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Employee Training, Team building, Motivation, Change Management

The Cost of Team Building

May 7, 2013

The goal of the following piece is straight forward – we seek to provide enough information to help you get the exact teambuilding or other employee development program you seek at the price you want to pay – or at least a price you see as fair value.  And, it has been our client’s experience that the cost was less than they expected. When you’re looking for a program, the best piece of advise is to shop it!

I sincerely wish providing fees for team building, or employee motivation programs, DiSC  (employee assessments) workshops or personal accountability workshops were as easily accomplished as purchasing a coffee (although this has even become complicated in our world today). However, it’s simply not that easy. We really don’t want to complicate things, trust us, we’ve tried spreadsheets and interactive programs designed to specifically allow prospects to price out their desired programs (an app if you will) without having to speak directly to an individual.  Such an app has so many variables and subjectives that it becomes more efficient for the client to speak with the provider.  The greatest variable, is that our clients, by and large want a solution that will meet their objectives and they are not especially interested in a solution that might have worked last week for someone else.  To clarify, we pride ourselves in providing extraordinarily accurate fees, providing fees with no surprises is easy once we have a sense of the client’s objectives and expectations.  We’ve found one of our client’s favorite things about pricing is our approach to providing all-inclusive fees, perhaps you can convince your provider to offer the same.

Please allow us a little leeway in the following description of what we do.  This is not intended for self-promotion but rather to provide greater insight as to the difficulty training companies encounter in placing their fees online.  We are not trying to speak for all companies, just providing some insight based on 20 years of training and speaking experience.  Here is our experience.

“Our programs are typically provided either at the client’s site or off-site of the client’s facilities at perhaps a business meeting room in a local hotel, resort or countless other venues.  Additionally, over the years we have also conducted programs at dude ranches, on riverboats, resorts, B & Bs, historical locations, and even on sailboats on Lake Michigan etc.  We have created corporate treasure hunts, rodeo play-days, rope courses and sailing races to list only a few activities.  We have worked with teams as small as ten persons and teams that number in the hundreds.  Our programs have durations of 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 hours and multi-day  (and about any duration between).  We provide activities more cerebral in nature (and fun!) such as the DiSC Profile and Survival Simulation, and activities more physical like instructing participants on breaking boards with their hand, spider webs, mine fields and dozens of other engaging activities”.

So, when a prospect contacts us and advises they seek a team building and want to know our fees, you can see why we have a few questions.  Team building and employee
motivation (programs), can mean something very different to different clients.

Foremost among all the considerations are the client’s program objectives. Just a few of our client’s past objectives have included:

v  improving communication,

v  furthering camaraderie,

v  preparing your team for new challenges,

v  reducing conflict,

v  creating a culture of accountability,

v  reducing conflict,

v  employee recognition,

v  promoting more effective business relationships

v  managing change,

v  or perhaps, just having fun.

In addition to these and other clear cut objectives the client may have, there is also the character or tone of the program.  Are they seeking a program that is physical, entertaining and fun, or a program that is more cerebral, or perhaps you seek a program that is a blend of both entertainment and education; facilitation and activities.

Your objective will determine what type of activity we would suggest and therefore the skillset of your facilitator/trainer or speaker and the number of facilitators/trainer or speakers that are required.  The number of participants will also factor into the number of facilitators required. There are times when a single facilitator can address hundreds of individuals in an interactive keynote, and other times, your program may require a ratio of one facilitator to thirty participants.  Each of these considerations effect the fee.

If we offered but one program, say our “Board Meeting” activity in which we instruct in a martial art technique for breaking a board, and we offered it to meet but one objective – perhaps employee motivation, then perhaps a simple fee structure could be provided.  However, while many times clients request the Board Meeting (or some or activity) as a stand-alone activity, other clients would seeks additional activities or the inclusion of a motivational keynote.  A client may have 20 participants, another 300.  A client may want us to go off-site to some really cool place while others seek to control costs by keeping the program onsite of their facilities.

Allow us to share a few of the principle factors that affect the fees.

  1. The number of participants
  2. The duration of your event (1, 2, 4, 6, 8 hours or multi day).
  3. The type of activity
  4. Materials cost (assessments)
  5. Facilities fees
  6. Location of the event

So as you can see, it is almost as complicated as ordering a coffee. It is definitely not rocket science, but there are considerations.

It doesn’t escape us that we have put ourselves in a difficult position deciding not to offer either a single solution, a sort of one-size-fits-all solution.  Such programs have a place under specific conditions and very limited circumstances and they are also conveniently delivered however, they can be a hit and miss in achieving the expectations of the client.  By learning what a client is attempting to achieve, (improved camaraderie? managing conflict? improving communication? creating more productive relationships? etc) we can actually partner with a client in providing the solution they seek.

Please know this. Training and speaker organizations have a sincere interest in the client having a successful program.  We’ve been conducting programs for two decades and we’d like to think that if you don’t use us this time, eventually we’ll have a chance to be of assistance – but only if you had a positive experience prior to our opportunity to work with you!

See subsequent article re, “Secrets To Getting More For Your Training Dollar

Charlie SelcerAbout the author: Charlie Selcer has provided organizations with employee training and development through Strictly Success Inc. for over 15 years. Strictly Success is a U.S. based employee training company for both the public and private sectors including some of America’s Fortune 1000 companies. Strictly Success specializes in high performance teams and teambuilding, employee motivation, employee accountability and change management.

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