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Team Building: Adding an Ounce (or Two) of Fun

Time out for the team!

Not a “5 minutes in the windowless cubicle” kind of time out, but taking some actual time out—of the office—with the team. Time is a gift, and spending some time together multiplies its value. Add “fun” to the mix of shared time and  great value, and you’ve got yourself some quality teambuilding potential.

Matt Weinstein is a leader, author and TedX speaker who believes in using “play” as a means of getting employees to open up and be creative—a tough sell for many adults who have forgotten how to play. As he describes in “Managing to Have Fun—How Fun at Work can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers and Boost Your Bottom Line,” (Simon & Schuster), that play is a matter of perception, and something for both bosses and staff to work out together:

“When you see your employees or coworkers having fun, you get an opportunity to encourage an atmosphere of excitement, support and celebration on the job. Once you realize that “goofing off” is in the eye of the beholder, you can look at fun at work a little differently. Instead of suppressing fun at work, you can begin to nourish and cultivate it, because the expression of fun at work can be extraordinarily beneficial for the morale and productivity of your entire organization.”

Do you have fun at work? Smart, Savvy + Associates does, and we just learned that recruiters are the second happiest employee group for 2017 (we fell behind marketing specialists, but we’re happy for all those we’ve placed in their marketing roles)! A bit of an oxymoron perhaps, but fun at work is something that must be worked at, according to this Harvard Business Review article: “Very few companies intentionally work on their culture—in fact, many companies just let culture happen.”

Does your work culture happen to be fun?

Fun at work doesn’t mean a laugh-a-minute joke factory, but a lightness, a sense of humour, and an ability to enjoy our colleagues and the parts of our lives that happen during the work day. Enjoy it as it comes…or fight for the fun! As we “may” have previously mentioned, COCKTAIL WARS ARE ON, and the Smart Savvy Screamin’ Scorpions are ready for battle with our fearless competitors: Coast Capital Savings Cocktail Shakers, BCAA Smarty Pints, DDB Canada Once, Team Saje Wellness, and Team HCMA Architecture + Design.

We “may” have also mentioned that we are going for gold! Or, an amazingly shiny silver trophy. The DDB Once team, fans of a bit of cheeky fun themselves, says they’re aiming to “Make Cocktails Great Again.” So win or lose, Cocktail Wars will be a LeaderLounge™ to remember (we’ll take photos).

We weren't kidding. There really is a trophy!

Becoming “Masters of Mixology” may not match your own team’s idea of fun, but a search of your local area will likely uncover some options including formal teambuilding programs, group leisure activities, and even “tourist in your own town” offerings. Based in the Greater Vancouver area? Check out these ideas to rev up your imagination, and tailor it from there to find an activity that says “fun” for your own team:

Visit Sewell’s Marina in West Vancouver for their corporate “Sea Quest Scavenger Hunt”—small teams take to Howe Sound in self-drive boats in the name of competition, fun and some fresh ocean air.

Get touristy with Vancouver Foodie Tours, taste-testing your team’s way through Granville Island or Historic Gastown. Learn, taste, enjoy and get some great ideas for dinner!

Be a class act and take a corporate cooking class at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Or maybe a little less classy, and don the competitive apron for a Chopped or Iron Chef-type challenge!

How many more sleeps?

Smart Savvy’s Peter Reek is counting down the hours until Cocktail Wars, and can’t wait until the Screamin’ Scorpions get their shakers shaking and mixes mixing. Why? Besides really wanting that shiny silver trophy for the office, Peter says:

“We love bringing teams together to grow, bond and laugh. Cocktail Wars packs a triple “punch” of (frenzied) fun, (expedited) learning and (healthy-ish) competition. In the spirit of our other LeaderLounge™ offerings, we believe leaders who laugh together build teams that tend to accomplish great things—and have fun doing so.”

Log in to Twitter on March 29, 6:30-9:30pm for real-time competition fun! #leaderlounge

Sheryl Gray

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