Team building and employee engagement are high priorities for most businesses. But they don't have to be as traditional as you think. Helping others a part of your corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment also has major benefits to employee engagement. Here's a little story about a recent event we managed for Morrisons. The three peaks challenge is a very well worn charity challenge event where you complete all three of the highest mountains in the UK in under 24hrs. That's Ben Nevis (Scotland), Snowdon (Wales) and Scarfell Pike (England) in case you were wondering. Now I'll admit right now that I'm not a big fan of this challenge. It just seems like an unnecessary amount of charging around which puts untold pressure on the mountains and the infrastructure around them. I also believe that participants miss the incredible natural beauty of their surroundings but that's probably just my inner hippy coming out. Success of the three peaks often comes down to the transport and how much traffic there is making it largely a driving challenge more than anything else.
So when Sue Ryder enquired about running the three peaks as part of their charity partnership with Morrisons we were keen to suggest alternatives. We settled on the Three Peaks Sunrise Series. We would climb all three of the mountains on separate weekends (over a 12 month period) and we would aim to get to the top of each of them at sunrise. This meant getting the timings right and climbing mostly in the dark. Climbing mountains is awesome but doing it when no one else is around and experiencing sunrise is just magical.
At this point I would like to introduce Kevin Essex. Kevin is a butcher in the Milton Keynes Morrisons store and had not really done much outdoor activity until he pitched up in Llanberis on the first of the sunrise events, Mount Snowdon. The event went well and all walkers made it to the top despite some struggling a little physically. When we got down I interviewed Kevin for the official video and I could see then that he had a glint in his eye and the event had sparked something within. We met again in Fort William before the Ben Nevis climb and he seemed like a changed man - kitted out with proper mountaineering gear and eager to get on the mountain despite the awful weather conditions. Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago and we're stood on top of Scarfell Pike and Kevin was telling me about all the times he'd been out to the mountains and how he wants to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia. Brilliant! He also couldn't stop thanking me for introducing him to mountaineering and it was great to see him so energised and stoked for his new found sport. The mountains can do that to anyone I guess so what are you waiting for? #exploremore
Mocean is a multi-award winning employee engagement and internal comms agency based in Bristol & London
Team building doesn't have to be structured and run through business channels. In fact employee wellbeing comes in all kinds of guises so here's some advice on helping your employees enjoy the hot weather we're experiencing.
With temperatures almost hitting a staggering 35 degree here in Bristol we started thinking about being outdoors and the dangers that being too hot can bring. In the UK we're often more concerned with keeping dry and warm so we thought it would help if we compiled some top tips and best advice for surviving if you're heading into the mountains this week.
1. Start Early Early mornings in the outdoors are wondrous. Whether you're trekking or mountain biking it can be the best time of day to enjoy these special environments. If you start early enough it can also mean that you'll miss the hottest part of the day - around midday. You should be able to climb most mountains before lunch leaving the afternoon for the mad dogs and Englishmen.
2. Cover Up This may seem a little counterintuitive, but long sleeves and a hat are actually your friend it the hot weather. The more of your body you can shield from the sun, the better. Loose-fitting long sleeves and trousers with a wide-brimmed hat will do wonders on a summer hike. Remember to shield your eyes with some UV-blocking sunglasses and slather that sunscreen on every exposed part of your body – especially if you’re hiking at altitude. The sun is stronger up there and you’ll get burned faster – even more so if you’re constantly sweating it all off.
3. Hydrate Pretty obvious but remember that your body can be losing between 1 and 2 lire an hour so it's vitally important. Be sure to bring more water than you think you’d need – and remember to sip often. BONUS PRO-TIP: When you’re done sipping from a hydration bladder, blow back into the mouth piece so the water doesn’t stay in the drinking tube. Beats getting a drink of hot, sun-soaked water on your next sip. It's also worth pre-hydrating - make sure you drink enough water the day before and in the morning before you leave.
4. Stay Salty It’s not enough to replace the water your body’s losing – you also have to rebalance those electrolytes while you’re at it. Sodium and potassium are the two big ones you’ll need to make sure you don’t run out of energy - pack some electrolyte drink mixes or tabs with your drinking water.
5. Remember to Rest While you’re eating those snacks and sipping that water, why not also find some time to sit down in the shade? Chilling out for a bit will give your muscles a chance to recover and also give your sweat some time to evaporate and cool down your body temperature.
6. Bring extra socks When hiking in hot weather, take an extra pair of of socks. Even if you don’t usually have a problem with blisters, if it's hot your feet are going to seat more than usual. When you feel hot spots in your boots - take a break in the shade and swap socks.
7. Know the Signs of Heat Stroke When your core body temperature gets too high, you run the risk of suffering from heat stroke – a potentially lethal condition. The most common early signs are: – Throbbing headache – Dizziness – Muscle cramps – Nausea – Disorientation or confusion – Lack of sweating, despite hot temperatures If you or someone in your group thinks you’re getting heat stroke – stop, find shade, and cool down ASAP. Immediately start planning on getting off the hill and to medical attention - don’t hesitate to call emergency services..
8. Check the Weather Although skies may be clear in the city, the mountains can make their own weather. Often when it’s very hot – the mountains can trigger surprise downpours - as ever - be prepared for all weathers when you head out.
9. Choose wisely Pick a route that is achievable before 12. Also, one that offers shade and water sources. It's importantant to keep out of direct sunlight and also to be able to cool yourself down - Soaking your t-shirt in cold mountain water and then putting it back on or over your head can work winders.