On October 6, 2022 Brent Allgood claimed the seat on RevRoad’s blue couch at RevUniversity. Brent is the CEO and Founder of Adaptive Workshops, a local startup that uses virtual reality (VR) to facilitate team building workshops for employees seeking to strengthen communication and engagement.
BUILDING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
According to Brent, there are mountains of research regarding employee engagement. Data shows that about one-third of employees are actively engaged in the office, and approximately 51% of employees are disengaged.
“They are simply there to exchange time for a paycheck. If something happens, their response is usually, “That’s not my problem.”
At Adaptive Workshops, Brent and his team seek to foster more engagement in employees to be more actively involved—not only in their work tasks but also in the company culture.
“The whole point of having employees and a team in business is so you don’t have to do it alone. We are social creatures. People want to be with their friends and do things with their friends. They want to be in an office space where they have great company culture.”Brent Allgood, Adaptive Workshops
What do you actually do to build that culture?
HOW VR WORKSHOPS BUILD TEAM CULTURE
Within the Adaptive Workshop’s VR team building workshop for employees, teams work together to protect their fortress from ogre and dragon intruders. Standing at their post, each team member aims their bow and arrow at the approaching enemies.
Brent chose to use VR as the medium for his workshop for two primary reasons. The first reason, he explained, is that people want to learn by doing—not by being told what to do.
Consider it this way. How did you learn to swim? Do you go to a classroom where a teacher showed you how to move your arms and legs, and then you knew how to swim? No. You got into the pool, experienced the water, and move your body around to learn what it feels like to swim.
People don’t want to learn by someone telling them what to do. We learn by doing. And that is why VR is an ideal medium for team communication workshops.
“We use VR similar to how I would teach you to swim, but instead we are teaching about communication. Rather than me coming into your workspace and saying, “You need to communicate with your team,” I’m going to put you in a VR experience. You naturally want to perform well in the game, and you can’t do well unless you are communicating. That is why we use VR as a tool to get teams to come together, communicate, understand who is good at what and then further develop those roles.”Brent Allgood, Adaptive Workshops
The second reason is because it is fun! VR provides an environment for teams to come together, let their hair down, and have some fun together—within a structured workshop to help them bond. You are bonding in the foxholes so that when you come together in the office the next day, you’re ready to work together.
WHO THE WORKSHOP IS FOR
This team building workshop for employees is ideal for teams and companies who are changing rapidly.
It often takes companies months of even years to fully integrate a new employee into the team. By doing the Adaptive Workshops exercise, new employees can be integrated within half a day. The workshop can build that comradery very quickly but unveiling communication needs, identifying individual strengths, and developing friendships within a game environment.
If team members are unwilling to say, “I need help,” or, “What can I do for you?” during the workshop, they can take those communications skills back to the workplace to increase teamwork dynamics.
ADVICE TO ENTREPRENEURS
Brent shared his five pieces of advice to other entrepreneurs.
- Figure out exactly what is you want to do, but don’t be afraid to make changes
- When life happens, don’t quit.
- If you need to shift, you shift.
- Hire people that are smarter than you.
- Do what is right for the client no matter what.