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Friend-Building Events "Shake the Trees"

You might be surprised where employees fall, once you get started. 

We are a big believer in Friend-Building as a lens to run any party or corporate event. But we also notice a few things...once you start to run events, especially INSIDE of the company office, you start to "shake the trees."

You can see an employee who steps up and is a leader and a captain, even for something as simple as keeping track of their teammates mini-golf score or explaining a simple rule.  You see leaders emerge in the simplest of scenarios.

You also see the flip-side. You see co-workers who aren't comfortable having fun. Who don't want to win as much as they want their opponents to lose or mess up, and sometimes they even do the subtlest things to try and throw fellow co-workers off their game.  Sometimes in a joking matter, and sometimes, well, not so much. 

It's all just competition, right? You want them to be intense and win...right?

Maybe... 

Or maybe when you start the Friend-building process, along with hopefully starting up some Abe Lincoln friendships, you also start to notice people who simply might not fit. Who probably won't be around very long. Who might be slowing down your office culture. 

You can guess who these people are once you have seen enough events. After a while it all starts to sound the same. Just like a football fan complaining about pass interference, the dude being a jerk at the Jenga table starts to look and sound the same across lots of different companies. The question is would you like to know about it?

Or do you already know what's going to happen if you shake the trees, and you are just ignoring it, because there is so much other stuff going on? 

We were recently beta testing a new game "Employee Bingo" with one of our partner companies at a small Friend-Building event. The company highly values proactive communication as one of the most important filters for great staff members. 

Employee Bingo requires you to go out and ask a lot of other people questions about themselves. Much like the friend-wheel, bingo uncovers "nudge talents" and shared interests, but with a much bigger prize on the line. 

Would it surprise you if three of the best communicators and performers in the company happened to complete the bingo cards in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place? If the team leader had guessed the order, would they have nailed it? Of course they would...because you know more about your company culture than you think.  

The friend-wheels, and the bingo, and the parties show you what you probably already know in your gut about your company culture. Sure we can help nudge things along. But if we help you shake the trees, are you going to pay attention to what falls out? It could be awesome, it could be surprising, it could be really important.  Sometimes all it takes is just getting started, and paying attention to those little authentic moments. 

What does your company value the most? What game could you run to test it? Could you guess who would win? Could you guess who would hate playing? 

Sometimes games unlock the magic of creativity and friendships, and sometimes they just show you what's been staring you right in the face for so long. 

Don't be afraid to shake the trees, and let us know if we can help. 

 

Shawn Madden