Part scavenger hunt, part mobile escape room, Puzzle Rides helps businesses assess their teams’ strengths and weaknesses through team puzzle solving experiences with exciting side adventures via golf carts. Held in locally-owned bars or restaurants, the two hour events mix teams several times while solving puzzles. Uniquely, the experience incorporates historical facts about Old Town Scottsdale in the clues, so local businesses and those visiting from out of state learn something new about the city during the adventure.
Just like a traditional escape room, players have a limited amount of time to solve each set of puzzles. The newly implemented Puzzle Relays team building events can host up to 90 participants. During their adventure, players are taken to a handful of local businesses to discover clues, oftentimes filling bars and restaurants to the max. Puzzle Relays not only add more fun to a teams’ experience, but also bring revenue to the local hosting businesses.
As a team relay comes to a close, management stakeholders are treated to an in-depth team review called an “Executive Summary” facilitated by Puzzle Rides owner Katie Dufort. With over 12 years of experience as a professional sales trainer, Dufort is able to immediately assess actions and traits associated with performance that would be of value to human resource leaders by simply observing teams’ interactions with each other while attempting to solve the puzzles.
Dufort’s “Executive Summary” has often been noted as the highlight of the event for HR professionals and their accompanying C-suite participants. Her assessment includes the perceived culture, potential areas that could be looked at differently, what worked well, people they may not know are an asset by how they solve problems, the occasional “rotten egg” and the general overall health of the organization.
“The feedback from HR departments and managers is hugely positive, even when we occasionally have bad news. HR has repeatedly thanked us for the “fresh eyes” we give to how their staff members function in a team setting,” said Katie Dufort, Puzzle Rides owner. “We make general recommendations, but we really want to encourage leadership to think about how they can have a better impact and make little adjustments in the culture of the team.”
The relays and executive summaries have proven to be beneficial for all types of companies to brush up on their team building skills and create lasting memories. Recent participants include JP Morgan Chase, Discount Tire, Workday, Northrop Grumman, Amazon, and three-time participant Carvana, among others. Puzzle Rides offers nonthreatening fun where participants can learn a lot about their team members based on how they interact to solve a puzzle and reveal bits of their personality in a safe environment.