A Guide to Boosting Team Morale and Building High Performance Teams

One of the most challenging tasks as a leader of a company or manager of a group or division is to increase your team’s morale.  Overwhelmingly, you hear that the “Holy Grail of Management” is finding a way to boost morale.  By increasing team morale, you are more likely to build high performance teams working together towards a common goal with a passion for their responsibilities.  The challenge is finding a way to keep employees focused and passionate about their roles in order to achieve their individual and team goals.  Since the 1990’s, Windy City Fieldhouse Corporate Events (WCF) has been working with its clients to develop an integrated set of events to help create/enhance high performance teams.  The program is designed for each event to build off the previous one and address all the critical items necessary throughout the year to keep the team morale up and in turn, keep the employees focused and passionate about delivering the highest caliber of performance possible.

The High Performance Team Package is an annual life-cycle of events offering a set of programs taking place throughout the year to create and maintain high performance teams.  It has evolved from year to year but continues to fall back to one key theme regardless of who plans your events for you – without a plan in place to hold several events throughout the year, while teams see value from a single event, they saw a significant increase in value by integrating 2-4 events throughout the year into a program like the High Performance Team Package.  The end result is a cumulative affect that results in a far superior return and a more consistent level of team morale throughout the year.

“Our mission is to listen to our clients needs and develop programs designed to increase team morale in a fun and relaxed setting while addressing the unique needs of each team with a customized program,” says Murrel Karsh, WCF president.  “We have customers who come to us 2 to 4 times a year, and they requested that we integrate our programs to generate the highest return on investment (ROI) for their company.  By continuously fostering and supporting their employees, companies enable their employees to perform at the highest level possible.  This package is a product of that request.”

Another key benefit of the High Performance Team Package is finding a company like WCF who is able to offer a diverse list of programs enabling clients to customize their package with programs designed to meet their specific needs per event.  While no one client has the same set of needs, below is a summary of one path taken by some WCF clients for their life-cycle of events.

First Quarter: Boost Morale and Improve Teamwork

Kickoff Meeting with Team Building

WCF’s Team Challenge programs are designed to set the tone for a successful year.  The New Year brings with it updated strategic goals and objectives as well as a need to build a strong foundation to meet these goals.  WCF programs are designed and executed to energize employees resulting in improved communications, higher caliber performance and a renewed focus on their goals.  If you need to energize employees, improve team communication and offer key business lessons applicable to the workplace to get your team working better together, a customized Team Challenge program is the way to start the year.  WCF offers a variety of programs including the Team Challenge customized to the client’s specific needs along with newly designed events like the Mousetrap Race Car Challenge, “ Let’s Cut the Cake” Challenge and Charitable Team Challenge just to name a few.

“In one word, our event at WCF was OUTSTANDING!  Thank you so much for putting together an excellent team building session…  My thanks to you and your team for being professional, thorough and fun!  You were like the ‘Nordstrom’ of training events; everything we asked for, we got.  And we got it with a cheerful attitude.”
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Second Quarter: Enhancing Relationships and Increasing Camaraderie

“Mission Impossible” Scavenger Hunt or Great “Amazing Race” Chicago

The “Mission Impossible” Scavenger Hunt and Great “Amazing Race” Chicago offer a highly engaging and creative event taking place at locations around Chicago such as the Magnificent Mile, Lincoln Park, Navy Pier, museums and more.  Groups first collaborate to solve clues, and then use the clues to reach certain destinations.  These programs offer a variety of themes and destinations allowing each client to create its own twist on the event.  They are designed to build off the Team Challenge earlier in the year with a focus on enhancing relationships, increasing team morale and building lasting goodwill and camaraderie with your team.

The “Mission Impossible” Scavenger Hunt or Great “Amazing Race” Chicago are fast-paced, energizing events offering an afternoon or evening of fun and lasting value for your team and an opportunity to circle back to your team goals and objectives for the year in a relaxed, non-pressure setting.

