BlogAugust 24

Rebuilding Personal Connections

For nearly 18 months, events have been put on hold. No concerts, no sporting events, no holiday parties, nothing that would involve a large crowd and not include social distancing. We, like many companies skipped the annual employee picnic, an in-person Christmas party and all other corporate events.

We decided that summer 2021 was not going to emulate summer 2020. In June, we hosted an outing on Lake Michigan for our field management staff. In July, we gathered our team members and their families at Michigan’s Adventure to enjoy the rollercoasters and waterpark. And last week, we hosted office Olympics.

In celebration of the Olympics happening in Tokyo, we decided to host our own office Olympics – albeit, ones that took much less skill and training in which to participate. But an outing that brought joy to our team members and got them out in the community.

Office members were placed on teams and given a list of the 46 Olympic events. Teams earned points by visiting places along the lakeshore and using items they could find to mimic each of the Olympic events. Points were awarded based on originality, the number of team members included in the photo and the number of events completed. Additionally, each team was given an envelope containing a generous amount of cash to perform random acts of kindness (RAK) in the community. When sharing at the end of the activity about each team’s favorite part of the day, everybody shared their RAK and how great it felt to do something kind for others.

After a year full of uncertainty and an inability to gather as a team, it was so nice seeing all of the smiling faces and hearing friendly chatter. The sound of everybody laughing and sharing about their day truly brought me joy. We know the world is still struggling with COVID, and we are doing our part to ensure safety for our team members, but we wanted to mindfully plan a gathering that would bring back team building.

We believe that maintaining our strong corporate culture relies on physical proximity. We are working hard to rebuild connections that were lost in the months of remote work during the stay-at-home order.

Of course, like everybody else, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines and take precautions as necessary based on the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases. But the ability to spend time as a team last week was healing in non-medical ways. There’s still time for your team to take advantage of the warm days and gather together. Plan a picnic, host an adult field day, have a scavenger hunt, get together if you can do so safely.