It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Every culture in the world shares a love of food, and it has been used to celebrate human unity throughout the ages. Since the discovery of fire, cooking integrated into civilization. Ancient Roman banquets, medieval feasts, coming-of-age rituals, and weddings – cooking is celebrated wherever you find people.

Many of us turned to the kitchen during lockdowns to keep ourselves busy and allow ourselves to remain creative. Social media was flooded with recipes and techniques that kept us gawking for hours and inspired us to wear our amateur chef hats. More banana bread was probably baked in 2020 than in the history of time, and TikTok videos showcased hilarious inventions and tongue-in-cheek gourmet surprises.

Food is also an excellent way for us to come together. We identify our heritage through food and drink. We share traditional recipes — passed on for generations — and proudly create and serve them to guests. We seek out the flavors of different worlds when we visit the vast array of restaurants that pop up everywhere we turn — and when we travel to a new country, one of the first things most of us do is seek out the local cuisine.

The Value Of Team Building

Team building is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your business. Unfortunately, there are many cliches out there about the value of teamwork, such as “there is no ‘I’ in team” or “The dream works when the team works.” Still, the truth is that when a team works well together, collaborates, and values each other, you have very little to lose.

Managers have realized that team building needs to be something their employees enjoy and feel energized by. In days gone by, the mere mention of team building would often elicit sighs and eye-rolls as employees envisioned passing water balloons from neck to neck or playing an awkward game of charades.

Employers value their employees’ buy-in more than ever. They are looking for ways to build morale while their staff genuinely enjoy the process. This is why there has been a significant shift towards team building strategies that involve adventure sports, escape rooms, and cultural experiences such as art and cooking classes. Building morale while having fun or acquiring a genuine skill goes a long way. People are looking for experiences that help them find meaning in their lives.

Shared laughter and enjoyable experiences build bonds. And incorporating fun into your team building strategies allows your staff to relax, be real around each other, and to feel connected. Team building fosters trust, improves communication, and helps people learn and implement conflict resolution. It also increases productivity, because when someone feels that they are a part of a team, they are more likely to share the load, ask for help, and feel valued.

Cooking With The Team

One of the more popular choices for modern team building strategies has been cooking classes and cooking contests. It is an ideal option because while it is fun, it requires team members to use and develop many skills that benefit them in the workplace.

Soft Skills Learned Through Culinary Team Building

  • Planning – Looking at your resources, time allocation, human resources, the brief, and desired outcome are as much a part of cooking as it is in any job. Proper planning is essential on every level. Planning the menu, cooking process, the business day, and the entire business vision – it all stems from the same mindset.
  • Communication  When employees let their hair down and have fun, they offer insight into their lives that usually remain hidden. When people know and understand each other better, they have empathy and value differences of opinion more openly.
  • Motivation  When employees have a positive experience together, they bond and are more eager to spend time together during the workday. This makes them more motivated and energized to get the job done, with a sense of camaraderie.
  • Time management  Getting as much out of the time you are given is invaluable. The same skill applies to an oven timer or a project deadline. Proper time management decreases anxiety and pressure because little is left to the last minute.
  • Working under pressure – When there is competition, time limits, and team members to consider, it puts pressure on us. Working through them in a fun activity is a great way to laugh at ourselves and go with it, making us more resilient when it pops up in the workplace.
  • Collaborating  Assessing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and splitting the work accordingly makes the task seem less overwhelming. ‘Many hands make light work’ is more relevant than ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’ If the work is spread out over the team’s strengths, every aspect of the activity is getting the best man for the job.
  • Problem-solving and creativity  Challenges arise in all aspects of teamwork. Teams putting their heads together to creatively overcome them is a valuable skill, but it requires practice.

The Challenges of Team Building Strategies and Social Distancing

COVID-19, social distancing, and remote working have made team dynamics challenging. Many people have felt adrift, working in a bubble with little opportunity to connect. The work-life balance has also been affected, as people’s home lives have spilled into their workday and vice versa. Even as we find ourselves coming out the other side, the traditional office space will remain a thing of the past for many, with many employers opting for hybrid and remote working and downsizing office space.

So how do you ensure that your team still connects? Many activities that are designed to encourage team building virtually make people feel awkward. For example, it seems ridiculous to play games while managing virtual call issues such as mics not working, malfunctioning cameras, and interrupting toddlers. The challenge is to find activities where those issues are irrelevant, and participants can get lost in its fun. Online team building activities can navigate the issue of social distancing and can still be effective and fun.

Why Cooking Workshops are the Best Option

Team Building Strategies Chef Josh

Choosing an online cooking workshop as your team building activity is a fresh, fun approach that can easily be done in the comfort of your employees’ homes. There are many meal options available, and the best part is that participants can be scattered around the world. Additionally, the chef running the activity can also be from anywhere in the world, allowing authentic ethnic cuisines to be facilitated from the very place that they originated.

Innovative team building facilitators have made managing all the preparation and admin painless and convenient. They will even deliver all the ingredients to the participants beforehand.

Rockoly is an excellent option and offers a variety of inspiring workshops. Pasta Making, Mexican Street Tacos, and Spanish Paella are just some of the options available. They have a menu for everyone, no matter the company’s budget, staff preferences, and dietary requirements.

In addition, their team building cooking workshops provide everything you need to build cohesion and connection within your team. Professional chefs use video conferencing to guide and motivate teams to create delicious, beautiful meals that the family can enjoy without leaving the comfort of their own kitchens.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.” – Henry Ford

Interested in cooking workshops? Click here to learn more about this wonderful team-building activity for remote teams.

Nicola Killops

Nicola Killops

Nicola is a former teacher and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. She now writes full-time, with her partner, Justin. Nicola loves food, music, travel, and is a proud human and pet mom.

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