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Welcome to the Fresh Tracks team building blog. This is a growing collection of team development news, opinions, tips and advice. We would love your input so feel free to comment or get in touch.

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Conference team building in Europe

As I write today I’m being pitched and rolled aboard a Stena Line ferry travelling from the Hook of Holland to Harwich.

Team building in Europe is only an hour away

Team building in Europe is only 24 hours away.

Below me a truck full of team building equipment is hopefully well secured to the deck.  Despite the high seas I’m excited to be part of a new chapter in the life of Fresh Tracks as we increase our overseas team building offering.  On many occasions in the past we’ve jumped on planes to deliver keynote talks and team building sessions at conferences and on occasions we’ve freighted equipment ahead of us….

An organisation’s most valuable resource is its staff

As the recession begins to bite, it is going to be vital for organisations to optimise their resources. And surely any organisation’s most valuable resource is its staff.

Nurturing talent will be a key tool in combating the recession

Nurturing talent will be a key tool in combating the recession

For example, one option is to use this period to promote young talent rather than take on the cost and risk of recruiting externally, a tactic backed up by Dr Emma Parry’s recent report, Nurturing Talent, published by Cranfield School of Management. Another report from Cranfield suggests that initiatives such as Investors
In People can have a positive impact on financial performance.

In these leaner times it is going to be increasingly important to draw a distinction between financial capital and human capital. Whilst there’s little doubt that finances are restricted, now is not the time to constrain your people. In fact this climate of change offers the perfect opportunity to unleash new talent within your organisation, encourage innovation and allow the next generation of leaders to identify themselves….

Royal Mail Discord

Unrealistic demands in the workplace?

Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?
Unrealistic demands on Royal Mail delivery team?

The Communication Workers Union has recently claimed that postmen are being bullied by Royal Mail managers because they do not walk quickly enough whilst making deliveries. 

A BBC News report says that union officials claim that a new softaware system, Pegasus, requires delivery staff to walk at four miles an hour. They claim that the demands of this system pressure postmen into completing “unrealistic” rounds in order to gain financial savings.

So how can Royal Mail managers motivate and inspire their staff, rather than stand accused of bullying them, to allow the organisation to cope with its busiest time of the year? …

A little help for Democracy

Would a bit of focused team building help at the House of Commons?
The House of Commons

The House of Commons

The Houses of Parliament have seen some pretty fierce confrontations over the years, and the ongoing debacle over the recent police raid of the offices of Tory MP Damian Green, hasn’t done much to breed a sense of community among MPs.
Accusations of “concealment, duplicity, whitewash and cover-up” have been levied and while some MPs are talking of farce, others see it as a particularly “sorry state of affairs.” The speaker has even had to intervene to remind MPs that they should use “moderate language”.

Biggest team build ever required?

Merger of Lloyds TSB & HBOS will require some serious team development

A new superbank

A new superbank

Back in September, Lloyds TSB announced it planned to take over HBOS. Since then the merger has been approved and looks set to complete next month, creating the UK’s first “superbank”.

Lloyds TSB was was created when the Lloyds Bank and the Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) agreed to merge their operations creating what was, at the time, the second largest bank in the UK. LLoyds TSB currently operates Cheltenham & Gloucester, Scottish Widows, Insurance.co.uk and Intelligent Finance. HBOS, for its part, was created as a result of a merger between Halifax plc and the Bank of Scotland. HBOS operates Halifax, Bank of Scotland, Birmingham Midshires and The AA.

The merger will therefore create a banking giant with around 145,000 staff and 3,000 branches across the UK.  …

Submarine offers a team-building opportunity

A nuclear submarine provided an unusual venue for business leaders to work with their colleagues on their team skills. 

A submarine offers an unusual venue for teambuilding

A submarine offers an unusual venue for teambuilding

A team of business leaders were given permission to witness officers and ratings participating in damage control exercises on board the nuclear submarines HMS Sceptre and HMS Victorious before being put through their paces themselves. The team, which included business leaders from the local area, got a rare glimpse of the challenges of life at HM Naval Base Clyde, home to the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

When does change stop?

It’s been a week of changes – the historic US election and the Bank of England slashing interest rates by 1.5%

Barack Obama talking about change

Barack Obama talking about change

Some say the slow-down is slowing down and that, following a wave of structural changes across most organisations, it’s now time to think about marking the end of change and the beginning of a fresh start. All too often managers fail to acknowledge the end of change. Consequently the low morale that inevitably accompanies periods of uncertainty continues, eroding productivity day after day….

Training your way out of the recession

The Times Online has a very interesting article about spending money on training and therefore saving money during the recession.

Times Online Logo

The newspaper says: Britain’s employers are being urged to “grow their own” after researchers at Cranfield School of Management discovered that investing in training not only saves money but is more effective than shopping around for talent.

To read the full artcle on The Time Online website click here.

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