ARTICLE
August 4, 2017

Culture of Fun Nurtures Teamwork and Cross-Departmental Relationships

We have a very people-centric culture here at Beekley. We feel that if we take care of our people, they, in turn, will take care of the company and our customers. If people love what they do, love where they do it, and feel they are adding value - then they are likely to want to keep doing it. 

Have Fun - a Key Corporate Strategy

Retaining our knowledge assets and our talent pool benefits everyone - especially our customers. So we make it part of our business to reinforce our mission and purpose, and the fact that our people make a difference in how well we achieve our goals of delivering world class customer care and helping to make the world a better place by positively impacting people’s lives in order to cultivate loyalty and retention. And one of the ways we do this is by having fun. 

Because we have a very high expectation/high performance culture we balance that with fun events- not only for the good of our Associates, but for the good of our company.  

Make it Ridiculously Fun

The more ridiculous, the more memorable - and the stronger the emotional response.  We aim for fun, joy, laughter, empathy, and camaraderie resulting in stronger bonds with each other and the company.  

It's a chance for us to share funny stories and good feelings about where we were and what we were all doing together. It helps builds loyalty because it reinforces how much we care about each other and the impact we are having on the world. 

My role and goal is to always be learning and growing. It’s one of the hallmarks of our company – a focus on continuous improvement for people, process, products, outcomes, contributions, and more. Our events can look like just a fun couple of hours away from work, a release for our Associates, but there is so much more going on. 

An Opportunity for Learning and Bonding and Rejuvenation 

Through our events, we are building emotional intelligence, relationship skills, and reinforcing and/or educating our Associates on the contributions they make, that other Associates make, and that the company makes. We give everyone an opportunity to practice strategy skills, leadership skills, collaboration, and team building skills. We are also reinforcing what we stand for and our mission and our core values. 

We get silly, but we are serious about our themes. The themes create a tone/atmosphere and a memory hook.  After all, without themes, all the events would begin to merge together in the mind.  So details matter – the music, the language, the decorations, the games, the challenges, and the prizes all tie into the theme in some way.

The themes are designed to add to the experience and create another common/ shared memory. They take us out of the everyday, the ordinary, or our intense job focus. And they create a bit of a mental break from what we are working on.

We really don’t want people focusing on their job tasks, work details, deadlines, or emails during down time - that doesn’t re-new, rejuvenate, or refresh and eventually people burn out.

A break from those day to day activities helps to reset and energize people so when they go back to work, they’re starting with a clear head, a little more energy, or just a new perspective. 

One of those events is our annual midyear celebration. The purpose of the mid-year celebration is to recognize the collective contributions of all our Beekley Associates and to provide a team building and bonding “shared” experience. Common or shared experiences build relationships (aka emotional bank accounts) and strengthen bonds - much like a family gathering.  It provides Associates from different areas of the company the opportunity to interact in a fun and relaxing way with each other while also reinforcing our core values and strengthening our team. 

Break Departmental Silos

One of the objectives of the midyear celebration is to mix teams so that associates have the opportunity to meet and mingle with people they may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with on a regular basis at work. This is a fan favorite!  After EVERY event, I get comments from associates about how great it was to meet or talk with “so and so” from another department and what they discovered about another associate. I often see those relationships and conversations extend beyond the event. Mixing teams allows one to appreciate the role of the other. 

Sometimes the groups are totally random (luck of the draw as you walk in) and sometimes it’s more deliberate – like our recent “Space Odyssey” themed event.

The teams were selected ahead of time. I wanted to create a mini-sampling of our associate mix in each group. Associates were grouped so that every division in our company was equally represented among the teams and that each team had the diversity of roles within our company.  

The objective was to make sure there was a mix of profiles, talents, strengths and work experience/ knowledge on each team as they set off on their “mission” to solve a problem and create a solution.

Just watching how the group dynamics work is fascinating in itself and what each person learns about other members of the team and themselves during these challenges is priceless. 

Work Hard, Play Hard- it's more than just a slogan here at Beekley, it's one of our core values and one of the reasons that makes Beekley a great place to work.  

See for yourself! 

 

 

 

Related Articles:  

Shipwrecked! Beekley Associates "Lost" at Sea

All Aboard the S.S. Beekley for the Mid-Year Luncheon Event

A Culture of Happiness 80 Years Strong!

Celebrating the Fruits of Our Labor by Giving Back

 

 

Karin Copeland
Director of Continuous Learning and Leadership Development
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