What makes Signature Teambuilding different than other team building companies?
Most team building companies are offering little more than entertainment. They may be fun but they do not include facilitated learning or debriefing that translates the learning back to the workplace. Here are a few difference that make us unique:
- You can’t sign up online because we need to talk with you to understand your goals and objectives.
- We don’t offer just one specialized activity and we don’t offer “everything including the kitchen sink”. We offer a suite of four unique programs, each with a specific focus or outcome like collaboration, design thinking, empathy or relationship building.
- Our programs don’t cost $50 because we are a training organization and our facilitators are professionals with years of training and experience.
- Our programs are not the “flavor-of-the-month” activity. They are proven, tested, powerful, learning experiences that get people thinking about teams, teamwork and leadership.
Are your programs inclusive?
There could be a double meaning here and the answer is YES to both. Yes, they are inclusive when it come to the programs themselves. Everything is turnkey and included in the cost. There is nothing to up-sell and no surprises. They are also inclusive related to the participants. Our programs are designed so everyone can participate without fear of not being a valued team member. Because our programs are customized, we are able to meet participants “where they are” and invite them into the process.
How do work with people that hate the idea of team building?
After 30 years and hundreds of thousands of participants, we think we have seen just about every attitude when it comes to team building. One of the most gratifying comments we hear following a program is “I really didn’t want to come” or “ I usually hate things like this” but having it end with “but this was different, eye opening and totally worth it.”
It really is not secret but our programs are designed to “invite” people to participate. In other words, we aren’t like an Escape Room that basically means you must fit into our box (almost literally because people get locked in a room). Our programs are designed carefully to allow each person to choose the best way for them to be involved. Signature Teambuilding programs are not threatening. They are choice-based and have evolved over the last 30 years to ensure we are meeting the participants needs and creating an environment in which they will choose to participate.
How much experience do you have?
We have been working in the field of experiential education and hands-on learning for 39 years. We started out as the corporate sector of Challenge Discovery a Richmond, VA based company. Although we have advanced degrees in fields related to experiential learning, our knowledge and experience comes from the clients we work with everyday. Our clients and participants are smart. They all have experience working on teams. Our job is to present teams with complex problems to solve and observe them as they go through their process as a team. Through our debrief and reflection process (which occurs throughout each program) we learn from the conversations and behaviors we see and pass that learning on to the next group we work with. Imagine the knowledge that has been shared and considered with thousands of teams over 39 years! We are getting better everyday.
How long are the programs?
We ask our clients to allow up to 4 hours for any of our programs. TeamQuest has a slightly longer rage of 4 – 7 hours. The programs don’t always take the full four hours but we like to allow enough time for the program content and conversations along the way to help cement the learning. If your timeframe is less, just ask, we can usually make things work. The number of people can also affect the timeframe of a program.
How much do your programs cost?
If you have gotten this far on our website, you must be interested so here we will reward you with that information. Our pricing is based on the value we bring not time, number of staff, location of the event, etc. We try to make it easy. Programs are about $100 per person (excluding travel costs). Our programs are turnkey and each of our program pdf’s provide all of the details about any room setup needs. All you need to provide is the space to conduct the program.
Why do you only offer four programs?
Our programs are carefully designed to stand alone or work together. Each focuses on specific teamwork elements like communication, innovation, collaboration, design thinking, etc. We are “selling” outcomes, not activities. Most team building companies are exactly the opposite. They are “selling” the activity or event so they have lots to choose from. They expect you to choose from their list of activities because they sound “fun” or “new” rather than something that will meet their goals.
Who delivers the programs?
98% of the time the facilitator is Greg Huber. The same person that created the programs, answers the phone and works with you specifically will deliver your program. In the rare event that he is expected to be in two different places at the same time, Greg will employ another highly qualified facilitator from the Challenge Discovery side of the business and work with them to design the program for you.
Do you travel beyond Richmond, Virginia?
Are there travel costs with your programs outside of Richmond, Virginia?
