We here at Cook in Shanghai have been doing a lot of team building cooking classes recently and we thought it’d be a good time to talk about some of our experiences. We all know that the purpose of team building exercises is of course to build up the relationships of people working together. During our own team-building activities, we have noticed that people seem to relax and have fun very quickly. In only a few minutes, participants go from filing in to cheering and encouraging each other.
When people first arrive, we begin by explaining some of the basics of Chinese cooking and cuisine before starting on our first activity: making dumplings. Dumplings are fairly simple to make, but take a little patience and many newcomers have never done them before. It’s a very hands-on skill that is not so easy to do right the first time. We enjoy this activity as a beginner because it gets people talking to each other right away. They check to see how others are doing, encourage each other and work together.
This is a valuable time because it is also the first time that the role of the workplace are being changed so that people of different levels in the company can all teach each other and enjoy each other’s company.
Next we have everybody break into groups of 6 to 10 people based on the dish they want to prepare. The chef will then show them how to prepare the dish, then everybody will partner up and make the dish themselves. As people make the dishes, they have a chance to talk and, if they choose, have a few drinks with their colleagues. We find this is a great way to open communication and build on relationships in a way that everyone can appreciate.
At the end of the session, we ask everyone to sample and vote on all of the recipes. This is a way to bring everyone back together as a group and have some final time before we finish.
There are of course many other other kinds of team building events. We have a few others as well. Check out our team building page to learn more.