Building Better Teams through Cooking

Does the thought of going through a team-building activity set your teeth on edge? Can you hear your employees groan at the mention of the phrase? You’re not alone. Team building, while incredibly important, has definitely developed something of a negative reputation.

The good news is that New York team building activities can be successful. You just need to know how to go about them to ensure that your people learn the lessons they need and achieve the right takeaways while staying engaged throughout the process. That probably sounds like a pretty tall order, but cooking challenges and classes can help ensure your success.

New York Team Building | Cooking classes in action

The Truth about New York Team Building Activities

If we’re honest with ourselves, no one likes team building activities. All those trust falls, puffed-up instructors, and pseudo-Eastern thinking don’t really move the needle when it comes to developing the characteristics and qualities necessary for a team to really gel and come together.

Part of that is due to the way that team building has been handled in the past. Let’s look at a few of the ways that New York companies (including your own) have been failing their employees with boring team building activities that ultimately create more disengagement.

It’s All Corporate

First, as Forbes points out, team building shouldn’t be focused on the business. It’s about the employees, how they relate to one another, and how they come together, which ultimately has nothing to do with your brand. If you’re tying everything to your brand, you can expect your team members to mentally check out long before they cross the finish line. The best option? Remember what team building is all about – your team members. It’s about helping them to grow personally and professionally while creating shared experiences that help them come together and work as a whole.

New York Team Building | Cooking classes in action

Go Beyond the Ordinary

What opportunities do you offer for your team members to come together? Chances are good you have an annual company picnic, a holiday party, a July 4th celebration, and stuff like that. Those are fine if all you’re looking for are morale boosters, but they will not work when it comes to personal and professional development. In fact, they really don’t even count as shared experiences. What should you do instead?

Find something unique, and that’s outside most of your team’s comfort zone. For instance, consider going ziplining or go-kart racing. You might also consider other activities that get your people outside their comfort zones and working together. Cooking challenges certainly qualify in that regard.

Realize the Importance of Investing in Your People

As a business owner or decision-maker, you understand the importance of sticking to a budget and accounting for every penny spent. You probably also realize how critical it is to reward your people for a job well done. However, what you should not do is think of team building activities as a reward. You’re not splashing out for a fun day at the park here.

You’re investing in your employees and helping them become better at what they do, both individually and together. While you don’t have to break the bank when it comes to New York team building activities, you do need to be willing to make a measurable investment. If you’re not willing to invest in your people, you’ll never achieve the teamwork necessary for your organization to achieve success.

Why Consider Cooking for New York Team Building Success?

With a wealth of options available when it comes to New York team building, why consider cooking? What makes getting your team together in the kitchen better than, say, wilderness hiking or survival camping? Why should you consider cooking experiences when it comes to team building in the first place?

Step into any commercial kitchen and you’ll see the staff working like a well-oiled machine. Creating delicious dishes and replicating them time and time again requires so much more than mere talent with food. It requires a team that values each member for their strengths, as well as solid communication, and trust between all the team members. If one member of the staff drops the ball, the meal will be ruined.

By using cooking for team building, you’re able to help your team members develop the skills and capabilities they need to thrive and to help your organization flourish.

New York Team Building | Cooking classes in action

Cooking Helps Build Success through Shared Experiences

Look at the strongest teams out there. We’re talking professional sports teams, Olympic teams, and the like. What do they all have in common? They work well together because they know one another and their capabilities because of shared experiences. And those experiences are not limited to their roles within their respective industries.

A strong team is made up of people who know and trust one another because they’ve been there before. They’ve had to rely on each other to carry their weight, they’ve been through ups and downs, and they’ve established a baseline of trust. The key here is the shared experience – without that ingredient, the rest won’t follow.

Cooking, whether we’re talking about collaborative efforts or a kitchen challenge, focuses on that shared experience. It lays the groundwork for building trust and everything else that goes hand in hand with a successful team.

Cooking Helps Build Communication Skills

Have you ever been in a commercial kitchen, or even within earshot? If so, you know just how important communication is to overall success. Everyone must communicate clearly, accurately, and openly, and must do so in an environment filled with distractions and obstacles. Failure to communicate could mean a ruined meal for a customer or even serious injuries for staff members.

When it comes to New York team building, cooking challenges and experiences help to develop your team’s communication skills to a considerable degree. This goes well beyond ensuring that everyone can speak clearly and coherently. Because your team members are immersed in a shared experience, they learn how each person communicates, establishing a better understanding across the board. That reduces miscommunication, builds trust, enhances teamwork, and so much more.

Cooking Celebrates Diversity

Look at global cuisine and you’ll find an incredibly diverse range of dishes. New York team building through cooking helps your team members understand the need for and the beauty of diversity through exposure to different cuisines and cultures.

By being exposed to that diversity, team members come to value diversity in their personal and professional lives, not just in the kitchen. It helps your team members to integrate and overcome barriers while appreciating the differences in everyone’s backgrounds.

In Conclusion

When everything is said and done, New York team building experiences are critically important for organizations large and small. However, if you follow the conventional route, chances are good that your team won’t really absorb the lessons. Instead, choose to offer shared experiences that are at once fun and challenging.

Cooking offers the opportunity for everyone to work together, overcome natural barriers from language and culture, build trust, improve their communication, and even push themselves to new achievements. With the right cooking activities, you can teach everything from teamwork to leadership to accountability, all while having fun.

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