Employee Engagement – Practicing What We Preach

A team day out is a great way to bond with your colleagues, build team morale, improve communication and employee engagement. As we are all about employee engagement, and practice what we preach, we recently spent the morning on The River Stour – one of the most beautiful rivers in the area. It rises in Cambridgeshire and flows eastward through East Anglia, forming most of the county boundary between Suffolk and Essex, through countryside made famous by John Constable’s paintings.

Considering the previous few days extreme heat, and predicted thunderstorms, we were very lucky to have fine weather for our recent team day out – not too hot and although the day started with some rain, we managed to miss it. We all packed some spare clothes and made our way to Sudbury where we had hired double kayaks for a couple of hours on the beautiful River Stour.

What we didn’t realise was that the types of Kayaks we hired, had drainage holes which meant that when we got into the kayaks the first people in quickly got a wet bottom – especially if they were sitting at the back! No matter, we all had that change of clothes. We set off and paddled down the narrow river with overhanging willows on both sides, crystal clear water and plenty of wildlife.

We reached the first portage point but decided that we would turn back as the wind would be against us, so it would take a little longer. That was the theory anyway! We paddled back up the river and at times it was a little harder than when we were going with the wind but we powered through and arrived at our destination a lot sooner than we had expected.

Only one thing to do. We had a restaurant booked for lunch and so we arrived there a little early for pre-lunch drinks – with some looking like swamp monsters!  This was because the duckweed was thick in places that the aforementioned drainage holes let the weed in which then stuck to everything.

Getting in touch with nature really was a great way to spend the morning. We even had a raft of ducks chasing us for food at one point. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better, always good for team building and increasing employee engagement! The kayaking was great fun, we all had a fabulous time and really enjoyed working together to propel ourselves up and down the river, with very few mishaps (the paddleboarder was fine! It was only a small collision – no damage done! He didn’t even fall in!).