I recently wrote about taking a group of friends to Snowdonia. This past weekend I took another group; this time a group of colleagues.
I am currently in a very lucky position. The Company I work for has had a big push towards employee “wellness” over the past couple of years. As part of that a series of initiatives have been launched to increase physical activity, improve employee emotional / psychological wellness and, as a bi-product, improve employee engagement.
I only joined the Company a year ago, but immediately appreciated the imitative and the work they were doing to create a culture built around more than just work. As such, I volunteered myself to start the Company’s “Hiking and Climbing Network”. I didn’t have great expectations for my suggestion, however it was backed resoundingly by the head of this initiative. As such I set about setting up the Network’s first trip, a hike (to the place I spend way too many weekends) Snowdonia. The Wellness initative even paid for our transport costs making the weekend incredibly cost effective. They really went above and beyond for us.
The suggestion turned out to be a big success with eight people signing up (not bad for a first, kick off, trip) and many many more wanting to be kept updated about future trips and events.
The group that came were all very strong hikers, all physically fit, and all very keen to get their boots muddy. One of the nicer aspects was that, aside from me, not one of the group grew up in England. It was a collective of individuals, all fond of hiking, but had not had the means or the opportunity, perhaps through lack of friends who shared their hobbies, to undertake a hiking trip of their own.
And in essence, I think this is what we wanted. People to be able to find camaraderie outside of the office, pursue their hobbies, and get to experience more of the UK.
Its a great feeling when you can use your own passions to fulfill the passions of others. Its a great rush to know that you have, partly, allowed people to undertake a trip that they perhaps wouldn’t have done otherwise, and its an incredible feeling to hear someone standing on the edge of a ridge, looking out over the landscape and just breathing the beauty in.
The feedback I received was great, with one colleague stating that it was my “knowledge of the mountain, the area and hiking in general that made the trip both interesting and efficient”. Is there better praise than that?