Category Archives: In The Workplace

Manager or mentor?

Overcoming your fears - man on zip wire
Do you see yourself as more of a manager, or a mentor? To put that another way, who do you think your tribe would rather be led by?

If our questions have confused you, and you’re sat there thinking the two terms mean the very same thing, here’s how they differ – courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

To ‘manage’: ‘To handle or direct with a degree of skill; to make and keep compliant; to exercise executive, administrative and supervisory direction.’
To ‘mentor’: ‘To serve as a trusted counselor or guide; to provide expertise to less experienced individuals; to build a relationship based upon communication.’

Mentor your tribe

A couple of years back, recruitment agency Robert Walters conducted a survey among millennials to learn what they looked for in a job. A whopping 91% of respondents cited career progression as their top priority.

Over half (53%) of millennials said they’ve been disappointed by the lack of personal development and training when starting a role. And now, in 2017, the picture’s pretty much the same, with studies from the likes of Gallup constantly showing that opportunities to learn and grow is the most important thing for millennials. If you thought it was free food, a high salary or big Xmas bonus, think again!

So, back to mentors. If a mentor ‘serves as a trusted counselor or guide’ and ‘provides expertise to less experienced individuals,’ then they are someone who equips their tribe with the tools, training and teaching they need to flourish. Their employees’ career progression is just as important as their own.

Now answer this: would your tribe rather have a mentor, or a manager? Of course, you’ve got to do a little bit of managing in-between mentoring (that naturally comes with running a business), but you’ll have a knack for both. Every day, you’ll mix your own tasks with teaching your tribe a thing or two.

In fact, forget the word ‘manager.’ We’re bigger fans of ‘leader,’ as to us, a leader is someone who sets the example and guides their tribe to greatness. A leader is inspirational and looked up to; they’re someone who shares their knowledge, gives credit, and is thrilled to see tribe members achieve fantastic things.

Coach in the canopy

How about a mass mentor session? Teamwork may already be tip-top in your office, but if you want to fine-tune it just a little bit more, then head to the trees at Go Ape! The canopy is the home to our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses, which provide a space for you all to kick back with one another, build stronger bonds and ultimately, have some fun.

These courses are actually great for improving skills among your tribe. As they leap off platforms, wobble across bridges and crawl through tunnels together, their confidence will get a boost, leaders will come to light, and skills like problem-solving will be sharpened, too.

Join the thousands of companies that swing with us each year by booking a tree-mendous trip to your local Go Ape course. Catch you in the canopy soon!

Five (more) ideas for your Christmas do!

Christmas Party
Feeling full-on festive yet? Christmas is so close we can almost taste the turkey! Oh, and the sprouts – yuk!

By now, you and your office tribe will probably be wrapping things up in the office. And when we say ‘wrap,’ we don’t literally mean covering your desk and stationery in festive paper and adorning it with red ribbons. We mean it figuratively, making sure all your work for this year is done and dusted, and everything’s in place for your return in January.

P-A-R-T-Y!

Anywho…have you been a last-minute Larry with sorting a party for your tribe? While there may not be any spaces left on the typical winter wonderland extravaganza, you can always plan an alternative bash instead! No one likes ordinary anyway, and your tribe might appreciate doing something a little different this year!

Whether you book a last-minute slot or save the event for next year (which is sure to help banish the January blues), here are five ideas with a twist…

Cruise the loos

Live in or near the capital? If so, why not embark on one of its toilet tours? You may be raising your eyebrows, but this experience is anything but bog standard, as you all walk around the city learning about the history and potty politics of its public lavatories!

Have your funny bones tickled

Chuckle en masse with your workmates at a comedy club, but be prepared to be the butt of a few jokes (especially if you sit at the front). For a more personal – and in our opinion, memorable – experience, opt for a smaller venue with cabaret seating.

Warm up your vocal chords

This one’s definitely a love-or-hate-it experience, but it sure is fun! Hire out a karaoke booth for the night for one, almighty singalong! After a few, festive beverages, even the coyest colleagues may be willing to step out of their comfort zone to sing a rendition of Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe!

Get your cook on

If, like us here at Banana HQ, the way to your tribe’s hearts is through their stomachs, why not treat them to a cookery class? Forget the turkey for a tick and rustle up Mexican, Indian or Thai fare. Perfect your culinary skills and get to eat some great grub – what’s not to love?

Swing through the trees

Save cash on buying party frocks and swing through the trees as tinsel-covered Tarzans instead! Combatting the canopy with your tribe is a great way to blow off some end-of-year steam – and the forest is perfect for exchanging your secret Santa gifts!

This year, do something different! Merry Christmas!

A roundup of this year’s top employee perks

Sofa
Did you know that more than a third (34%) of UK employees see company perks as the most important consideration when accepting a job? This has encouraged businesses both large and small to don their finest thinking hats and come up with inventive and inspiring ways to attract and retain the very best talent.

This stat comes from jobs and recruitment website Glassdoor, which carries out a yearly study to find out what UK workers want (really, really want).

