Extreme Team Building Puts Employees Through a — Plane Crash?

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Extreme Team Building Puts Employees Through a -- Plane Crash?

A self-survival coach is teaching her skill set to businesses to help improve office camaraderie and productivity.

Maria C. Hanna, the president of Survival Systems USA, is marketing her survival skills courses to companies as a team-building exercise, the New York Times reports. Her company successfully trained 99 percent of the more than 100,000 individuals who have participated in the firm’s programming. Survival Systems says more than three decades of research and innovation in underwater egress training and survival techniques.

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Trainees have shown “improved morale, self-esteem,” and even learned of “capabilities people didn’t know they had,” Hanna tells reporters. Recently, Hanna and her partners thought to themselves: “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.” All of a sudden, the thought to bring their classes to the wider marketplace was born.

Hanna says the six-hour, one day course will be offered for $950 per person, a price comparable to other one-day team building programs company’s employ.

Welcome to Extreme Team Building

Those participating in the course are given instructions about teamwork, leadership, and safety procedures. After lunch, they are led into a room where the Modular Egress Training Simulator, a complete replica of the cockpit of almost any helicopter or small plane. The participants then jump into the pool, and the proverbial games begin. Each participant is assigned a leadership role, and strapped into the simulator.

When locked into position, the participants are submerged into the pool and flipped upside down. An instructor sits behind each team member, ready to bring them to safety if anything goes wrong. While no one has drowned during the exercise, one business owner reports that three of his employees “blacked out” during the simulation, the New York Times reports. The owner says that even though this program is more expensive than some other options, like a $50 ropes course, he thinks the experience is worth it. “You get to see how people handle stressful situations,” he reports, adding that it “really unifies the team.”

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