Why boost the team adrenaline?
posted by Svetla Markova on July 8th, 2014
If you are following our corporate blog, you are probably expecting another social media marketing blog post from me. Well – this time, I want to share some thoughts on another topic – team events. In particular, why I like the adrenaline team events and will keep organizing them.
I’ve never been an HR person (not formally, at least), but in my experience so far, I’ve always been involved in the ideation of team events. I hope it’s because people like my flair for adventures and team surprises :) I’ve organized spa, travel, hiking, extreme team weekends, basically everything you can think of. I’ve seen the effects from all of those and there’s one conclusion I have made – the adrenaline events are those that work! They are the ones that really boost the team spirit and achieve a true bonding effect. (for everything else there is Deed ;)
I’m not a psychologist and never really tried to reason this observation. But – recently I stumbled upon this academic article on the effect of adrenaline on arousal and attraction. In it, a number of researches compare the attraction we get to another person before and after an adrenaline-boosting experience. The study clearly shows that high adrenaline really changes the light in which we see other people, they become more attractive, we like them more and we appreciate them more. Of course this also explains why some team buildings have longer-term (9-month) effects :)
Additionally, high adrenaline helps us see each other in a very different situation; when climbing a damn steep rock, fighting the giant waves and hanging on a rope you are basically yourself, with all your fears and merits, all masks down. You unveil the person behind the ‘team member’. And when we connect on a personal level, when we see who we really are, we can get along much better, be it on a personal or professional level.
And one more thing – in an extreme, adrenaline-boosting event, your life, even to a very small extent, depends on others. They hold your rope, they are on the same boat fighting the waves, they are the ones making the human pyramid you are standing on! Can you not be grateful and affectionate to those people, for helping you stay alive! :)
I have argued with many people from other companies on what team events are good and what not. Some say ‘this is only for IT freaks’, others say ‘this is for people 20-25, our team members are mature and enjoy spa’. To all those I only say ‘Dare try, and let’s speak again’. Because, once you see the effect adrenaline boost has on bonding people, once you hear the cheerful discussions on the event weeks and weeks after its end, you never want to do spa again.
I’ll let the pics from our recent team building speak now :)