Empower Adventures: Transforming Workplace Warriors into Teams Through Treetop Zip Lining

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Leadership to blame for high turnover: Successful teambuilding exercises, such as zip lining outdoor adventures engage employees, improve communication and promote trust among colleagues.

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“Unfortunately, many Americans feel disengaged at work because of a disconnect with management."

Research has shown that happy, engaged employees perform better and stay with their employer longer.1,2 According to recent data, highly engaged employees were 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts.1,2 Companies with engaged employees earn 2.5 times their competitors with low engagement levels.1,2 Leadership experts, like Empower Adventures’ Joe DeRing, believe that the more time employees spend with each other, the more engaged they will become.

A Gallup poll indicates that 70% of Americans feel disengaged from their job.1,2 Reasons for disengagement include lack of feedback and direction, lack of understanding or connection to the organization’s mission, feeling underappreciated, lack of socializing activities and a feeling they are not properly compensated.1 However, while feeling undercompensated may contribute to a feeling of disengagement, money is not the reason most people ultimately leave their job.1,2 Although 89% of employers believe employees leave for more money, in reality only 12% leave for a raise.1,2 Research suggests that poor leadership is to blame for a high turnover rate: 75% of employees leave their job because of their boss.1,2

Management can engage employees by improving communication with their team.1,2 Recent data indicates that less than 50% of employees believe that their company discusses issues in an honest, effective manner.2 In addition, only 40% of employees are aware of their organization’s goals, strategies and tactics.1 Transparency and ongoing communication about the company’s mission – not just deadlines and task-related issues – is vital to making team members feel like they are valued and a part of the company’s progress.

“When employees and managers are able to spend time with each other and work towards common goals that are not associated with work, they begin to learn more about each other and themselves and are able to engage with each other in a meaningful way,” says DeRing, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and Founder and President of Empower Adventures. “Unfortunately, many Americans feel disengaged at work because of a disconnect with management.”

Effective team building exercises, which build trust, encourage communication and facilitate teamwork, have been shown to improve engagement and satisfaction with company leadership.2,3 A group out of MIT found that a team’s energy and engagement outside of formal meetings were the best predictors of productivity.4 Team building outside of the office may ultimately help a team to reduce friction, work well together and form bonds. Successful team building will instill loyalty in a team and encourage employees to perform at their best.

The challenges and fears associated with a zip line outdoor adventure may create the perfect opportunity to take employees outside of their comfort zone in a way that encourages them to collaborate more effectively. Overcoming fears, such as a fear of heights, naturally creates bonds with team members as they seek encouragement and support from their colleagues.

“If your team building exercise creates a sense of excitement and accomplishment, then you’re on the right track,” adds DeRing. “Employees should feel excited about team building, not burdened.”

Experts believe that activities that seem overtly corporate with practical take-aways are far less effective than fun activities outside of work.3

About Empower Adventures:

Empower Adventures operates canopy tours, zip lines, ropes courses, and leadership development and adventure activities at the central location in Tampa Bay, Florida, Connecticut and Virginia (in the Washington D.C. area). At Leadership Sports in Connecticut alone, Empower Adventures has served over 75,000 guests since 2009. The company’s goal is to help guests overcome fears in order to gain confidence and empower themselves: In the past three years, 10,000 guests have visited the Virginia Empower Adventures location and only four did not continue to the Tree Top Zip Tour.

Empower Adventures utilizes best-in-class techniques to train guides and offers the highest standard of safety protocols within the outdoor adventure industry. Empower Adventures provides a guide for each adventure group, regardless of size. The adventure center guides at Empower Adventures aim to provide customers with a powerful, memorable and inspirational experience which engenders a positive attitude and encourages teamwork. Outdoor adventure guides are specially trained to cultivate the creativity and problem-solving skills that are necessary to overcome challenges and develop leadership skills. Special team building sessions are also available to facilitate bonding in any group.

1.    Robins, Ali. "10 Shocking Statistics About Disengaged Employees." Officevibe. N.p., 10 Apr. 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.
2.    Brady, Darren. "The Positive Impact of Team Building." Total Team Building. Darren Brady http://www.totalteambuilding.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ttb-logo-new.png, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 May 2017.
3.    Scudamore, Brian. "Why Team Building Is The Most Important Investment You'll Make." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 May 2017.
4.    Pentland, Alex "Sandy". "The New Science of Building Great Teams." Harvard Business Review. N.p., 15 July 2015. Web. 20 May 2017.

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