Nokia Siemens Networks (Thailand) is Thailand’s leading enabler of telecommunications services and periodically organises incentive and teambuilding programmes for its sizeable staff.
The company arranged a three-day staff outing at Amari Emerald Cove Resort Koh Chang, an island off Thailand’s east coast for 65 of its employees.
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is one of the world’s largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies, with a team of 20,000 and operations in 150 countries.
The company has been playing a leading role in bringing the latest network technology to the kingdom, and most recently signed a contract to supply 3G equipment to DTAC, the country’s second largest telecommunications provider.
With a firm belief that corporate events with a relationship-building component can help drive marketplace success, NSN Thailand held the programme to motivate its staff to achieve greater levels of productivity in all its departments.
They wanted to bring their team together in a different environment and combine some easy and fun teambuilding activities on a hotel’s premises together with leisure time.
Thailand offers a wide choice of destinations that fit the criteria for this type of outing, especially in the Bangkok vicinity.
As NSN Thailand often organises such outings, they were looking for a new locale, and Koh Chang represents one of the country’s newest business events destinations, which combines first-class meeting facilities with a stunning natural environment.
The island has also caught the eye of teambuilding organisers as well as incentive houses, which are now adding the emerging destination to their portfolios.
As Amari has a solid teambuilding reputation at other Thai destinations and has previously worked with NSN Thailand, the company was comfortable with their choice of the Amari Emerald Cove Resort Koh Chang.
Says hotel general manager Alexandre Frenkel: “The resort is not too big at 165 rooms. Furthermore, the garden and pools activity areas are located in the centre of the resort, which contributes to continuity in the games and activities. The layout of the resort also makes it easy to keep the group together, entertained and challenged.”
He adds that this, in combination with a quiet location on Koh Chang, allows participants to concentrate on the event and forget about the work place and everyday life.
The three-day/two-night programme seemed straightforward, though the activities staff at Amari, with plenty of experience in organising teambuilding activities, took all precautions to cover any unforeseen hiccups.
Transporting the 65 staff and management on the 345km ride from Bangkok down the Gulf of Thailand coast went smoothly right from the early morning departure.
They arrived five hours later at the Koh Chang Pier near the Cambodian border for the 30-minute ferry crossing from the mainland.
The fear of rain held a dark cloud over the event, as Thailand was in the midst of a particularly wet rainy season.
Should the skies open up, the Amari team was prepared to shift the activities to the 300sqm Wanakita meeting room and the similarly sized Sikarin Ballroom with 7m-high ceiling.
However, the sun was shining as the ferry reached Koh Chang’s Sapparod (Pineapple) Bay for the 15km shuttle to the Amari Emerald Cove Resort, and the weather remained cooperative throughout the three-day outing.
The Amari resort greeted the NSN Thailand group in the lobby with a welcoming line up, refreshing drinks and warm/cold towels as the registration for the 30 rooms took place without interrupting the hotel’s other guests who were checking in.
The hotel’s food and beverage department made a strong effort to keep their corporate guests nourished and well fed throughout the event.
An American breakfast started off each day of the group’s stay and the lunches and dinners were set up with different themes.
Several meals were served outside and around the 50m lap pool that sits next to the beach with a perfect sunset view after a day of activities.
During the teambuilding activities, the resort served fruit sticks, fruit juices and cold water to the attendees.
Chankit Saengkittipaibul, head of project management for CT Shin Group and the event’s organiser praised the Amari food and beverage team for its food presentation and freshness, efficient beverage service and timely refills at the buffets.
“Overall, I’m very satisfied with the food service we got from the smiling Amari Emerald Cove staff,” he says.
The teambuilding activities began almost the moment the NSN Thailand group arrived, and took place on the resort’s V-shaped lawn, which together with the neatly landscaped garden, provided the perfect venue for a group this size and the activities planned.
The resort’s management team was on hand to judge the contests and help create an impressive and memorable outing.
The games were organised by the hotel’s animators, who were tasked with providing proper and well-organised teambuilding exercises that achieved results.
Aside from the teambuilding exercises, Amari offered the group a choice of leisure activities including an island excursion, snorkelling and a “Tree Top” adventure.
A drive along the east of the island revealed dramatic rocky beaches, where life continues much as it has for decades.
Others in the NSN Thailand group selected the “Island Hoping and Snorkelling” boat trip to picnic on uninhabited island beaches and snorkel to see the colourful coral in the shallow waters around Koh Nok or Bird Island. The hardier headed to Tree Top Adventure Park, where Nokia Siemens staff went from one tree platform to another on a course laid out with rope bridges, Tarzan swings, flying skateboards and giant zip lines. Participants received the mandatory briefing on the ground to learn how to safely use the European-standard equipment, and a qualified operator accompanied the group into the park.
The outing concluded with a sunset seafood dinner around the pool, where the NSN Thailand management presented awards to the staff to recognise their accomplishments.
In summing up the experience, Chankit Saengkittipaibul says: “The management, sales and activity staff and other hotel staff were very friendly and had a very good service mind. I’m looking forward to staying at Amari Emerald Cove Resort again.”
GAMES WITH A PURPOSE
The Amari staff designed a programme aimed at improving the group’s ability to interact, and included fun games and activities that involved problem-solving initiatives to get the participants working as a team.
The Nokia Siemens Networks Thailand staff was divided into six teams, which were represented by different colours, and a member of the resort’s activities team was assigned to each. Many wore bandanas with their teams’ colours as they eagerly embarked on the contests, each of which lasted 20 to 30 minutes and targeted a specific teambuilding component.
The Human Knot places team members in a circle facing each other. They cross their left arm over the right and join hands with those on either side. The group must then figure a way to remain in a circle while uncrossing their hands, which involves close contact, bonding, fun and logical thought for problem solving.
For plenty of laughs in a friendly competition, the Hula Hoop challenges all team members to pass through various rings in a relay race.
In the Corporate Continuity contest, the team must hand a small ball overhead while at the same time pass a balloon between their knees to the next person in line without dropping either, which requires coordination, bonding and concentration.
To work on trust, leadership, listening to instructions and group coordination, the Silent Snake places team members in a line and blindfolds everyone except the “tail of the snake”, who must guide the team from behind to find eggs scattered around the lawn.
Teamwork and consideration for others are put to test in Spider Web. The web contains different-sized holes through which contestants must pass without touching the sides.
When a Nokia Siemens Networks Thailand team won a contest, they received prizes for which they could exchange for items to decorate a cake in a separate competition judged by Amari Emerald Cove Resort’s heads of departments.