It is not every day you break into a gym with your colleagues to take photos of yourselves in a sauna in suits, see your managing director swing from a trapeze, or learn how to play with an orchestra in just 90 minutes.
By choosing the right teambuilding events and throwing people together in unfamiliar territory, HR can help managers stretch employees' creativity and break down communication barriers.
There are a variety of teambuilding days to choose from, as the three tested below show, so spend some time assessing what type of activity your employees will get the most out of. Getting it right will help everyone to discover what their colleagues are really made of, and help open up communications across the business.
Organiser: Red Letter Days
When I was invited to take part in a media open day for a teambuilding event that listed flying trapeze, juggling, acrobatic balancing and stilt-walking in the programme, I thought twice about it. Would I be able to hold my own in front of a roomful of other journalists, or would vertigo let me down?
Walking into London's Circus Space, I found a group of nervous-looking hacks who seemed to be having the same misgivings. The hall contained typical gym equipment familiar from our school days: a cold wooden floor a pile of gym mats even a leather horse. But there the similarity ended: daunting tightropes spanned the high ceilings, and a trapeze swung from the heavens, accessed by a ladder at the back of the hall, ending at a tiny ledge.
Before we had time to change our minds, my team faced the task of mastering the trapeze. Split into pairs, we had to overcome our fears and negotiate who was going up the ladder first.
I volunteered, and as my partner and I stepped onto the high platform, the instructor was there holding an edge of the trapeze, while my partner behind had to reach for the other edge.
I waited for the signal to catch the trapeze, jump off and swing it was exhilarating. It was also a powerful exercise in trust, since my partner held my life in his hands (well, aside from the safety rope). This required acute listening skills, as no-one wanted to put a foot (or ha