Beyond Teambuilding

Workers day

I am a worker, have been a worker since the age of 13, and now a business owner/capitalist and worker combo sort of person.  I have always been at loggerheads to understand the true meaning of this Workers Day celebration and often just saw it as another manipulated “holiday” in our somewhat cluttered holiday calendar. Once you become a business owner,  you somehow end up on the other side of the fence, and are constantly wary of workers taking advantage of your good nature! It’s a smug approach to entitlement,  but it exists and is easy to justify. Only by reading up on the various versions of history of the worker movement did I truly get to understand the depth of the struggle, a struggle that by no means is yet over.

In our modern societies today we can take so much for granted, then we witness the abuses to workers, some children, some mere slaves,  which are still happening in our own emerging economies and even in some so-called developed economies.

When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labour only to be beaten down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current situation cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people cannot be forgotten,  or we will end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

Maybe it’s not just another holiday after all, and like all such recognition, I hope our so-called civilisation actually takes the time to understand its relevance and not just jump on the populace bandwagon and use these days for popular political gain.


Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

Regardless of whether you can afford the best,  if you want to attract the best then you may find this helpful:

1. Match the external brand with your internal brand. If there is a disconnect between your external image and your internal reality, it will cost you dearly in losing good people. Potential employees and “newbies” are smart enough to see through the glitz and glamour of commercials and marketing campaigns if they are not mirrored internally. The real future challenge will be to ensure your internal brand and the external brand are integrated and speak to each other.

2. The internal brand must be developed. A huge part of developing an sustainable organisation is to create a corporate culture whereby, values practiced, work ethics and corporate behaviour are all real and actually practised by all, especially management. This is one of the primary responsibilities of the leadership within organisations today, not the numbers, not the short term deliverables, but the long term sustainability of the organisation’s attractiveness.

3. Understand Millennials. Those attracted to your business are hopefully smart, can be empowered, and can be of all ages and diversities. This creates a new challenge for management. Where the management is Generation X or even Baby Boomers, they will find it somewhat “interesting” when young and demanding millennials come knocking on the door. There is not enough ink or paper to write the book on successfully managing millennials, but I suggest you go get one, or await my next blog.

The challenge of attracting the right talent is “Game on”, just getting a podium place won’t be good enough if your competitor’s attract the Gold.

John Ingram

Director of Training at the HiSide Group

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