Outdoor Training is one of the off the job training methods. It is an educational method using physical activities in the nature, based on sensory experience, knowledge and experience of the situation, i.e. it is based on the experiential pedagogy. Outdoor training’s aim is to raise the physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual level of all participants.
Often the outdoor training is focused on the creation of the team and increase employee motivation, and therefore it can be confused with the concept of the teambuilding, which has a narrower meaning.
Outdoor training is now often used for the development of enterprise management, for the development of key competencies. These competencies include the ability to communicate, cooperate, finding solutions to problems. A very important factor in this form of learning is feedback between client and outdoor training lecturer. The experience of the lecturer is very important for proper utilization of the acquired experience during the training.
The most commonly used activities in outdoor training are biking, abseiling, archery, crossbow shooting, water sports, ropes course and many other activities that are based on physical activities of participants connected into one comprehensive form.
Outdoor training can be targeted in different ways according to the needs of the organization - relaxation, improving teamwork, meditation, and solving various crisis situations, selection of suitable employees into different teams, talent identification, self-knowledge and other. Basic types of the outdoor training are as follows:
- Outdoor fun/event/recreation - the most free way of the outdoor training. Its aim is primarily the entertainment, leisure, recreation, rehabilitation of physical and mental energy. It arranges to employees an extraordinary experience, bringing fun and supports the improvement of relations and effective communication
- Team spirit - so called value added experience. The aim is to motivate and unite the work team and strengthen informal business relationships. Team spirit is usually conceived dynamically, with an emphasis on experience. For example, adrenaline activities such as ropes course or rappelling
- Teambuilding - the most complex type, in this case the team building goes to the depth of the building the team. It is a systematic team building and team development and it aims to improve the performance of the team. The team development is based on a specific program in which the teams are exposed to new situations, which they must solve as a team. Next, all experiences and solutions are discussed in a joint discussion with the teambuilding instructors and solutions are evaluated by both teams and the instructors. This type of teambuilding provides the greatest feedback about the ability of team cooperation and communication
- Individual development - or training, coaching. All the principles of experiential learning can be used equally well for teams as for individuals. It can improve the ability to communicate, work efficiency and cooperation on the basis of training and observations of individual behavior within a given team. The aim is to improve the efficiency of the individual, finding its potential or weaknesses and the possible development of the individual
- Outdoor assessment center - it is an outdoor diagnostic form of employees, find people with appropriate skills using the Assessment Centre method
Use of the outdoor training in practice: Outdoor training is in practice used as a form of special skills training for workers in the organization. Its lighter forms (outdoor fun and outdoor recreation) are used as a form of benefit and relaxation for busy workers. Inclusion of outdoor training, as well as other forms of education are usually in the responsibility of CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer).