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Corporate training goes techy
For some companies, throwing their employees into a dark, multidimensional arena full of pumping smoke and loud music is just the motivation they need to become cohesive as a team. Add a laser gun, and the four pillars of teamwork come as naturally as hunting down your enemy in a game that combines tag with hide-and-seek.
"Because of what it is, we take our game, which is Laser Quest, and build a program around it that focuses on the four pillars of teamwork," said Kevin Ragan, general manager of Laser Quest, located at N May Avenue and Hefner Road. "This corporate training idea came from our marketing vice president and is designed by professionals. So, it's not really about going out and playing games of laser tag, but learning more about your co-workers and how to come together as a team."
Laser Quest is played in a large, multilevel arena with flashing lights, fog and heart-pounding music. Players, whether individually or on teams, use their lasers to tag opponents' sensors and score as many points as possible.
But when facing a team-building program, Ragan said Laser Quest becomes more than that.
"The game is secondary," he said. "We think of it as, 'How can it be effective as a team-building tool?' Well, it's all in the spirit of camaraderie, and it appeals to a lot of different demographics."
"Quest for Success" is a half-day corporate team-building experience, designed by training professionals. Through the Laser Quest game, the program uses the four pillars of effective teamwork: communication, cooperation, fun and trust. The activities and games act as a catalyst for discussion and provide an avenue to use and build a team. The program includes a workbook, video, discussion and games.
"Our corporation is an adventure game that's usually on the weekends or evenings," said Laser Quest Marketing Director Arlene Duncan. "We were looking for something we could do during the day, so we came up with several different programs for corporations and schools."
And this is how "Quest for Success" was born in 2001. Since then, approximately 30 corporations a year sign up for the training.
"One of the cool things about it is that you get to see your co-workers open up and let loose a bit," Ragan said.
Convincing the employees to participate is another story.
"We always have people come in and go, 'You've gotta be kidding.' They are very apprehensive, and some are very reluctant," he said. "But once they start playing, they really can focus on those four pillars of teamwork. They get to see the sides of their co-workers they normally don't get to see."