Go Ape takes on the Workplace Games

team gorilla workplace games

Last week, we took our own advice and got out of the office to tackle the Suffolk Workplace Games. Though we didn’t take home any of the shiny trophies (watch this space), we had an amazing day out, mixing teams and making memories.

Like many businesses, at Banana HQ we have multiple departments living under the same roof, whom we would like to see an awful lot more than we do. So, with an epic team day on the horizon, the sales, marketing, IT, finance, business development and HR teams all headed to Ipswich for the day.

Let the games commence

If you haven’t heard of the Suffolk Workplace Games before, just imagine an adult sport’s day. Throughout the day, we took on multiple competitive sports challenges where our opposing teams were other businesses around Suffolk. At 11am the softball tournament began, followed by volleyball, walking football, archery and many more challenges. Though the weather wasn’t always our friend, we had a great time, once again taking our own advice that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

By the end of the day, we had a belly full of laughs (and a hog roast too). A firm favourite moment from the day was watching our MD furiously power-walking after a stray ball during “walking football.” If you’ve never played, we highly recommend it.

softball at the workplace games ipswich

Here’s what we thought

Here are some of the comments from our teams. We definitely left the Workplace Games as a slicker, more united tribe. What more could we ask for?

“My highlights were walking football and the concentration on people’s faces – and Alex dragging Bex along the floor when she went down during the 3-legged race. It’s fair to say, team Orangutan didn’t get that high on the leader board!” – Libby, CRM Manager

“Awesome day! Who thought walking around a football pitch would be so much fun!”  – Sarah, Events Organiser

“It was a great day, everyone was in stitches and found talents they never even knew they had! Highlight of my day had to be watching everyone playing walking football – there were some hilariously eye-watering techniques!” – Georgina, People Assistant

“The highlight of my day was the team morale! Even when we were losing everyone was still smiling, still boosting the team spirit and working well together! Even the rain couldn’t stop us!” Ash – Payroll Administrator

If you’re looking to get out of the office and plan a team day, why not get in touch with one of our Go Ape event organisers? Request a no obligation quote today. We hope to see you in the trees soon.

volleyball at the workplace games ipswich

Does role play help team training and development?

Employees in a line
Role play is a love-it-or-hate-it workplace technique. For the wannabe thespians among your tribe, it provides a fantastic opportunity for them to practice their dramatic prowess, giving it their all as they assume the role of a character in a fictitious setting that mimics real-life.

But for those who didn’t dig drama lessons at school – and may be a little shy in the office – role play can be nothing short of a living hell.

Understanding the benefits

If you know there are certain members of your tribe who fear role play, make sure you explain the benefits and help them understand why you’re getting them to do it (i.e., you’re not doing it to make them look or feel silly!).

One main advantages or role play is that is allows your tribe to learn through doing, aka, experiential learning. Read a book and they might not absorb the info, listen to a presentation and they could drift off (we’ve all done it!). But, if place them right at the heart of the action and they’re more likely to pay attention, continue paying attention and learn some valuable lessons.

Role play enables your tribe to sharpen skills related to leadership, listening, problem-solving and more. It provides a safe environment where they can encounter possible scenarios for the first time (whether it’s dealing with a problematic client or a customer requiring first aid) so they can get it right – and do it well – when and if it happens in reality.

Role play also offers a chance for self-reflection. By acting out a certain scenario, your tribe (and you, as their leader) will able to identify their strengths and perhaps more importantly, their weaknesses, so they can be addressed before they find themselves in the situation for real.

Using role play

Coax the coyest members from their shells by organising some pre-role play ice-breakers – some fun activities that’ll raise your tribe’s spirits! Then…

Identify the situation. Explain the issue and encourage an open discussion about it before the role play begins. This will allow your tribe to start planning their approach.

Set the scene. Set up a scenario, adding as many elements (where, when who, what, why) as you can so that it feels real. Make sure everyone’s clear about what you want to accomplish by the end of the session.

Assign roles. It’s casting time! Who plays the employee? Who plays the disgruntled customer? Tell your tribe to use their imaginations and really get into the minds of the person they’re playing – their feelings, goals and motivations.

Do it! Lights, camera, action! Act out the scene, testing out different approaches if necessary. If you can, build up the tension; the disgruntled customers shouldn’t jump in guns blazing straight away, as that’s unlikely to happen in real life.

Talk about it. As soon as the session is finished, chat about it. Talk about both individual and group strengths and weaknesses. Then, go around the room asking each person what they’ve learnt – this will give you a good idea of whether your role play workshop was a resounding success!

 

If you’re looking to get out of the office and plan a team day, why not get in touch with one of our Go Ape event organisers? Request a quote today. We hope to see you in the trees soon.

Top teamwork films to inspire your tribe!

Popcorn Movie
Popcorn at the ready!

Now, for all our differences and idiosyncrasies, there’s one thing that we all have in common: we all adore a good film!

