CORNISH businesses should think differently about ways to build staff togetherness and develop new ideas during the pandemic, according to leaders at a training and skills company.

Skern Lodge’s training and development manager, Richard Thomas, said well-designed outdoor learning programmes can be a useful addition to the training mix, as it engages staff in meaningful ways in a Covid-secure outdoor environment.

Richard said: “As we start heading back into offices again, outdoor learning through activities can present a unique opportunity to reset goals, share experiences and identify new challenges for the benefit of employees and, ultimately, the wider business in Cornwall.

“After months of working from home or being on furlough, it’s likely that new tasks or a fresh project to get stuck into will be greatly welcomed, not only as a way of helping to stimulate the brain but also as a way of resuming some form of normality.”

However, taking colleagues and staff out of their day-to-day activities through a range of tasks linked to work will also help them through their career, no matter what level they are at.

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Richard added: “A great way to help motivate and inspire is by taking part in challenges and activities, all with clear learning outcomes, which may push employees out of their comfort zone and open them up new ways of thinking.

“These often include taking part in carefully chosen activities such as climbing, archery and problem-solving challenges which are a great opportunity to get the whole team involved. These tasks lend themselves well to focussing on aspects of character education, who we are as people and how we address situations.

“They focus on behaviours as well as offering opportunity for learning and development, which builds on essential skills such collaborative working, leadership, and resilience.

“This will come in useful to everyone, whether they are early in their career, they are a newly appointed manager or an established team. It is a great way to bring the whole company together.”

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Skern Lodge specialises in a designing and delivering a wide range of programmes all using outdoor activities and experience for people and businesses. These include kayaking, high ropes, powerboating on the estuary or taking to the sea for surfing off the North Devon coast. 

Richard said that Skern Lodge’s 44 years of co-designing programmes with employers and employees has given him and his staff a great insight into how people can stay fresh and motivated at work. 

He added: “We are all living through challenging times, but as the business world cranks up again, now is a great time for people to give detailed thought about a return-to-work plan, ways to help motivate their staff and get the best out of them, for the business and the individual.”

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