We travel extensively around the US and internationally. Greg as delivered programs in 41 states and 5 countries. When we travel, you can count on us to do the following:
• Charge the federal rate for mileage
• Stay in Hampton Inn or equivalent hotels
• Fly coach
• Not exceed federal daily per diem rates
Unless otherwise stated, we charge for the actual charges rather than per diem because it is usually less expensive. However, we will work with you if you have specific policies regarding travel.
What are all of the logistics that go along with your programs?
Each of our pdf’s provide the logistical information and room requirement for each program. We do our best to keep things simple.
When do you recommend conducting the program if my meeting takes place over several days?
There are two answers to this question. Normally we recommend our programs be conducted at the beginning of the event because it will set the tone and create the right environment which makes the rest of the meeting more productive. The only time we recommend our programs be conducted at another time is when the content of our program will reinforce previous talking points or dovetail perfectly with another topic on the agenda.
How do you customize the programs to meet my team’s needs?
This is where you come in. You can’t sign up for our programs online by filling out a form. We need to have a conversation to learn more about your team and your goals. This normally is not a drawn out or difficult process but we do want/need your input in order to customize each program. It’s the old saying “you get out of it equal to the work you put into it”. Organizers that are more involved end up getting a more customized program. If you don’t put as much into the organization of the program it won’t be a failure, because our experience will ensure that the program will be a big success. We just may not be able to fully customize it.
The programs seem so focused on outcomes, are they still fun?
We don’t believe that fun and focused outcomes are mutually exclusive. In fact, we know the importance of fun in creating and environment of learning and acceptance. We do believe there is a big difference between fun and engaging experiences that are inclusive and those that are fun to some people and not to others or even at the expense of others. Nothing we do will ever make someone feel embarrassed or coerced to do something beyond their own choice.
Is your pricing flexible?
Not really but when we work with really large groups (more than 200) or have a long term relationship with a client, we do what is right for everyone and find the right price point.
Is Expedition Antarctica a board game?
Yes, and…it is more than that. Expedition Antarctica is not a traditional board game like “ LIFE” or “Candyland”. It is a real-life simulation activity in which teams need to plan, organize, manage resources and deal with the unexpected. Most clients are also surprised at how much energy is created in the room, how people are up and out of their seats and the powerful learning at the end of the program.
Do you think WaterWorx would be too difficult for my team?
Admittedly, WaterWorx is one of the most complex team building activities ever created but all teams will be successful. We have successfully delivered this program at a conference for Social Workers and then for a group of aerospace engineers and both were successful. We have even experimented with delivering WaterWorx through our Challenge Discovery division for an 8th grade science class and were very pleased with the results.
Where do you conduct the TeamQuest program?
We conduct TeamQuest at the location of the Odyssey Course at the University of Richmond. Generally speaking, we only conduct it at that location but we have sourced other ropes course facilities that work for TeamQuest and work alongside their staff. The facility has to work for the program but it is ultimately about the facilitation not the events.
Do I pick from a list of activities for Shifting Gears?
No. The activities are really hard to describe and there are so many variable involved in how the group goes about each one. We say they “play” better than they can be described. This is where we need to ask you to trust us. We take several things into account when choosing from our more than 150 activities:
- Your goals and objectives
- Your past team building experiences
- The attitude of the people
- The space we are working in
- The amount of time we have for the program
We choose about half of the activities before the program based primarily on your goals and objectives. The other half of the program is created organically. We want to meet the group “where they are” and be able to invite people into the process rather than have them have to fit into a specifically prescribed group or list of activities.
I’ve searched Google and it looks like there are a lot of teambuilding companies in Richmond. Are they all local?
No. In fact, we are the only team building company based here in Richmond, Virginia. There are lots of companies that “appear” they are located here but if you look closely, they are simply tricking Google into showing you they are local by using “Richmond” in their name or as keyword locations for their programs. Read the fine print and ask direct questions if you are unclear if you will be paying travel fees in addition to the fee they quote. For your information, the following companies are NOT local to Richmond, Virginia.