Working together to achieve more, with help from the great outdoors!

Regularly hosting corporate away-days coordinated by General Manager, Roger Sell, Holne Park House offers an exciting range of bespoke team building packages, with each one tailored to the individual client to ensure that it meets a specific set of objectives for the day. So when family-run line marking and specialist surfacing company QMS needed to try a different approach to their tri-annual business review meetings, they knew just where to turn.

Based in nearby Newton Abbot, QMS was looking to show its workforce the importance of working together to achieve more, after noticing some minor difficulties within the team. Keen to take a different route that would inject a bit of fun into proceedings, they turned to Holne Park House for help, hoping to boost staff morale and encourage the team to work more closely together on the challenges the day would present; a valuable lesson that they could take away and replicate in their day-to-day work for the company.

Set in 90 acres of the picturesque parkland of River Dart Country Park, Holne Park House boasts everything you could possibly need to host a fun-filled and productive team building event. Centred around a slice of its namesake river, the park is home to a range of adrenaline-fuelled activities – from high ropes and zip wires, to extensive woodland trails. Stately home Holne Park House sits at its very centre, offering an attractive, comfortable and well-equipped indoor setting for conferences and meetings, with accommodation and catering also on the menu.

The team at Holne Park House worked closely with QMS in the lead-up to the day, devising an exciting and educational programme that would ensure that the company’s key objectives were met.

With input from QMS, Holne Park House put together a schedule that would kick off their one-day event with a range of five gruelling team challenges, each designed to test their skill and determination to the limit. Each exercise was to take place outside in the extensive grounds of the River Dart Country Park, and would require them to work together to achieve the desired end result. Without teamwork, success would be impossible.

“We have more than 250 tasks, all designed to bring out different strengths, such as leadership, management, communication, stress management – and, of course, team building skills”, says Roger.

“For QMS, the most important goal for the company was for the team to learn to work effectively together to achieve shared goals, so we ensured that the activities we chose for them would test these skills and encourage them to help one another to achieve success. Of course, in order for this to happen, someone also had to take the lead, so it was a great way for them to develop their leadership skills, too. There is a fine balance when leading a team as well as being a part of it, and awareness of this was crucial throughout the tasks.”

Roger and his team accompanied QMS throughout the morning to facilitate the activities, ensuring that everything ran smoothly and safely. Despite the reservations some participants had ahead of the challenges that lay in wait, the Holne Park House team rallied the troops – and their enthusiasm was infectious.

“All the activities were great fun, and really got everybody working together to achieve the end result”, says Greg Clark, Managing Director at QMS. “The cannon run was exceptionally well enjoyed, and the dismantling and rebuilding of the cannon against the clock certainly added that competitive edge”.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, and the team were surprised to find that the most difficult task was the one they had least suspected.

“The most challenging task of all was called Big Feet, and it took good leadership to engage everybody to work together at the same time. It is certainly not as easy as it looks!”

QMS managed to successfully complete all five challenges in good time, and returned to the house in high spirits where they were met with a delicious lunch laid on by Holne Park House’s dedicated catering team. A well-earned refuel, all round.

The day was rounded off with the Business Review conference in the ballroom, providing a chance for the participants to reflect on what they had learned, and how this could be applied to the business moving forward.

From national financial service firms, to local emergency service volunteers, the venue opens its doors to an array or organisations – but whatever it happens to be, the day is never done until the client is satisfied that its objectives have been successfully achieved.

While a team building event can be great fun for all involved, the purpose must always be kept in mind, and the Holne Park House team reviewed and reflected upon the programme with QMS to gather feedback on the day, and to find out how satisfied they were with their time at Holne Park House.

“Our aim is always that the whole party leaves with a sense of achievement, having accomplished the challenging tasks ahead of them and having learnt something new – not just about themselves, but about the entire team”, says Roger.

For QMS, the verdict was resoundingly positive, and the company was so satisfied with the experience that they are already making plans to return.

“We had a great time at Holne Park House, and left feeling more than happy that our objectives were fulfilled”, said Greg. “The staff were professional, the facilities were great, and the food was really tasty, too!

“Following the event and the return to work, the togetherness of staff has certainly improved. Before the event, there were one or two difficulties we wanted to iron out within the team. Different personalities are bound to clash at times, but actually, it’s this mix of traits and characteristics that makes us more powerful when we work together. The team building day really helped us to get that message across to our workforce, and today, they are more unified than ever before. We are achieving more, together – and that is exactly the result we wanted.

“Holne Park House will certainly feature again in the future plans of the business. In fact, we have already booked a two-day event again in 2017.”

Team activity
Dart Park exercise
Team building
Zip wire
Canoeing finish line
Team photo
Team photo with tractor