by Rachael Donnelly
Anyone who has been part of a team can appreciate the value of cooperation, communication, and trust among coworkers. If you’re looking for ways to strengthen the team and build these characteristics, a great starting point is to step outside of the office. You’re doing all you can to take care of your employees––why not create an opportunity that is the opposite of business as usual?
According to Forbes, team building is touted as the most important investment you can make for your people. It may be a little counterintuitive, but directed, business-focused, professional activities are not the only way to develop a strong team. In other words, activities that are more fun-based often yield an incredibly high rate of return in the areas of building trust, increasing collaboration, encouraging communication, and decreasing conflict. Effective team building produces more employee engagement and has a lasting impact on your company culture and productivity.
Nashville offers a wealth of team building activities, and we’ve gathered a few of our favorites. No trust-falls and no overly competitive three-legged races, we promise.
It doesn’t get more Nashville than this. Harness the power of music to help your team collaborate with KidBilly Music: Teambuilding Through Song. A highly talented team of Grammy, CMA, Emmy, and Tony award-winners will design a unique program for your organization. Each team works with a songwriter-facilitator in guided sessions to develop lyric ideas that become your original song. You’ll have the opportunity to play and record your creation, and possibly get the whole team up on stage and cheering. There is no pressure to perform, but lots of opportunities for participation through percussion, singing, and more.
KidBilly Music, LLC
5133 Harding Pike, Suite B10, 300
Unleash your inner lumberjack at Blade & Timber Axe Throwing. Safety-certified coaches will walk you through the how-to’s of throwing axes. Once you’ve mastered your technique, you can choose from a variety of axe throwing games and even bulls-eye competitions. This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to bring your team together for some laughter and camaraderie––and who doesn’t love the chance to throw stuff? Options are available for private lanes, multi-lane bookings, and full facility rentals, and Blade & Timber’s Fun Coordinator can design a custom event based on your group size and needs.
Blade & Timber
2018 B Lindell Ave.
Just down the road from Spark’s Franklin, TN location you’ll find SOAR Adventure Tower, an innovative ropes course designed to challenge your crew both mentally and physically. This aerial adventure park is both highly inclusive and highly engaging. Created for people of all ages and skill levels, the obstacles are also completely safe, as each participant is fitted with a comfortable harness with two belay systems securely hooked into the safety line. Specially designed team building options include Black Ops Challenge, Riddle Me This, and an Adventure Race, among others. As your team figures out how to navigate through the course, you will emerge feeling capable, strong, and brave – and as an added bonus if you show up on Thursday nights you’ll get to enjoy free live music.
SOAR Adventure Tower
3794 Carothers Parkway
Franklin, TN 37067
Bring out your creative energy with a team building scavenger hunt at Watson Adventures. Enjoy an outdoor excursion when you choose the Downtown Nashville Scramble Scavenger Hunt which highlights Nashville’s hidden history, colorful places, and rich tradition of country music. On teams, you’ll tackle intriguing clues as you investigate your favorite neighborhood or explore the festive streets of downtown. Other hunts include the Grab ‘n’ Go Classic or Virtual Trivia Slam Game, and special editions add a murder mystery or an “escape game” puzzle. Get your team better acquainted and working together, drawing on their collective wealth of experience and expertise in an out of the ordinary, memorable way.
(877) 946-4868 ext. 11
Cook up some enhanced communication skills with Chef JoAnna’s SENSEational Team Building. JoAnna is a classically trained chef who used her background in HR to develop a variety of customized, and totally delicious, team building sessions. One offering is a guided tasting where teams take turns to figure out what they're eating, using all their senses while sharpening their communication skills, and understanding how suggestion and predisposition alters perception. Teams get switched up and rotated "speed dating" style, so everyone gets to sit with new teammates for each part of the presentation.
Chef JoAnna, Inc.
1568 West McEwen Drive
Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to walk away with a boost in morale, better communication skills, and a more cohesive crew. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into skill building specifically designed for your company, let us know how we can support you at Spark with customized, targeted leadership and development programs for your team––we’re here to help!
Rachael Donnelly is the associate director of Spark operations in Cool Springs. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harding University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Memphis. She has a background in Speech-Language Pathology and education, and brings that organizational experience to Spark. She has a love of serving people and an eye for detail. When she’s not serving Spark's amazing clients, she's enjoying iced coffee with cream out on the back deck with her husband and two sons, or possibly binge watching true crime shows.