness levels and ability. Usually this event will be structured with a team’s competition for the first hour followed by an individual shootout at the end.

The system is great for groups up to 40 people. If you have a larger group, we suggest having 2 sets or pairing this event with Archery to eliminate down time where participants are not actively involved.

Escape

Can your team escape? This exciting Escape the Room challenge is the ultimate team building event that will test the sharpest minds. Each team is “locked” in a room with a set time frame in which to escape before the world as we know it ceases to exist. Teams must follow the clues, solve the puzzles and unlock the secrets to ESCAPE!

For teams to be successful they must communicate, think outside the box, work together, admit to their mistakes and believe they can succeed. All this under extreme time pressure as each team has only 90 minutes to uncover the 8-digit code that will ultimately allow them to escape the room.

This event can be tailored to suit any size group by adding more rooms for more teams. We recommend each team is between 8 – 12 people with each team requiring 1 room.

Rooms can be conference rooms, hotel rooms, offices, boardrooms etc. Pinnacle requires 30 minutes in each room prior to the event to set up.

Murder Mystery Night

A murder mystery is a fun and extremely silly game of ‘whodunit’ hosted by the MURDER CO team. The aim of the game is very simple; solve a murder before the guilty party strikes again. What makes this activity truly special is that your guests play the chief murder suspects.

Everyone who attends a murder mystery plays a part in the investigation. Once we have some basic details about your event, we will send out character sheets for you to distribute to your guests. Each character sheet contains clear and simple instructions about the murder mystery and how to play.

Trivia Night

This isn’t your average pub trivia. Pinnacle is ingenious at tailoring this interactive trivia challenge to any group. It will prove to be unlike any other trivia night you have ever attended. The games we play throughout the night are hysterical and we can guarantee that your delegates will be laughing from start to finish.

Between each round of questions, the tables volunteer delegates to participate in crazy challenge activities (which makes the evening very interactive). Music trivia, movie, and TV sound tracks are on the menu as well as IQ/Brainteasers.

We will fit in with the agenda of the evening and usually fill the space between the entree and the main, the main and the dessert. At the completion of the event the results are tallied up and prizes are presented to the winning team.