Team building exercises help employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. By using team building exercises to build their understanding of each other, employees are better able to work toward the goals that are vital to their company’s future success. While there are a variety of team building exercises to choose from, cooking classes have proven time and again to be one of the best options for growing a team that understands and respects each other.
What a Cooking Class Does
During a team building cooking class, employees will become amateur chefs. No one gets to sit out; everyone is involved with the food preparation regardless of skill level.
The details of these classes differ, but the core components are typically the same for all classes. Most of them last about three hours and begin with a small snack. Once everyone from the group arrives, the cooking begins. Teams typically spend about an hour and a half preparing a delicious meal.
After the meal preparation is complete, the staff from the cooking school usually takes over. The team members will be invited to clean up and find a seat at the table so they can dine on the meal they just prepared. Typically, the staff from the cooking school will plate and serve the food so the team can build more connections by dining together. This allows the exercise to be about both work and play.
Where does one find cooking classes? The internet, of course! Websites like Cozymeal headquartered in San Francisco help find the right cooking class for not just a company, but for anyone. Interested in something sweet? There are even baking classes as well.
Friendly Cooking Competitions
While some classes simply involve cooking a meal together and enjoying it later, others get the employees’ competitive juices flowing. Inspired by popular shows such as Top Chef and Iron Chef, a competitive cooking class divides employee into teams. The teams get to choose which recipes and ingredients to use to prepare a meal.
After making their choices and under the guidance of a professional chef, the teams will create a meal that will be judged based on creativity, taste, design and speed. When the judging is complete, the winning team will be awarded a prize, and the participants will get to enjoy all the food that was prepared for the contest.
The cooking competition is conducted with fun as the main goal, but it also builds a sense of camaraderie that is hard to replicate in other environments. Team members will learn more about each other while using competition as a motivating factor to be the best they can be.
Classes Use Professional Chefs and Catering Services
One reason a cooking class works so well for team building is that most classes utilize professional chefs and catering services to teach and guide the teams. Under the guidance of a professional, team members feel more comfortable taking risks, allowing relationships to grow and blossom.
Since a chef is guiding them, team members are able to relax and try cooking techniques they probably wouldn’t try in other circumstances. This leads to positive experiences and interactions that create memories and supply bonding opportunities that will positively affect team members when they return to their workplaces.
Why Employees Enjoy the Classes
While it’s not unusual for employees to express reservations about attending team building activities, they rarely complain about taking a cooking class. Most people see the benefits of cooking and learning new techniques in a team environment and appreciate the fact that the classes will give them skills that extend beyond their places of work.
During the classes, employees learn new skills that they can take home with them. They may learn new cooking techniques that they can use in their own kitchens to cook meals they can share with their friends and family members. There aren’t many team building exercises that give people skills they can use in their personal lives. This makes it easy to convince employees that the classes are beneficial.
Team building exercises are an important component of any successful workplace. They help employees get to know each other better by allowing them to see each other in different settings and situations. The goal of any team building exercise is to improve morale. Improved morale results in employees looking forward to coming to work. When employees look forward to coming to work, companies usually experience success.
A cooking class allows employees to get to know each other better and improve morale while providing the added benefit of teaching people skills they can use in their personal lives. This makes it easy for employers to get employees excited about attending the team-building event and minimizes the amount of pushback they receive from their employees.
Companies looking for a way to build camaraderie, connections and memories among their employees should consider scheduling a cooking class. It’s a cost-effective way to retain employees while investing in a company’s future.