“Our Mission Impossible Scavenger Hunt was absolutely incredible. WCF’s wonderful staff created a completely unique event that our employees will remember for a lifetime.”
Kraft Foods

Summer: Boost Morale, Enhance Camaraderie and Build Goodwill Amongst Employees and their Families

Interactive Summer Picnic or Barbeque

Summertime hits and everyone is looking to get outside and enjoy the great summer weather.  It is also a time for employees to lose focus and get distracted by the variety of events and options available outside of work.  Scheduling a company summer event allows you to bring focus back on the company while also giving your team something to look forward to throughout the year.  Booking it early in the year and notifying your employees maximizes its value while also letting the employees know that you are focused not only on them but also their families.

The key is finding an event that not only brings your team and families together but also keeps them together in a fun and relaxed setting throughout the entire event.  All too often, clients look to plan events at general admission venues that offer a great destination but the location is not designed to keep everyone together.  Employees and their families tend to enjoy the day but don’t spend any significant time together as a group or focused on the company.  To maximize the value of your summer event, booking an Interactive Summer Picnic or Barbecue at a private city or suburban venue like WCF’s access to UIC Athletic Grounds downtown offers you the best of both worlds – a fun and energizing outdoor event that also maximizes the time for your team to be together providing a great environment for internal networking and an opportunity to enhance relationships between the company, the employees and their families.  With interactive games designed for all ages and hassle-free planning, it is the easiest event in the life-cycle to plan and results in a tremendous amount of lasting value for your team.  In the end, a picnic is the perfect event to continue boosting team morale in a fun and relaxed environment.

“Everyone has been raving about the picnic!  Many thanks to your team – you are really the best!!”

Third Quarter: Improve Communication and Give Back to the Community

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Charitable Event for a Cause

The team has had a great year so far but they are in the final stretch for the year and need one last push to make sure everyone is working together to maximize the results for the current year and begin pre-planning for next year.  A great event for this time of year is the Charitable Team Challenge.  Select from a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility focused programs designed to combine your team building goals with your charitable mission.  Giving back while improving communication and generating a renewed focus to finish out the year strong is a perfect way to not only improve employee morale but also skyrocket it to a peak.  Charitable giving brings all of the team’s efforts throughout the year not just to a corporate purpose but also towards a greater purpose within your community.  Without question, this event resonates long after its completion and provides lasting value back at the office to finish out the year with high energy and strong team bonds.

“Thanks for everything.  The event was a huge success and the main topic at dinner.  Everyone loved finding items for a charity.  It really added value to the whole program.  Thank you. ”
American Academy of Dermatology

Fourth Quarter: Enhance Relationships, Build Goodwill and Boost Morale while Setting the Tone for Next Year

Interactive Reception, Holiday Party and More

The final event of the year provides an exceptional opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements and to reward top performers.  WCF has conducted events from an Interactive Reception or Holiday Party to a Scavenger Hunts for a Cause.  The client’s goals and objectives dictate the environment for the event but CSR/Charitable Giving usually find their way into the planning mix.  Despite all the focus on fun and recapping the year’s results, this event also serves as an excellent opportunity to set the tone and generate excitement for the upcoming year.

“The Interactive Reception was a great event for motivating more than 1,000 employees for the upcoming sales year.  By the end of the event employees carried a renewed sense of team unity and vision.  From the valet parking to the incredible entertainment and catering – the event was awesome.  The attention to detail and flexibility in meeting our needs will bring us back next year.  Thanks again!”

Select a Life Cycle of Events that Works Best for You

By conducting these events in an integrated fashion a company enables itself to continuously generate the teamwork, strategic direction and passion necessary to create and maintain high performance teams.  At the end of the day, the success or failure of a company is 100% reliant upon its employees and their ability to work together to implement the strategies set forth by the company.  Using all the events in the High Performance Team Package or a combination of some of the events allows your team to boost and develop strong team morale, hit its goals and create a willingness throughout the team to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Whether your company holds one large summer picnic, two to three team building events or all five events within the life-cycle of events, working with a company like WCF to design a plan to fit your unique objectives is key to making your team’s year and in turn, your year successful.  With a variety of programs available to plug into the event life-cycle, WCF is confident it is able to find the right mix for you to help your team improve morale and maximize its potential for the company.

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