Tag Archives: Outdoor Team Building

Why too many meetings and emails lead to bad team development

Office Meeting
Business meetings have been hailed one of the biggest office time-wasters, and we can’t say we’re surprised. We’re sure, in the past, you’ve found yourself sat in the boardroom, eyelids heavy, stifling yawn after yawn while thinking, “Surely this could have been resolved in a five minute chat?”

…But no. An hour and a half later, you’re still sat in that stuffy room, eyes now fully glazed over, and you’ve started to daydream about dinner, and plans for the weekend, and your holiday next month. Then, whoever’s speaking asks you a question. *Gulp.*

And then, we have emails. Claimed to be a super-efficient mode of communication, which we don’t doubt for a second – but why do we feel compelled to compile a message on email when we can just ask our work chum, who’s sat less than a metre away from us, the question about that project with our mouths!?

Yes, meetings can be effective, and yes, email is a great way to keep in contact with colleagues and clients. But too many of either can sap productivity and motivation, and end up having a huge impact on team development.

In meetings, people tend to talk at people (while others listen). When we send emails, we talk to one another, but digitally. See what’s lacking here? Quality, genuine, two-way interactions, which are vital for good team development.

Tip-top communication is what makes good tribes great, so it’s time to sign-off from email, shut that boardroom door, and start developing your tribe the Go Ape way!

Have fun developing in the forest

Have you heard about our Team Development days? In a nutshell, you and your tribe get to escape the office for the day to reconnect, in the beautiful surrounds of the forest, as you take on a whole heap of tree-mendous activities.

The two-three hour session is aimed at improving communication among your tribe, as well as skills related to teamwork and problem-solving.

A couple of activities you can expect to take part in include the Plank Walk, which requires oodles of communication from every tribe member as you try to walk in synch (chanting “left, right, left, right, left right”). And then there’s the Blindfold Knot, where you’ll have to rely on tip-top communication to create a human-sized knot…blindfolded!

A Team Development day is an opportunity to bring all of your tribe together, away from life’s little (but many) distractions, and bond on a deeper level. And we guarantee that you’ll feel the positive impact the very next day in the office, when communication between all members of your tribe will be flowing!

Find out about our different team building days here …

5 reasons why employee engagement is so important!

Team meeting in the office
The other day, we stumbled upon a good definition of employee engagement – on the Engage for Success website.
It read:

Employee engagement is a workplace resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give their best each day, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.

In short, employee engagement is how committed your tribe are to their jobs and to your company. And while engagement is to some extent down to them, as tribe leader, you also play a pivotal role. It’s your job to create a workplace they not only feel comfortable and confident working in, but can thrive in.

Here are five reasons why employee engagement should be a top priority for you:

1. Lower turnover

If your tribe feel content and satisfied in their roles, they are less likely to seek other opportunities elsewhere. According to Engage for Success stats, companies with high levels of engagement show a 40% lower turnover rate compared with those with low engagement levels. Make engagement a top priority and you stand a better chance of retaining all of your top talent, and you also save yourself the money of having to hire and train new recruits.

2. Greater productivity

It’s understandable that tribes work best when they’re engaged, with 59% of employees saying that their roles bring out their most creative ideas compared to just 3% of less-engaged employees. So, in this way, engaged employees are more likely to think outside of the box and innovate; which, in today’s business landscape, is what will propel your company forward and make you stand out among your competitors.

3. Happier customers

Happiness is contagious. So naturally, if your tribe are happy in their roles, it’s bound to rub off on your customers! Those customers are more likely to recommend you to friends and family, telling them what a great bunch you are! Companies which boast top engagement levels actually enjoy around 12% higher customer advocacy.

4. Fewer sick days

Mental health and physical health are closely interlinked. Our bodies work in mysterious ways; but when we feel happy and positive, we’re actually less likely to feel unwell or become ill. So, the more engaged your tribe are, the less likely they are to take sick days. According to data from Gallup, higher workplace engagement leads to 37% lower absenteeism, and perhaps more surprisingly, 41% fewer safety incidents.

5. A boost to your bottom line

Engaged tribe members are more productive and creative than their non-engaged counterparts, and they take less sick days and are likely to stick around longer. So it’s clear to see why companies with high engagement rates enjoy greater profits than those who don’t! In fact, Engage for Success says that they enjoy TWICE the annual net profit than companies with low engagement rates. That’s a stat you simply can’t ignore!