Perks have moved past pension schemes, cycle-to-work initiatives and free fruit – these are a given nowadays. Employee expectations are higher than ever, and they’re after benefits that genuinely improve their experience in the office, and help them to achieve that golden work/life balance.

Here some of the top “quirky” perks UK companies are currently offering their tribes, according to Glassdoor:

Hotjar gives employees €4,000 (around £3,500) to create their own office space at home.

TransferWise has constructed a sauna within its office for employees to sweat out their stress whenever they feel like it.

BrewDog offers ‘paid puppy leave’ for a week, to help new owners settle their furry friends in.

Winton Capital Management employs a ‘Food Evangelist’ who offers employees nutritional advice.

Money.co.uk’s new office is in a renovated castle, equipped with a Star Wars-themed cinema room.

VisitBritain employees all get given free theatre tickets for the West End, with the company organising regular trips to the latest and greatest attractions and events across Britain.

Cloudreach treats its tribe to ‘secret holidays’ across Europe and North America where they kick back, relax and focus on the year ahead.

Buzzfeed UK invites top, British musical talent to the its office every Thursday to perform for its tribe.

Expedia UK allocated every employee a ‘wellness allowance’ of between £400-£1,200 to spend on anything fitness related, like gym or sports club memberships, equipment and sports gear.

Here’s what Glassdoor’s UK country manager, David Whitby, had to say: “Perks don’t have to be expensive, but if used correctly they can reinforce a company’s brand and values.

“Companies aren’t always able to pay top salaries in the most competitive labour markets. In these cases, offering a more generous – and in some cases creative – benefits package can help employers attract and retain candidates, while also improving employee satisfaction and building a strong corporate culture.”

Pick your perks

Need to up your perk game? With 2017 coming to an end and the New Year in sight, now’s a great chance to plan a benefits package that’ll give your tribe’s satisfaction and morale big boost, and convince prospective candidates to work for your awesome company!

As David said, perks needn’t cost an arm or a leg. Just make sure they align with your values and brand. Oh, and most importantly, make sure they are something your tribe will really appreciate! If you’re stuck, carry out a poll of the office to find out what your current employees would like to see introduced in the workplace. This will help to ensure your perks are perk-fect!

Take time to reflect

Disconnect to reconnect

Admit it: How many times have you thought to yourself (or said out loud), “There aren’t enough hours in the day”?

 

As Tribe leader, you’ve had to master the art of multitasking, and you’re used to fitting a day and a half’s worth of work into just one day. Every Monday morning you tell yourself that you’re going to take it easier this week and break more often – but time escapes you…yet again! However, even if work is a whirlwind, there’s one task that you and all other leaders must make time for: reflection.

 

What do they need?

Self-reflection, defined as ‘serious thought about one’s character and actions,’ is a task all leaders should undertake. Assessing your ways of working and approach to leadership will help you understand what you’re doing well – and which areas need some fine-tuning. Most importantly, you need to reflect on what your Tribe need from you. Are you doing all that you can to ensure that they’re happy in their roles, happy working together as a team and happy with you as their leader?

Here are some things your Tribe might need more of:

 

Attention

When was the last time you rounded your tribe up for a pep talk? Group get-togethers should be a regular thing in your office – we’re talking at least once a week. You should also set time aside for one-to-ones with each member of your tribe, to see how they’re getting on and if they need more from you.

 

Training opportunities

Employees are happiest when they’re given the tools and training they need to flourish in their roles. If they feel like they can’t climb the career ladder any higher in your company, they might start looking for new opportunities. One-to-one meetings are a chance to talk to your tribe about how you can help them to develop their career, if that’s what they want.

 

Recognition

We know…you don’t give to receive. But if your tribe constantly commit 110% to their jobs without any acknowledgement, they might feel like they’re efforts are in vain. If a tribe member – or your entire tribe – has gone above and beyond, there are two things you need to do: recognise and reward! A simple ‘thank you’ is a good start, but think of some extra-special treats to surprise them with. Take them out for the day, buy them lunch, or let them go home early this Friday!

 

Confidence building

If you’ve noticed that some of your tribe haven’t integrated as well as others, it might be because they lack confidence. They might have recently joined the tribe, or maybe they’ve been there for a while, but are naturally quite shy.

 

The solution: team building!

Strong, cohesive teams don’t simply appear (if only); they need to be built! Taking your tribe out of the office and giving them a chance to get to know one another on a more personal level, will help them to form better bonds while boosting their confidence at the same time. As well as raising your tribe’s spirit, team building activities also help to sharpen skills associated with leadership, communication, problem-solving and decision-making (among many others). But here’s the thing: to make a positive impact on your tribe, team building needs to be fun!

 

A fun team building activity?

Let us think…Got it! How does swinging from tree to tree in a Tarzan fashion sound? We know we’re biased, but a Tree Top Adventure is the ultimate team building activity – climb into the canopy and with your tribe by your side, you’ll take on a range of awesome obstacles. Trust us, the treetops are the ideal setting to build lasting bonds! So, what are you waiting for? Request a quote for your Go Ape Tree Top Adventure today!

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