Could ‘extreme’ team-building help build your workplace morale?

If you believe high-stress situations tend to force groups of employees to come together and perform, then this unorthodox team-building activity may be right up your alley.  
Survival Systems USA, an organization that has been teaching aquatic survival since 1999, has just entered the world of corporate team-building.
The company now offers a one-day course in surviving mock plan crashes at an indoor pool at the Survival Systems’ Connecticut office.
If this sounds like something your company would be interested in, now is the time to do it. Reason: It’s free, at least for the time being.
Since the course is still being tweaked, Survival Systems is currently offering it in exchange for participant feedback. But soon the six-hour class will cost around $950 per person.
According to a New York Times article on the unique program, participants build up to the mock plane crash by first jumping into a pool as a group and working together to stay warm while floating. Then, the next task is boarding an inflated life raft.
Finally, for the grand finale, the group is placed in a Modular Egress Training Simulator, a plastic and metal craft that can be arranged to resemble the cockpit of virtually any plane or helicopter on the market. Once inside, a crane lifts the Simulator up, dumps it into the pool and forces people to escape from the upside down mock wreckage.
Of course, an instructor is right there to rescue folks if anything goes awry.

Improved morale, self-esteem

Why would any company want to subject its employees to something so terrifying? According to Maria C. Hanna, president of Survival Systems USA, there’s a host of benefits that can positively impact cubicle-dwellers everywhere. In reference to the years of training she’s held for past clients, Hanna said:

“We seen residual effects along the way: improved morale, self-esteem, capabilities people didn’t know they had.”

As for why the company is only now marketing to the corporate world, Hanna explained:

“We’ve never stopped long enough to say, ‘You know, this is something that can appeal to a market in a different way, using the tools from aviation to help people develop themselves.’”