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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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Does strike action undermine employers trust in staff?

As the industrial dispute spreads over the use of foreign labour at the Lindsey Oil Refinery we should reflect on how this action might affect our own workforce.

Industrial desputes if not managed carefully can erode trust between employees and employers

Industrial desputes if not managed carefully can erode trust between employees and employers

The absence of strikes in recent years has given employers an opportunity to regain their employees trust.  Most employees don’t believe their employer is simply out to exploit them with no regard for them as a person.  Initiatives such as employee engagement surveys, team building days and employee incentives have all helped to strengthen the relationship between the worker and the company.

Action like wildcat strikes can begin to erode the Psychological Contract that is so important.  Especially in an era when many roles rely largely on the individual to choose to serve the businesses best interests, without close supervision.  And of course it can work both ways, the millitant soundbites from striking workers do little to support the diligent work ethic that most of us take to the office every day.

Let’s not forget that just because one employer is in a dispute with its workforce, its not to say that all staff are work shy and all employers are exploitative.

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….

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? …

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.

Event Focus – Change Workshops

If the end is far from sight and change is very much on the agenda, consider holding a change workshop.
A change management workshop
A change management workshop

Using footage from Jamie Oliver’s school dinners programme accompanied by memorable team games and activities, we take groups through a process where they learn to embrace change rather than fear it. Consequently the process of change runs more smoothly with majority buy in eliminating the all too common threat of sabotage from within. For more information or a meeting to discuss this workshop contact Dan Collins on t: 01920 822 220.

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