Care for your tribe and they’ll care for you and your company it’s as simple as that. If your tribe are engaged, they’ll become advocates of your brand and help to take your business to the next level, and then the next level, and then the next level, and so on!

(Psst: You could always engage your tribe in the beautiful surrounds of the forest at Go Ape, as you all monkey around in the canopy. Chat to one of our team members about mid-week corporate trips by calling 0370 218 5574.)

Break free from meeting rooms

business man sitting in the park

Picture a typical office meeting. A group of employees gathered around a table in a stuffy room, listening to their boss talk business while simultaneously suppressing yawns. As soon as the coffee cups are empty their minds begin to wander, as they jot down notes they know won’t make any sense when they come to read them later on.


OK, so not all meetings are this bad. But generally, they have a reputation for being ineffective, wasting both business and employee time while draining productivity. So, here’s a solution for you: the next time you need to gather your tribe, swap the confines of the boardroom for the great outdoors!


A meeting with nature


At Go Ape, we hold all of our meetings outdoors. We sometimes have business chats up in the canopy, whilst swinging from tree to tree. It makes talking about the boring stuff not-so-boring – meaning we’re more likely to stay engaged and remember what was discussed.


Hosting a meeting in the great outdoors can…


Get the creative juices flowing: Nothing inspires more than Mother Nature. And sometimes, thinking outside of the box requires you to leave the box that is your office. New surroundings = new ideas!


Energise your tribe: Enjoying lungfuls of fresh air can improve your mood, combat stress, fight fatigue and increase productivity. All this makes for more effective meetings, ensuring your tribe are switched on and not zoned out.


Relax your tribe: The conference room is a tense environment, there’s no doubt about it. In the great outdoors, your tribe are bound to feel more chilled out and comfortable. And this might make them more confident and willing to speak up, share ideas and be part of the discussion.


Come hang with us


Need to plan a meeting? Why not take a leaf out of our book and host it at Go Ape!? Visit one of our courses and you can talk serious stuff in the beautiful surrounds of the forest, before or after heading skyward to take on one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventures. Whoever said that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure was wrong!


If you think you’ll need equipment – for instance, if you’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation – then you’re better off using a conference facility, which we can organise for an additional fee. The facility will be a short drive from the course; and not only will we provide the tools, but we can arrange refreshments for you and you tribe to tuck into, too.


If you want to keep things more casual, you could always host the gathering in our Forest Shelter, which your company will have exclusive use of. The Shelter comes equipped with games – though it may be worth moving them out of sight so they don’t distract during the discussion!


Meetings don’t have to be dull – liven things up by holding your next tribe gathering in the heart of the forest!


If you want to find out more about our mid-week corporate adventures, you can request a quote from one of our friendly team members. See you in the treetops!

10 years of adventure: Win a Team Day Out

Team Building in the trees

A selection of our sites are celebrating their 10th birthdays, and you’re invited!

We’re giving away a Team Day Out for 10 people at our 4 very special birthday locations; Alice Holt Forest, Bedgebury Pinetum, Buxton Country Park and Aberfoyle, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

All you have to do to enter is nominate your workplace below, and tell us why you need a Team Day Out.

Celebrate 10 years of adventure at Alice Holt, Bedgebury, Buxton and Aberfoyle

Terms and conditions.

1. The promoter is: Adventure Forest Limited Trading as Go Ape Ltd whose registered office is at Unit 1, Fornham Business Court, The Drift, Fornham St Martin, Bury St Edmunds, IP31 1SL.

2. To enter the competition you must be: (a) UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry.

3. Employees of Go Ape or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.

4. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are shown above.

6. The competition period ends 21st July 2017.

7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not fully received for whatever reason.

8. Team Day Out for 10 people. Includes Tree Top Adventure and use of the forest shelter and Jungle Games for 10 people. Prize to be redeemed before the 30th November 2017. Subject to availability.

9. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for any cash alternative.

10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in any event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

12. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

13. Winners will be chosen: at random by software provided by random.org from all entries received and verified by the Promoter.

14. The winner will be notified by email within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

15. The promoter will notify the winner how and when the prize can be collected.

16. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

17. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

18. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by [English] law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of [England].

19. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation.

20. Entry into the competition will be deemed as consent for your entry data to be used for promotional use by Go Ape. Please be aware that should you receive further communications from Go Ape, you will be given the option to unsubscribe or opt out.

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