Maybe you’re a horror fan who gets a buzz from being spooked. Or, maybe you prefer films that have you on the edge of your sofa from the off. Perhaps you enjoy marvelling at mega-glitzy blockbusters rammed with jaw-dropping special effects. Or, maybe you love nothing more than to spend Saturday nights curled up with bar of choccy and hugging a box of tissues, sobbing your heart out to a mushy, girl-meets-boy romcom.

Genres aside, every film makes us feel. Moving pictures have the potential to elicit every type of emotion from within us. We feel anger, pain, excitement, satisfaction, happiness…you name it, we can experience it.

Films can also teach us a thing or two. They can educate us and help us to learn about things like periods in history or cultures different from our own. And, they can also help teach tribes how to be better tribes!

Did someone say ‘Friday afternoon filmathon’?! We’ve picked some of our fave flicks that not only have great storylines, but will also inspire great teamwork among your tribe! Here they are…

Apollo 13

In this classic, a bunch of spacemen have to work together to solve an almost-impossible problem to guarantee their safe return to earth. There’s a good few lessons in leadership in Apollo 13, with Gene Krantz and Jim Lovell’s ability to control the chaos giving a huge confidence boost to the team on-board.

Remember the Titans

This film depicts the real-life tale of newly-appointed African-American coach as he struggles to unite his racially-integrated team. Through all their differences, they share the same goal: to win the state football championships. There’s tension, trials and tribulations in this movie, which delivers potent messages on trust, leadership, dedication and sacrifice.

Coach Carter

An equally inspiring film based on Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter. A dysfunctional team is united by their love of the sport, with each player yearning to be part of something bigger and better. As the plot unfurls, Carter’s the team goes from strength to strength, teaching us valuable lessons in discipline, courage and how to overcome adversity.

The Great Escape

A group of 250 men escape from a German prisoner of war camp in 1944, with success contingent on establishing individual roles among and working as a unit. Each person must come together to share their own knowledge and expertise in order to foil their captors and initiate an escape of epic proportions.

Cool Runnings

The message of this film? Nothing’s impossible when you work together as a team! Four Jamaican bobsledders dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, even though they’ve never set their eyes on snow. Cool Runnings is a tale of true determination, not to mention the ultimate feel-good flick!

What other films would you add to the list? 
If you’re looking to get out of the office and plan a team day, why not get in touch with one of our Go Ape event organisers? Request a quote today. We hope to see you in the trees soon.

Top Team Building Experiences From Around The World

Team meeting in the office

The gang at Go Ape certainly know how to get your tribe working together like a well-oiled machine.

But it takes time, effort and creativity to develop a team that knows how to work hard, play hard and bounce off each other to be the very best they can!

 

With our wealth of experience putting on top quality team building days, we know how important it is to think outside the box and use your imagination to design the right kind of experience! We know we’re a little biased, but we rate our team building days one of (if not the) most fun in the UK! But what does the rest of the world have to offer? Prepare to be inspired…


1. Dinamics Amazing Race, Queenstown, New Zealand


Out in the epic landscapes of New Zealand, employers are putting their teams to the test in the fast-paced and fantastically-named ‘Dinamics Amazing Race’! Blending together fun games, mental challenges and low-impact physical tasks, teams have to work together to make their way around Queenstown, solve the clues and reach the finish line. All while enjoying the best sights, scenery and activities the city has to offer!

 

2. Survivor Kangaroo Island, South Australia


A short ferry ride from Adelaide in Southern Australia lies Kangaroo Island, the setting for Beyond the Boardroom’s team building survivor experience. As well as the island offering plentiful adventure activities such as swimming with dolphins and quad bike tours, the survivor experience puts teams to the test to see if they really have what it takes to make it in the wild. Bear Grylls, eat your heart out!


3. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana



This exclusive 6,600 acre ranch is one for those who want their teams out and about in the great outdoors, but be warned – you’ll need some budget to burn! This all-inclusive experience offers a choice of sleeping in luxurious glamping tents or fancy log cabins so that your team can get some good old-fashioned bonding in over all manner of ranch-style activities. Think fly-fishing, horse-riding and hiking the glorious Sapphire Mountains! We predict you’ll never want to come back!



4. Kippure Estate, Wicklow Mountains, Ireland


For something a little closer to home, Kippure Estate is a one-stop shop of team building activities that offers a memorable experience for a whole range of tastes! Whether you’ve got tribe members looking to take a leap of faith on a trapeze, get competitive on a treasure hunt or learn to cook in the wild in Master Chef style, the experienced instructors aim to put together the perfect package for your team.


5. Go Ape, 31 spectacular forest locations around the UK



Oh look, it’s us! Saving the best ’til last, Go Ape are here to help you escape the office with your tribe and dose them up with a day to remember. With three team building days for you to choose from as well as plenty of flexibility to get the exact experience you require, our affordable and fun-filled team building days out are a breath of fresh air out here in the forest. Remember – the team that plays together, stays together… Give us a call for more information!

 

If you’re looking to get out of the office and plan a team day, why not get in touch with one of our Go Ape event organisers? Request a quote today. We hope to see you in the trees soon.
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