Belfast Telegraph

Grant Thornton runway run: Working well together will help your project lift off the ground

By Richard Gillan

According to research commissioned by Citrix, 31% of office workers detest team building activities. Whether it's the icebreaker questions or problem solving tasks, they make employees cringe. Given the benefits strong employee relations can bring to an organisation, introducing new and exciting team building activities is therefore a huge challenge for employers.

At Grant Thornton we like to do things differently, and felt that hosting a 5k run under the glow of the runway lights at Belfast City Airport would provide a fantastic, and novel, opportunity for local companies to engage in a worthwhile team building exercise. We have chosen to donate to the airport's award-winning community fund initiative through the run, but would also encourage those taking part to raise funds for their own charity partners.

The event, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, is open to businesses of all sizes and has already attracted a large number of entries from banks, law firms, and both large and small companies in a wide range of sectors.

Considering many companies simply pay lip-service to the concept of team-building, it is a task that, instead of being taken lightly, should be a concrete strand of their HR strategy, and it is reassuring to see so many local companies doing just that. Despite contributing in its own way, individual brilliance does not decide the fate of an entire company. It is the joint efforts of the whole team that eventually decide the success of a company or the projects it undertakes.

Effective communication between employees at all levels of an organisation should also not be underestimated. This requires enough knowledge of other staff to feel comfortable around them, and a degree of trust. 'Out of the office' events are a great way to establish this, particularly when a competitive element is introduced allowing the team to share not only the achievement, but also the experience.

Employees who enjoy positive relationships with their colleagues are happier in the workplace and therefore more motivated and productive, which of course will always be of benefit to the overall organisation and its stakeholders.

We feel very strongly about nurturing relationships within our own business, but also see this event as a wonderful opportunity for employees to network and for local businesses to establish relationships with each other.

May the best team win!

To get involved in the Grant Thornton Runway Run - which takes place on June 24 - visit

Belfast Telegraph